630g- woefully disappoints

Hi. I’ve been a long time Minimed user and I have to say this is the first time I’m disappointed in a device. While the 630g has great functionality, accessing that functionality is problematic at best.

The human/device interface leaves a lot to be desired.

  1. The surface controls are too small. I’m not a big guy. I find navigating the buttons much more difficult than prior pumps. They are simply too small. They in fact are smaller than those found on a Dexcom receiver.
  2. Not enough tactile feedback. The feedback from button presses is weak and doesn’t do enough to confirm an action.
  3. The easy bolus is anything but easy. It combines all of the above into one very difficult function to use. So much so that I find myself not using the function because I actually have to think about it more than I would when using the manual bolus.
  4. More button presses. Accessing any feature requires three more button presses. I don’t know about others here but I want to spend less time managing my diabetes not more.
  5. Sturdiness: I’ve had my pump for 2 weeks. Wear it on my belt clip. It’s already scratched.
  6. Design by committee. I’ve led a number of design teams and this interface reeks of a lack of vision by a singular interaction/ interface designer. Or else engineering had too much influence into the human/device interaction.

I’m in a quandary as I have this device, want the hybrid closed loop capabilities that its successor will have, yet don’t believe I can use a pump with such a poor interaction design.

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I wonder if a lot of other ppl will be disappointed with the functionality - especially those who switched to get in line for 670g : (

Hi Steve,

I have the 640g, and also have sausage sized fingers so I feel your pain. :grinning:

I was initially disappointed (in fact I still am) with the build quality of the pump, but the CGM and closed loop are what kept me with it. Not a patch on the Roche insight I had before, which still looked like new after four years of ownership.

Here’s what I’ve learnt and what helped during my time with the 640g

  1. I use the remote to easy bolus, a lot quicker.
  2. I removed the clip which makes the bump less bulky and wear it in a pump belt. You can use a smart phone phone and a Bluetooth receiver so you can view cgm data, meaning you are not getting the pump out constantly.
  3. The clips are terrible, they break all the time. Medtronic in the UK have acknowledged this and have sent me a number of replacement clips.
  4. The pump eats batteries like no other pump I’ve had, decent lithium batteries only.
  5. You can get silicone protective skins for the pump direct from medtronic, they do add a bit of bulk (to an already bulky pump) but they offer decent protection. I also made a screen protector that I cut to size from a kit because I’m a little ocd about scratches.

Cases come in a variety of colours.

To be honest all of the pumps I viewed that offered in built cgm receivers were bulky, I wasn’t impressed with the vibe at the time either.

If I had my choice again, I’d probably go with the smallest pump possible that had as many remote functions as possible and then set a dexcomm up with a smart watch and iphone. If you’ve only had your pump for two weeks and really are not enjoying it, it might be worth looking at other options. Nothing worse than being stuck with a device you use many times daily and don’t like!

The hybrid closed loop also has its issues and needs setting up carefully to get maximum benefit, e.g basal cut off points needed to be set lower than standard for me to avoid resulting highs in the morning when it would cut off during the night.

There are some great vids on youtube around getting the most out of the pump which are well worth a look. I’ll provide some links later, but my lady is insisting I go and make a fire and help with the chores.

She’ll start spraying the monitor with glass cleaner in a minute in a bid to get me off it.

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I’ve had my 630g since September… It replaces a Revel that aged out of warranty, and I just let Minimed send me the new pump. It came with the CGM, which I didn’t have before. I think the physical fit and finish is about the same between the two pumps. The new one came with a free skin and I admit I put it on because the old pump has scratches. So that’s my background. One prior pump, first time with a CGM.

I mostly agree with Steve about the user interface. Multiple, redundant confirmations are required for every action I want to take. For example, ‘Suspend’ is 6 button presses: two confirmations. ‘Resume’ is 4 pressed: again, two confirmations. My best guess is that the unit was intended to make it difficult for children to inadvertently command the pump with accidental button presses.

If they’d add a ‘this is worn by an adult’ mode which would eliminate all of the confirmations, I’d be much happier. It’s not unusable this way, but it seems… clumsy.

What really disappoints me is that there is no smart phone interface for the unit. I can’t remotely see my CGM readings, etc, etc. I really, really wanted to make this into an OpenAPS looper, but that’s not possible until Medtronic come out with an updated CareLink USB dongle that works with the different radio frequencies that the 630g and meter are using.

I replaced my Minimed 530g with the 630g and hated it. I returned it to Medtronic, and switched to Omnipod + Dexcom. I too wanted the 670g with the hybrid closed loop system, until I had problems with the 630g and looked into the 670g more. Things like a fixed target of 120mg/dl turned me off.

I opted to wait until a dual vial system is available around 2018, using both insulin and glucose. I think those systems will be much better for control.

I’ve only worn my 630G for about a week now (looking forward to 670 later this year) and while by no means “woefully disappointed”, I do second the complaint that to program anything one has to press too many buttons. I am sure it will become second nature soon enough, but at the moment I get frustrated, especially when it happens in the middle of the night.

The remote bolus via the meter is indeed cool, but removes the option to use the Bolus wizard, so I don’t see myself using it exclusively. So far I’ve utilized it twice, while wearing a dress and having the pump underneath (not as easily accessible as usual).

The overall size is just a touch different from the old Minimeds, and yet, in my case, that makes wearing it clipped to my jeans pockets (something I would do about 50% of the time) less comfortable, especially when I am driving.

Biggest problem (what makes it worse in my eyes than the rest of the design issues is that this one should not have existed at all) is the orientation of the screen. I can’t imagine how a person has to wear the pump in order to see the correct screen orientation without having to unclip from body (or remove from pocket/bag). With my old pump, I never had to do more than just tilt slightly to see the screen in its correct position for moving through the menus.

A company the size of Medtronic must be well aware of user interaction issues with their products. I trust that they’ve spent money with your concerns plainly targeted. But then we users get our hands on the finished product and we’re left confused with a design aspect that’s best summarized as, “What were they even thinking?” The 10 year old belt clip design on the Animas Ping would have been tossed in a hot minute by anyone that uses their product in the real world.

Unfortunately the D-tech companies abhor making any changes once the regulatory cement sets. I’ll admit this is a tough reality to live with from the point of view of the manufacturer. It seems that this reality would cause them to invest more time and money on user interaction with their product before their design finalizes.

I’m waiting for the breakthrough D-tech company that will get this right, right from the start. Failed pump company, Asante, the manufacturer of the Snap pump seemed like just such a company. Too bad it didn’t survive. Bigfoot Biomedical bought up Asante’s assets and will likely incorporate them into its artificial pancreas technology. We’ll see.

I give MiniMed Medtronic credit for building a durable product that rarely fails. I only wish they paid more attention to the diabetes community values before their design door slams on their next offering.

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I (unfortunately) agree. I was on various MM pumps from 1998 - 2012. Then switched to Animas because I just wanted something different and the integration with Dexcom was very appealing (though that took a few years). Last fall I got the 630g because I was very interested in the closed-loop capabilities due later this year. I had it for 2 weeks. That was enough time to go through MM training (which was good), but the pump just felt like a brick attached to my body. Lots of button pushes (though coming from the Vibe it wasn’t that bad), and very small screen. Mostly I just couldn’t stand the size & weight of the pump. It took 5-6 weeks, but I was able to return it and get the T-Slim/G4 rather than the X2 which just seems to have been released a little prematurely. I’m loving it. The pump is small and incredibly intuitive. Charging is just not an issue and the cartridge fills aren’t so bad, especially given all the great features of the pump. (And I am quite fortunate that my insurance put up with my pump exchange.)

Thanks Buckley… I’ve tried the cases… you’re right… they add too much bulk for my taste… I think I’m going to go another route… and the funny thing is that the Enlite Sensor came in the post yesterday… and I’m a heavy Dexcom user … ha!

You never know Terry… there are so many companies that let their engineers lead product creation and design. They are great at building product but not at designing… unfortunately two very different skill sets. Yeah, the regulatory burden makes it so much harder or else the next iteration of the device would address these issues.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I purchased a new MM pump last year, but opted for another 523. The sales reps were relentless about how great the new pumps would be once released and I could upgrade, but I decided there was too much promise and not enough facts. I had used the original sof-sensor in 2007, before switching to dexcom, so I think the only way I would switch is if they offer a ‘free’ trial period of the 670 before I commit.

I’m interested more in the direction the T-Slim X2 is going, with Dexcom integration, and will be watching where they go regarding closed loop. In the mean time, my MM 523 and dexcom G4 is good enough for me, and allows me to set my target where I want it.

Speaking with my Endo today, she recommended i look at Animas, Tandem, Project 0 (not yet released) and compare them against the 523. The issues I raised she has heard before… .many times. Whats up with the T-Slim?

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There are a lot of things I liked about Tandem. It was my second choice. If I had to go tubed, that’s the direction I’d go.

You didn’t mention OmniPod. Any interest in that?

Supposedly Tandem will be entering the tubeless market at some point, with the name T-Sport being thrown around. Not sure how definite that is. Could just be sales talk.

Here’s a link to some details I found interesting.


I just got the tslim x2 because of all the cool stuff coming down the pipeline but keep in mind that the dexcom g5 integration isn’t expected until mid-2017 and then the low-insulin-suspension until 2018. So maybe later it will be comparable to the 630G but for now it’s just a standalone pump.

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I’m going to the 630, from a Ping. Reading all the comments makes me a bit more nervous. Mine is still inthe box. I have to bring it out though, the LED light went out on the ping, and the insurance company would only pay for Medtronic. Does anyone know if the tubing and reservoirs are interchangeable?

The Med-T infusion sets feature a proprietary connection so they are not compatible with Animas which uses industry-standard leur-lock.

Minimed does have the proprietary reservoirs and infusion sets, but I believe there are other companies that sell luer lock sets that do work with minimed. Check edgepark.
I have only used the proprietary ones, but thinking of switching to get additional options for the infusion sets, and possibly lower cost.

That, I was not aware of.

I changed from MM640G to MDI 6 months after start, you can read about it here

My problems were more sensor related, but i agree on the more difficult handling. I loved the easy bolus before and now it’s just not easy anymore.
I was in camp last summer, and we had to call Medtronic to send in replacement pumps 4! times!! from screens breaking to motors not working, we had the lot. that poor lady on the phone recognized me at the end and apologized to all lengths. We never had so many pumps break in a two week camp with 40 kids ever before.
Sad record tbh.
however, i must also say we were also soooo thankful for the auto hypo regulation, it saved us a few times and was godsent. i think while the new pump is not very childproof (they just need stronger cases) i can also imagine that this is the pump many d-parents (and other PWD) have waited for for ages, if the hypo suspend works well it is just an awesome piece of technology.