Innovation Milestones

Innovating for life since 1949

Year Innovation

The Founding of Medtronic

Earl Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie begin a medical equipment repair shop in Earl’s garage.


Development of the First Battery Operated Pacemaker

After evolving from simply repairing medical equipment to improving it, Medtronic is approached by Dr. Lillehei at the University of Minnesota Medical School about his need for better pacemakers. Earl and his team create the first wearable, battery-operated pacemaker, a leap forward for cardiac care and the launch of Medtronic’s journey to become the world’s leading medical device company.


Al Mann Becomes Interested in Creating an Insulin Pump

Al Mann

Alfred E. Mann, then the CEO of Pacesetter Systems, becomes interested in creating an insulin pump after a conversation with a cardiologist at the University of Alabama, who tells Mann about the severity of heart problems due to diabetes.


Commercialization of the World’s First Insulin Pump

MiniMed 502 insulin pump

Minimed introduces the world’s first insulin pump, the MiniMed 502. The 502A soon follows, representing a major technological breakthrough in both size and programmability over the previous model.


Introduction of the Sof-set® Infusion Set

Sof-set infusion set

The Sof-set® infusion set is introduced. The first infusion set to replace the metal needle with a soft flexible cannula, Sof-set represents the maturation of insulin pump therapy and the company’s ability to prioritize customer comfort.


Launch of the MiniMed 506 Insulin Pump

The MiniMed 506 insulin pump is introduced. A major redesign in its programming, electronics and mechanics, the MiniMed 506 delivers advanced features such as meal bolus memory and daily insulin totals.


Introduction of Quick Release®

Quick Release is introduced, providing customers with a new level of freedom and flexibility by allowing them to temporarily detach from the insulin pump.


Start of Clinical Trials for Glucose Sensor

A critical component in ultimately creating a "closed-loop" insulin delivery system, MiniMed’s glucose sensor moves from the laboratory bench to actual clinical trials.


FDA Approval of the First Physician-Use Glucose Monitoring System

FDA approves the first-ever ambulatory physician-use continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS). This "historical device" records glucose values over a 3-day period after which trend data is downloaded in a healthcare professional's office for analysis. The system is used for establishing a baseline glucose profile, initiating and monitoring therapy, and determining appropriate intervention if a patient is encountering problems with their glucose control.


Introduction of the MiniMed 508 Insulin Pump

MiniMed 508 insulin pump

The MiniMed 508 insulin pump is introduced, offering new features such as remote programming capabilities to administer or suspend insulin delivery, the ability to program multiple patient-specific delivery patterns, a low volume alert, optional vibrate mode, and child-block.


Approval to CE Mark for the Next Generation Implantable Insulin Pump

CE mark approval is received for the Model 2007-A implantable insulin pump, enabling the device to be commercially distributed in Europe. This next- generation implantable insulin pump has improved memory and longer battery life and is slighter lighter in weight than its predecessor. In March 2003, the U-400 insulin (semi-synthetic insulin) made by Aventis and used with the implantable insulin pump is approved by AFSSAPS, the French regulatory authority.


Introduction of the Quick-set® Infusion Set

Quick-Set Infusion set

The Quick-set infusion set is unveiled, offering customers the most favorable features of existing infusion sets into one product. A low profile disconnect at the infusion site, 90-degree soft cannula, along with a virtually painless insertion at the touch of a button quickly make it our most popular infusion set.


Medtronic Acquisition of MiniMed

MiniMed, Inc. and Medical Research Group (MRG) are combined to create Medtronic MiniMed, Inc., which is headquartered in Northridge, California. As Medtronic's diabetes business unit, the company continues its pioneering leadership in diabetes management with specialties in insulin delivery, continuous glucose monitoring, advanced algorithm development and therapy management software.


CGMS® System Gold™ Presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA)

CGMS System Gold,is presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference. The new system includes an enhanced glucose sensor, easier to use monitor and easier to understand graphs and charts that healthcare providers can print or display for their patients.


FDA Approval of First Wireless Insulin Pump System

Medtronic Diabetes introduces the world's first "smart" insulin pump and glucose monitoring system, which wirelessly and automatically transmits a glucose value from the blood glucose meter to the insulin pump where the Bolus Wizard® calculator recommends proper insulin dosages. The system utilizes a MiniMed Paradigm 512 Insulin Pump and a Paradigm Link® Blood Glucose Monitor, co-developed with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company).


FDA Approval of New Patient-Use Guardian® Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

The FDA approves the Guardian Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, a medical device designed to help protect diabetes patients from potentially dangerous high and low glucose fluctuations by sounding an alarm.


Introduction of CareLink® Therapy Management Software

Medtronic Diabetes introduces CareLink® Therapy Management System for Diabetes, providing people with diabetes with free, secure Web-based software that allows them to identify trends from information downloaded from their insulin pumps.


FDA Approval of Guardian RT Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

Guardian RT Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

FDA approves Guardian RT Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. This patient-use continuous glucose monitoring system displays updated REAL-Time glucose values every five minutes and sounds an alarm when glucose levels become too high or too low, helping type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients over the age of 18 who desire better glucose control.


Completion of the GuardControl Trial Using the Guardian RT Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

The GuardControl Trial is the first multi-center, prospective, randomized clinical outcomes trial in European countries to evaluate the benefits of REAL-Time glucose readings. Approximately 162 type 1 adult and pediatric patients participated in the study. The study revealed a >1 percent A1C reduction in half the subjects and ≥2 percent in 26 percent of the subjects after three months of near daily Personal CGM use.


FDA Approval of First Integrated Diabetes Management System: MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time System

MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time System

The FDA approves the Paradigm REAL-Time Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. For the first time in the history of diabetes management, an insulin pump integrates with REAL-Time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) – a major step toward the development of a "closed-loop" insulin delivery system or artificial pancreas that may one day mimic some functions of the human pancreas.


FDA Approves New Medtronic Continuous Glucose Monitoring Devices for Children and Teenagers

FDA approves new REAL-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices (which was previously only indicated for adults) for children and teenagers ages 7-17.


Launch of New Guardian® Real-Time System with Miniature Transmitter and Carelink® Personal Software

Medtronic launches the Guardian® REAL-Time System, a doctor-prescribed, personal, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system for improved diabetes management. The new CGM system is intended to help protect diabetes patients from high and low glucose levels, and maintain tighter glucose control, which has been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of certain long-term complications such as blindness, kidney failure, amputation, impotence, and heart disease. The Guardian REAL-Time System includes the MiniLink™ REAL-Time Transmitter – a rechargeable, waterproof transmitter approximately one-third the size of previous Medtronic transmitters – and incorporates The CareLink™ Personal Therapy Management Software.


1 Million Sensors Shipped


FDA Approval of CGMS® iPro® Continuous Glucose Recorder

The FDA grants approval of the physician-use continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, the CGMS® iPro® Recorder. Physicians send patients home with the CGMS iPro Recorder to uncover patterns and potential problems that often go undetected when only finger stick meters and HbA1c tests are used.


Introduction of World’s First Semi-Closed Loop System in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Medtronic received CE approval of the Paradigm® Veo™ System, which includes a Low Glucose Suspend feature that automatically suspends insulin delivery when glucose levels become too low to prevent hypoglycemia. Diabetes patients in the United Kingdom and Ireland are the first in the world to use this semi-closed loop system that mimics elements of the human pancreas.

Not approved for use in the US.


New Diabetes Center in San Antonio Opened

Medtronic opens new customer care and education center in San Antonio, TX for patients and healthcare professionals using Medtronic insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring and therapy management software for the treatment of diabetes.


FDA approval of the MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time Revel™ System

MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time Revel System

Medtronic launches the next generation of the industry’s only integrated diabetes management system (insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring and diabetes therapy management software), the MiniMed Paradigm® REAL-Time Revel™ System. The system incorporates new features such as predictive alerts and rate of change alerts that can give early warning to people with diabetes so they can take action to prevent dangerous high or low glucose events.


Medtronic Launches CareLink® Pro 3.0, the First Diabetes Management Software to Offer Advanced Decision Support

CareLink® Pro 3.0 Therapy Management Software, the first software program to offer advanced decision support to healthcare professionals managing diabetes, is launched in the United States. The software offers therapy considerations that clinicians can use as a starting point to discuss therapy changes with their patients to help improve glucose control.


U.S. Launch of CareLink® Personal for Mac

CareLink® Personal Therapy Management Software is available for the Mac operating system and is compatible with more than 35 blood glucose meters, allowing customers with multiple types of meters to upload and view data in CareLink Personal.


International Launch of Enlite Sensor

The Enlite sensor receives CE approval, providing international users with a more accurate and comfortable sensor. Enlite marks significant clinical and human factor improvements for continuous glucose monitoring.

Not approved for use in the US.


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