Full Release of Insulet's DASH System


#1

Insulet’s DASH system’s full market release was Monday. I thought I might see some chatter here, particularly after a few days, but I don’t see anything. Am I missing it?

Insulet seems to be working in increments of six years. It was six years ago that we were navigating our way through their last new product release and that did not go well. This one seems to be going equally poorly.

It’s hard to find information and the source of the best information seems to be from users as opposed to Insulet representatives themselves, who, from user reports, are providing contradictory information. Insulet’s website and user app are just as unhelpful.

After putting Caleb on the waiting list last month for the new release that Insulet repeatedly stated would be available in first quarter 2019, we contacted Insulet on the day of the release (April 1 - close but not quite Q1), and were told our request would have to go through an appeals process.

Insulet’s management has stated for quite some time the change they were pushing from DME coverage to pharmacy prescription for Pods. They have reported this strategy on multiple investor calls. Yet, full release came and went this past Monday and Insulet has not yet negotiated with insurance companies this change in coverage.

On Tuesday we were told by a rep from our insurance company that DASH was covered. Under DME. Just have Insulet make the request as DME. Insulet will not make that request because the new model has Pods covered under pharmacy benefits. But they aren’t.

So here we sit. Waiting. A product launch has taken place. We have no way to get the product through our insurance and have no idea if/when it will be covered. Supplies of the old system will continue to deplete. Do we re-order and then defer our ability to upgrade? Or wait and see.

We were told we would get email updates on the appeals process. I haven’t received anything - I thought I’d at least see something confirming the initiation of the appeal.

What are other people experiencing?

I was disappointed - time has passed, so it doesn’t seem as bad, but I think it’s more accurate to say that I was disgusted - with how the last product release was handled. Management has changed and I was optimistic that this release would be smoother. I was disappointed with the limited release last fall and not being able to take part in that, but respected this approach believing it would avoid the problems of the last release. I’m trying to stay open-minded about this release. But ideas that Insulet is taking its loyal customers for granted and can do so with little repercussion bc they are the only tubeless pump provider, are starting to creep into my mind.


#2

Thanks for the report, @Lorraine. As disappointing as your experience sounds, it makes me question the senior leadership’s role in this important product roll-out.

To be fair,I think Insulet has been burdened unnecessarily with the whole pharmacy/durable medical equipment confusion. While many patients will continue bewilderment with this, senior management at Insulet does grasp this issue and should have robustly pump up education, communication, and customer care.

I guess Dexcom is not alone in being a provider of historically loved products but have somehow lost their way. Let’s hope both companies can right their respective corporate ships and regain a strong connection with their users.

Non-communication as a tactic isn’t effective in most situations. Why won’t Dexcom and Insulet talk to us?

Please keep us updated with any developments.


#3

My guess which is a guess based on about 50 years in global manufacturing industry is that these companies are so buried in fixing their internal problems as fast as they can that they are putting all of their efforts into finding and implementing solutions rather than wasting time internally or with a PR firm to talk to their customers. Good resources these days are very scarce for all companies worldwide small and large.


#4

Yes, the PDM is a little slimmer, but you would have to carry around a BG meter also, so it does not really reduce the overall size of everything you need. Plus, in order to see your Dexcom and pump data in the same place, you need to carry your phone around.

Best I have been able to garner from information about it, Dash will not display Dexcom info like the Tandem pump does. Having the pump display Dex info will be in a later release.

On the current PDM, unlocking it is a simple push of the Confirm button. Just one button. On Dash, unlocking it will be at least a 4 digit code. No thanks.

The pods are about the same size. No advantage or disadvantage there.

Using the the BG meter on the current PDM requires you to use FreeStyle strips. But on the new one, the only bluetooth meter they are currently compatible with is Contour. So there is not really a better choice of a variety of meters. They may get more compatibility in the future, but right now I don’t think there is an advantage there.

The big advantage they are touting is the ability to share your info with your care team / endo. Using the data upload from your phone. And that is why endo’s will probably push patients toward it. But that is a big “so what” for me. Wow, my doctor can tell I bolused at 7:30 pm last week for 25 grams of carbs. Wow, that’s life changing :roll_eyes:

Touchscreen versus push button…I can do a lot of stuff on my current push-button PDM without looking. I have the key sequence memorized to get past the confirm button and do a bolus without even looking at it. Great when driving or doing stuff, or if it is in your pocket. And the push button is great when wearing gloves or when hands are wet. On the new one with touchscreen, all of that goes away.

Can you tell me your interest in using it? New does not necessarily mean better. For me, I can see absolutely no advantage.


#5

This takes the conversation in an interesting direction. It’s a matter of planning and communication. Ultimately our sights are on a marketable closed loop system, one that is tubeless is preferred. That leaves us committed to OmniPod.

Given the communication about when DASH would be available, I’m left frustrated that a consistently communicated target date was barely met, and effectively not met since insurance coverage was not adequately negotiated. That is my issue - what’s the deal? Insulet’s inability to give clear or consistent answers is aggravating.

Going in the direction you have taken us with regard to our interest, I have never been a fan of OmniPod’s PDMs. In my mind, the DASH PDM is an improvement physically as well as its software being more current in my mind. The lack of integration of a meter is a loss, I agree. It stings a little less since Caleb currently does far fewer fingersticks than he once did with the use of Dexcom G6.

I’m not interested in sharing info with a care team. Unlocking the PDM may be more cumbersome - not a deal breaker for us. I remember how people were up in arms about having a confirmation screen at all when the current (non-DASH) PDM was released - that seems like a non-issue today. We adapt.

While the overall experience of DASH may not be materially advantageous to the core functionality of the pump right now, it is the next step on the path to a Loopable tubless pump. I’ve planned around its release date and am uncomfortable with the lack of clear expectations I am being provided.


#6

I don’t see any advantage to switching to DASH, and unless there’s some surprise feature no one’s mentioned yet, I’ll hang on to what I have until the Horizon loop release – unless the Tidepool loop comes out first. Either one would be a definite advance, whereas DASH strikes me as just a different model of toaster.


#7

Do you have a rep to ask? While my rep is busy, really busy, she is a gem. I never had as much contact from a rep with any other pump company.


#8

No! Haven’t had a rep for over a decade!


#9

I thought the big advantage was going over to Bluetooth Low Energy was so that if you wanted to loop, you wouldn’t need the riley link any more? And I thought they said that there was going to be a software on your cell that shows data along side of Dexcom data but no dosing controls yet on your own cell. Have to use their locked phone for that. I think the new PDM also has color and a large database of carbs from was it Calorie King? Also has wifi, so data can go up to their software without a cable. Correct me where wrong?