Medtronic announces launch of Bayer’s Contour Next Link blood glucose meter – September 12, 2012

Executive Highlights

  • Bayer’s Contour Next Link, which communicates with the Medtronic Revel insulin pump and Guardian CGM, is now available to patients ordering a new pump or CGM.
  • The Contour Next Link has a form factor similar to the thumb-drive-resembling Contour USB, but includes the company’s new Next strips and a built-in CareLink USB.
  • Bayer’s Contour Next was approved by the FDA on July 26, 2012. Bayer has not elaborated on the features of this new meter.

Medtronic announced last week that Bayer's Contour Next Link meter became available to patients ordering new Medtronic Paradigm Revel insulin pumps and Guardian Real-Time CGMs. As a reminder, the new meter wirelessly transmits blood glucose values to the Paradigm Revel pump (and the upcoming Minimed 530G low glucose suspend pump that is under FDA review and expected to be approved in the first half of 2013) or Guardian Real-Time CGM, uses Bayer's new Contour Next strips, and has a form factor and design similar to the Contour USB (essentially a blood glucose meter built in to a USB thumb drive). We got an up close look at the Contour Next Link in Medtronic's AADE 2012 booth (see our report at and noticed, in addition to the reportedly greater accuracy, the integrated CareLink USB stick (allowing upload of pump, CGM, and blood glucose meter data to CareLink – we thought this was particularly valuable), the color screen, and the easy tagging of results. Existing Medtronic customers that are not planning on getting a new pump or CGM will eventually be provided with the Contour Next Link, though they will not be contacted by Medtronic until January 2013. As a reminder, Medtronic and Bayer expanded their international partnership to include the US in May 2011, replacing J&J LifeScan (see our coverage at Medtronic no longer sells LifeScan meters, though the company will continue to sell test strips from LifeScan and other meter manufacturers.

  • Bayer's new Next platform includes the meters listed below and has been touted by the company as highly accurate – this was certainly the focus of Bayer’s AADE product theater (see pages 23-24 of our report at, where a trial was presented comparing the Contour Next EZ strips to the Accu-Chek Aviva Plus, FreeStyle Freedom Lite, OneTouch Ultra 2, and TrueTrack (though we wished Sanofi’s iBGStar, LifeScan’s OneTouch Verio, and Telcare’s strips had been included). In that trial, Bayer’s Next EZ had the lowest overall MARD, with a particular edge over competitors in the hypoglycemic range. The results were encouraging, though we also hope to see an independent accuracy assessment of BGMs at some point.
  • See table on following page giving Bayer’s BGM platform.

Table 1: Products in Bayer’s Next BGM platform




Contour Next EZ (Contour XT outside the US)

A form factor similar to the Contour but using the new Next strips.

Launched in August 2012 in the US and in April 2012 internationally.

Contour Next USB

A form factor similar to the Contour USB but using the new Next strips.

FDA cleared but not yet launched. Signs at AADE 2012 advertised it “was coming soon.” Launched internationally in June 2012.

Contour Next Link*

A form factor similar to (but slightly larger than) the Contour USB but also using the new Next strips, able to sync with the Medtronic Revel pump and Guardian CGM, and including a built-in CareLink USB.

Available with new Medtronic Revel or Guardian Real-Time CGM orders as of September 2012. Those not ordering a new pump or CGM will be contacted by Medtronic in January 2013 to obtain the new meter.

Contour Next

Unspecified features.

Approved by FDA on July 26, 2012 (see FDA report at Launch timeline unclear.

*Of the four products mentioned above, only the Contour Next Link will be able to sync with Medtronic pumps.

-- by Adam Brown and Kelly Close