Hi there,

I’ve been on the Minimed 508 for +10 years and am really interested in switching to the OmniPod. Everything I read about it from your discussions and experiences sounds good to me, but I’m worried about the alarm system. Is it true that there is no “vibrate” alarm? How often do you experience alarms? If there is a pod malfunction is it usually when you put a new pod on? In other words, can you “predict” the alarms? the reason I ask is that I’m a musician and if the pod would alarm with sound when I’m playing a concert or in a recording session, people would probably not hire me again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!

Yes, there is currently no vibrate functionality to the pod.

You are correct in thinking that there is somewhat of a predictability to the alarms (although as many others would probably agree, this is not always the case). Just like an occlusion alarm w/ a MM system which could alert “out of nowhere”, occasionally there are tell-tale signs such as pain at the insertion site during bolus delivery, blood in the canula, the past success rates of that particular site location w/ regard to alarms, etc, which are all helpful clues that an alarm might be more likely than at other times.

Most of my errors have come during pod filling or initial pod placements. There is an alarm that is set to “warn” you when then pod is approaching its expiration point, but it can be adjusted from both a “units left” and “time left” approach. So, for example if your pod were going to expire in 3 hours, and you were set to walk on stage for a 2 hour performance, you would not want to have your alarm set to notify you have an expiration between the 1 hour (that’s the minimum) and 3 hour mark, as this would alarm while on stage. You could adjust it on the fly at that point to alarm at a 4 hour (or more) mark, and as soon as this is set it should likely engage the alarm. You would then silence/acknowledge it, and you’d be good to go (it would not beep at you again until the expiration point that is 3 hours away). That’s a little wordy but hopefully that makes sense. The point is that if you are proactive about it, you can manipulate the settings so that they do not interfere with certain aspects of your job/life/etc.

Henneke -

I completely understand your concerns, as I am a musician as well and do alot of recording, I need to be sure the alarms wont interrupt a session (embarrasing and annoying, also wasteful (tape and effort)). Now to answer your questions, YES, for the most part the alarms are predictable. (especially once you get into a “routine” of changing the pods every 3 days) you will know exactily when the pod is going to alert you to an upcoming change. Unfortunately, one can never predict when a pod is going to go bad, or run into a problem…these are the unpredictable and most annoying alarms. especially when you dont know what happened/is happening, and the PDM doesnt explain…which is usually the case. You only get an error “code”, and unfortunately there is no “code translator” book or anything like that. There is no “vibrate” option, although I think you may be able to disable the alarm altogether (say if you were doing a concert or something)…but then you would need to test immediately after the session and see if your bg’s are going crazy. good luck, happy playing and PEACE!

There is no way to avoid all alarms. I had one surprise alarm in 15 months. Thankfully the alarm went off on a weekend and not in a business meeting. The annoying beep originates from the pod. It does not help to leave the PDM behind. In fact, you need the PDM to shut the alarm off.

I’m a performing musician as well and had these concerns, but unless you’re experiencing an occlusion, you should be able to avoid all pod alarms by turning off the confidence alerts for boluses and blood sugar testing and by knowing when your pod will expire. I find that the alarm is not loud enough in most settings to be a nuisance. I have twice sat through a movie in a movie theater and several times sat through dinner at a restaurant or got up from a car seat and heard the occlusion alarm only when I lifted my back from the seat.