5 Years on a Pump
This past January I hit my 5 year anniversary for being on an insulin pump. Yes, there are advantages and disadvantages to being on an insulin pump, but I don’t want to get rid of mine anytime soon. I’m starting to think about my next pump as mine is currently out of warranty and I’m dedicating some time to really thinking through what company I want to go with. For the purposes of this post, I’m only considering three companies: Animas, Medtronic and OmniPod. I’m not making my final decision for some time as I will probably use my flexible spending account in 2012 to get my next one so I save about 1/3 of the cost through tax savings.
Not About Me
This post isn’t about what I want for a pump or what company I’m going to go with in 2012. This post is about the biased representation that each of the three companies below show when trying to sell their pump. Let me give you my two cents, there is no perfect pump or perfect CGM. It really comes down to personal preference and what’s the most important feature you need and which one provides it for you.
The first comparison I looked at was on Medtronic’s Minimed site. At first glance, the Revel pump looks amazing, especially if it’s for a child or teenager because you get the “Pediatric Friendly Features”. What the heck does “limited” actually mean for the Ping pump in this category? For the OmniPod, this comparison looks like they don’t offer much, right? If you click on the source below the image you can scroll to see some additional comparisons. One that made me laugh is where the Revel and Ping are approved for active lifestyles, but not the OmniPod, which is ridiculous. I know a few young adults/kids with this pump and it works out great for them.
Question – Why doesn’t Medtronic list if their pump is waterproof? That’s because it isn’t and the others are. Biased and not objective.
[Source: Minimed site]
The next site is Animas who makes the Ping pump. Look at their picture to the left where they SELL the fact that their pump is waterproof. Let’s look at the other two pumps in terms of waterproofing. Minimed is splash resistent. What the hell does that mean? Can it get rained on? What if I get squirted by a water gun? Can I jump in the pool? Can I shower with it on? I really have no idea and still don’t know the limitations of my pump after 5 years. For OmniPod, it says it’s “watertight up to 25 ft for 60 mins”. Isn’t that the same thing as waterproof? What happens if you’re in the pool for 61 minutes?
I can’t speak to the Revel, but my Minimed pump runs on super lithium batteries and they last for at least 6 weeks. Yet this comparison shows only the Ping taking Lithium batteries. Huh?
[Source: Animas site]
The big plus to OmniPod is that it’s wireless. Trust me, if you’ve ever been on a pump before you will know that doorknobs attract infusion set tubing like bees to honey. But now let’s look at the “Auto Insertion” option. Again, I can’t speak to the others, but my Minimed pump comes with an auto inserter that pushes the infusion set into my skin with the push of a button. I guess you do actually see a needle and have to somewhat handle it, but it’s a little misleading. Another interesting comparison is the last one where I guess only the OmniPod is small and lightweight. How do they actually define what is considered small and lightweight? That seems to be pretty subjective in my opinion.
[Source: OmniPod Site]
The point here is that each company is going to market their best options and show how their pump is “better” than the others who do not have these great options. The reality is you may need to talk to actual people who have the pump and see what they like and dislike. The only word of caution there is that those people may actually be biased based on what they own. I know a few people who are the type that everything they own is the best.
QOTP (question of the post) – What resource would you use to help pick your next or first insulin pump?