Animas Vibe - Missed the mark?

I've been using the Animas Vibe for a few days now and granted I need to give it a little more time, I hate to say that for the time being, I'm not really liking it. In my opinion, they missed the mark on a few different features:

1) The CGM alarm is not nearly loud enough. I have my high and low alarm on High right now. From what I can tell so far, there is no differentiation between these two alarms like on the Dexcom receiver. It does a really faint couple of beeps, and then vibrates a lot. When I'm in a quiet place during the day I can hear it, but I'm a little concerned about experiencing a bad low at night. So far, the vibrations have woken me up, but it's just not as comforting as having my Dexcom receiver sounding that loud alarm and vibrating in a glass cup or something.

2) There is no communication with any type of meter. This is a biggie for me. Being able to distribute insulin from my OneTouch was really convenient. For one, when I wearing dresses or skirts, I can't really always get to my pump. Secondly, when I'm in a crowded space, on the bus, etc. it's hard to fish that thing out of my pocket without elbowing people in the face. Yes, I'm being a bit dramatic here, but I really miss this convenience.

3) Since the animas and dexcom are coupled now, you have to make sure you look at what the BG reading is on the pump before you enter in your ezCarbs. This is just a learning curve on my end but I've had to cancel out of a bolus a couple of times to get into the CGM part of my pump to first look at my BG, and then proceed with entering in all of my ezCarb info.

4) Man, that trend graph is tiny on that screen. This is something I just have to get used to.

Thankful to have access to the brand new technology (I went through the upgrade process) and I'm sure the reporting is great since everything is in the same place, but so far there are just a few features that I'm really missing. Maybe I have to read over the manual more closely to make sure none of the points above can be customized but so far I haven't found anything. Didn't know if anyone else is having a similar experience.

Your second point is the only reason I don't want to upgrade :(

I agree. I knew I would miss the meter remote too much. Also, I don't want o have to dig in my clothing to look at my cgm. I switched to the t-slim. Still no meter remote. Other new technology positives, but other things I miss from my Ping. There are ups and downs to everything .... until something comes around that has it all, .... or a CURE!

Quick update - called Animas to ask what happens if I wanted to just switch back to my Ping (which I haven't returned yet but am still within the 30 day window to return). Initial response is that when you sign for the upgrade you also sign something that says all sales are final. I'm awaiting a call from the supervisor there.

I knew about the lack of remote before I upgraded so that is my fault. I thought I could adjust but am having issues. However, the volume of the alarm I had no insight into. I hope they let me just keep my Ping :(

If not I might just switch back to Medtronic since I'm not too happy with Animas at the moment.

I switched to the Ping in late 2012 because I wanted the chance to upgrade to the Vibe. I signed up for the upgrade on the first morning it was released, but haven’t heard anything from Animas.

Out of curiosity, when did you call to submit your upgrade request?

Given the constant upgrades to the Dexcom system that I would not be able to use on the Vibe, I am very seriously considering just staying with the Ping.

From what I've read on here, I think you can use both the Vibe and the Dexcom receiver. The technology used probably periodically asks the transmitter for a status, and shows it on the screen.

From an engineer's perspective:

1) The only alarm I wake up for on my Ping is the occlusion/out of insulin alert. Why that isn't on the Vibe for low blood sugar is beyond me.

2) I really don't get that one. You have to calibrate the Dexcom CGM system twice a day, and having a meter that communicated with the pump/CGM would be really really really really convenient, and they already have that technology, so why not just keep it with the pump system? This one seems like a no-brainer to me.

3) The disconnect between systems on these things is staggering. It's like they each have their own little "hive", and we humans have to be the go-between. From a legal point of view, it protects them by letting them say, "hey, we don't allow the CGM to be used as a blood glucose meter for dosing purposes" Fine. But at least have the number from the CGM, so we don't always have start at 100 for all of the bolus calculations.

4) Not sure what to do with this one, as then we have a bigger pump.

I guess I like to think of these things like the Apple ecosystem. Everything works together. I buy the James Bond collection on my iPhone, and I go to iTunes on my Mac, and I can watch it there, or on my Apple TV, or my iPad. This is like (using the same syllogism) buying the movies on my iPhone, bringing the receipt (yeah, I know they're e-mailed to me) to my Apple TV, and entering the receipt serial number there to watch it.

I also have no interest in a Vibe for the reasons other have mentioned. I rely heavily on the meter remote; don't want to keep pulling the pump out of my Leg Thing every time I want to see what my graph looks like.

3) The disconnect between systems on these things is staggering. It's like they each have their own little "hive", and we humans have to be the go-between. From a legal point of view, it protects them by letting them say, "hey, we don't allow the CGM to be used as a blood glucose meter for dosing purposes" Fine. But at least have the number from the CGM, so we don't always have start at 100 for all of the bolus calculations.

I wish I had more to offer than just speculation, but it does appear to me that the (non-diabetic ?) folks who draft the various regulations are a lot more focused on the possibility of administering an "incorrect" bolus based on the SG from the CGM instead of a BG from a meter.

If I am reading what was said in this interview with the Dexcom CEO correctly, it appears insurance companies are using the accuracy of the CGM results as at least one primary metric for when they will reimburse for CGM. In that context creating a sort of partition between SG & BG values in the pump probably seems a more natural design decision.

I wonder if the potentially extra transparency the Internet can provide will influence the decision process any down the road. I am pretty sure the FDA gets more individual feedback from medical technology users than they used to simply because it is easier both to organize people and for people to submit their opinions on the ostensibly too often boneheaded approval process.

T1 LADA ~1978; 1st pump: Minimed 507 (~1997); currently: Paradigm 723 (2013) + CGM (2014)

I have written many times about my concern with a pump with an integrated CGM sounding an alarm loud enough to wake up a sleeping person. I've lived with insulin pumps and various alarms over the years and discovered that I slept through a high percentage of them. Lighter sleepers, of course, may easily feel the vibration, so it's not a concern for them.

My argument was simply based on speculation but now user's like you are reporting your actual experience. If you still have a Dex receiver, you can easily use that to wake you up. Is there a way to turn off the CGM side of the Vibe? Then you wouldn't have to answer two different receivers' alarms each night.

It only seems fair that you should be able to reverse this upgrade within a reasonable time, like 30 days. If the fine print says you can't then that's just plain bad business. Please update about your experience. Good luck!

You're right, you may use two receivers for one Dex tranmitter/sensor. I've used two stand-alone receivers before. Sometimes managing the alarms at night gets to be a bit much. Each receiver produces its unique trace so a low alarm on one might wake you up to quiet it and then 20 minutes later the low alarm on the second one disturbs your sleep again.

It's OK when your BG is stable and in-range through the night but if you start touching your alarm thresholds, it can become a high-maintenance nuisance.

Hi Laddie,

I called at the beginning of December 2014 and they said they would put me on the list for a shipment in January 2015. So, only took about a month. The warranty on my Ping was up in September 2015. Not sure if that mattered.

Hi Terry,

Thanks for the reply - I'm with you on still using the Dex, I'm just wondering if my insurance will continue to cover me for that if they know I'm using the Vibe. I think that if they are going to give trial Vibes out to bloggers, then they should let me return mine within 30 days. Nothing against bloggers, but you know what I mean. Basically what Animas is saying by telling me that "all sales are final" is that they'd rather have my $99 than a lifetime of revenue from my Animas pump supplies...because if they don't let me return this, I'll switch companies.

Update - amazing news, they are letting me return everything. The agent that I spoke with yesterday said he spoke to his supervisor and as long as I return everything that was sent (Verio IQ meter, Ping meter skin) that they will refund me. They are even sending me a new pre-paid label that will get everything to the right place.

Really grateful that this worked out and really grateful that I can stick with Animas. Up until the calls that happened in the past couple of days, they've been good to me.

Hope that the next few versions of the Vibe will evolve to better fit my needs. Good luck to everyone researching to see which pump is best for them!

I'm glad to read that they did the right thing. It appears that they made an exception to a bad policy. Perhaps your case will make them change that policy. I've been dealing with Animas for seven years now and customer service has always been fair with me. I'm sympathetic with the strain that customer service reps feel when management tries to put in place unfair policy. They did the right thing here. You are a very long term customer. Keeping you in their column is a monthly revenue stream for them.

One question I have for you...

Can you use the Dexcom Receiver along with the Pump as a receiver?

I mean: One Transmitter with Two receivers. If that's the case, I'm going to get that internet thing that you can use with the Dexcom and just park it at my desk at work so Mrs. Thequick can check up on me.

Yes, two receivers (one pump, one stand-alone) can listen to one transmitter signal.

You're lucky to have someone willing to follow your daily pitched battle with D. I'm curious, have you asked your wife this question? There are many dimensions to this issue.

New wrinkle -- I ordered the Vibe since my Medtronic pump is out of warranty and acting up a little. I have the Dex which I love, and I wanted one device to carry instead of two. Thought the Vibe would be perfect. However, my endo yesterday wouldn't sign the paperwork for the Vibe as she isn't impressed with it. After reading all of the comments here about non-linking meter, etc., I'm now having second thoughts, too. Ugh!!

I am curious as to what things your endo did not like about the Vibe. Can you post any of them?

My understanding is that having an MD actually give a thumbs down for a particular device is rare enough that I'd like to know more, if possible.

Oh, and just what does your endo happen to like? (And why? ;-)

I'm not sure what dimensions you mean, but my wife is on board.

I was thinking it would be like a "check on Jeffy" thing.