Accu-Chek vs. Medtronic

I was diagnosed in mid-January, and am preparing to purchase my first pump. I joined this group to chat with you all and find out why you chose the Accu-Chek Spirit.

The Medtronic gets a lot of PR for having its built-in, synchronous CGM. But the Spirit also has a CGM that talks to the pump, right?

Does anyone out there have experience with both systems? Am curious to hear your comments.

Jan :slight_smile:

Hi !

At this point no AccuChek has CGMS, but as I heard they are trying to get one (they are developing it)…

Actually it depends what you want… I wanted something better that Minimed… so I got AccuChek Combo, now only thing that Combo doesn’t have is CGMS… I found Spirit/Combo much better, as a pump it has much better display of all current data (you can see which basal you are on and also status of bolus as it is delivered, same goes for TBR). Only thing that Spirit doesm’t have is bolus calculator, which now Combo has, in it’s remote control device/meter…

Now as computer oriented person I require easy way to get to data, which is also reason I got Combo… You can get data it XML format with use of free device called Smartpix (from AccuChek). Minimed data is very hard encoded and not availble outside of their specific software. Any request for support from Minimed to release protocol were met with silence…


Hi, Andy, thanks for the reply.

Are Spirit and Combo two different pumps put out by AccuChek? I thought they only sold one…

Hi Jan,

I went with the spirit cause I like the 6 day tubing, I only have to change my site every three days, not the whole thing and their customer service beats medtronic hands down!! Hope this helps!


Cool, NKY, I didn’t know the tubing lasts six days. Does that mean it costs a bit more? Thanks!

Actually, costs less. They sell the infusion sets with half tubing and half without, so the cost is minimized and since the cartridge holds more you dont have to change that as often. Good Luck in your decision, just go with what is right for you! Oh and spirit and combo are different, combo is out in europe, not US yet. are you in the US?

Hi, NKY, thanks for helping to explain. I didn’t understand all of Andy’s answer, because I’m not knowledgable yet on the different aspects of pumps. I’m in the US, which is probably why I wasn’t familiar with the name Combo.

Andy says that the Spirit doesn’t have a bolus calculator! What? The Spirit pump doesn’t calculate a bolus for you??

The bolus calculator is NOT in the pump, its either in the Palm PDA (Centro) included with the pump (in the US) which actually is rather full featured and such compared to pumps with onboard bolus wizards… or in the case of the Combo (Not avalible in US), the software is in the glucose meter that comes with the Combo (Very similar to a omnipod PDM)… I mostly calculate bolus’s in my head, mentally working carbs in groups of 15gm, and doing it in my head… ok 46 carbs, 1:7 I:C = roughly 6.5 units…

Unless your really insulin sensitive, you tend to put away the Palm after awhile and do the math in your head…

For me the backup pump, plus the excellent customer support (I had some severe issues with dealing with the medtronic rep, to the point they passed me off to my physician to demonstrate the pump before ordering it… Bollocks… i want someone in person to show me how it works, and the features for the price)… plus it seems to be a bit more durable in build quality than the medtronic devices i was looking at (Remembering i really had a need for a pump with a cartridge over 150/200u)

Good info, Jake, thanks. Omnipod aside, I thought the pump was always the place where you calculate the bolus. My bad. So on the Spirit, it’s in the handheld device. Do you know where it is on the Animas?

I’m really surprised by the bad feedback I’ve heard on this thread for the MM. My endo says that of all her patients who did extensive research ahead of time, the majority chose MM. But being squeamish about pain, perhaps it’s not the best for me…

Any thoughts on how Spirit compares with Animas?

(Btw, I am quite insulin-sensitive, and use between 15 and 20 units a day.)


Disetronic used to be a major player in the pump market untill they, like most companies had issues…Quite a few of the Spirits base features were at once novel ideas in the pump market (such as quick bolusing and the vibration motor in addition the the beep/alarm, and I think even multiple basal profiles… But I came into obtaining a pump later in the game… I like the Animas pump, even though I burn through too much insulin to make it practical (the small minimed would have been worse)… There is one benefit of the Spirit combo and the Animas vs the regular Spirit, your basal rate can be in smaller fractions of a unit but it gets a bit ridiculous… its sort of like splitting hairs at some point…

The Animas and Spirit also basal dose on a clock cycle, the medtronic uses a bucket system for basal dispensing… it can make a slight difference esp with the lower basal rates

For an explination of what I mean…

Another aspect is that Animas and Roche both seem to support their water resistant claims a bit better than MM… You can have a dead pump if the plastic cracks with the MM and its not under warranty…

Third thing. With the Animas and Roche, you also can use pretty much any manufacturers infusion set, EXCEPT the propriatary MM sets because it has a luer lock syringe connector to attach the set to the pump…(bayonet twist lock)
There are a few more obscure companies making sets (although most are made by a company called Unomedical and relabled, there are sets such as the Cleo 90 and the Orbit which are by third parties)… and you can mix and match sets from Animas and Disetronic and Smith and ICU medical… not so with MM…

i used a medtronic pump with reservoir from fifty50 medical. you can any infusion set.

hi jan…i did a trial run on all 3 pumps, the medtronic minimed veo, the animas ping and the accu-chek combo…i think i am going with the animas ping. reason being i like having a remote and the veo doesn’t have one, and the accu-chek seems heavy, but i did like the full colour screen on the remote. as for the bolus, you can calculate and deliver with the remote and/or pump with the animas but on the accu-chek you can only deliver a standard bolus on the pump~you MUST have the remote to do a calculated bolus. not sure if any of this helps, but i hope so!


The Spirit does NOT have a CGM that “talks” to the pump. The Aviva meter (a finger-stick type) has a software package that works on a Palm PDA. The data from the meter and the pump can be downloaded wirelessly via an infra-red interface.

To me, the most significant advantage offered by the Spirit is the back-up pump that I have with me wherever I live or travel. I essentially never have to worry about going back to MDI should the pump fail.

Other advantages are the slightly larger cartridge (315 units) and the high degree of water-proofing. I have been in the ocean with my pump attached. A fresh water rinse and dry and there are no worries.