I need some help choosing a pump

OmniPod, Ping, or Minimed?

My doctor gave me literature to absorb, and I’ve tried to gather some info from the discussion forums. However, I don’t know enough about pump therapy to fully understand the conversations taking place here.

So far…

I like the CGM feature of the Minimed, and the idea of having an alert if levels are too high or low, but does this mean that users of other pumps are still using finger sticks to monitor glucose levels? Don’t the other pumps have features that monitor what your levels are so that your body is getting the correct dosage of insulin? Or do you need to test your blood sugar, as if you where still taking injections, and program the results into the pump somehow?

The Animas Ping seems small, discrete, and well designed. But how do you stay balanced if it doesn’t tell you what your current BG level is, or alert you as to highs or lows. Also how does it “use One Touch Ultra Test Strips” - are they inserted into the meter somehow when you test? I think I like the idea of having to change the lithium battery less often, but is it more expensive to replace the lithium battery and is there anyway you can plug it into the wall and charge it like a cell phone? Would anyone recommend this over the Minimed and for what reasons?

Finally, the OmniPod - who doesn’t enjoy the idea of tube-free pumping, however, I’ve read some complaints about the device leaking, or not staying intact. Thoughts?

I would appreciate some advice that may help me arrive at a decision. Please share all pros and cons that come to mind.

Thanks,
Jenna

Hi, Jenna. You’ve asked great questions and are about to get hundreds of different answers.

All continuous glucose monitors are going to require you to do fingerstick blood testing. Continuous monitors are great (I wear a Freestyle Navigator CGM in addition to my Cozmo pump), but they are trending tools - not necessarily real-time read-outs of exactly where you are. They monitor the glucose level of the fluid your blood cells travel through (called interstitial fluid) and because of the lag time and the need to calibrate the readings to your blood glucose levels, whether you get a Minimed or not, you’re going to need to still prick your finger. At least for now. They’re working on pumps that will do it all for you, but it hasn’t happened yet.

The other factor to consider is that your insurance may not cover continuous monitoring even if your pump has that feature. The sensors are brutally expensive and not everyone qualifies for coverage. If your insurance does cover it, then I would say to jump on the Minimed and get it all done in one pop.

All three of the pumps you mention are great pumps. I research pumps constantly and think very highly of all three of those systems. I wear a Cozmo 1800 - which is yet another brand/model to consider. Ultimately, I would urge you not to be concerned over whether one or the other will allow you to test less (most pumpers test 8-10 times per day). And not to be concerned over whether or not they are good systems. They all are. We have many satisfied users of each. Test each one out. Call a rep and play with the buttons, menus, and features in person. The sales reps are more than happy to meet you at a coffee shop and let you play with their toys. Figure out which way your heart leads you. That’s what I did.

I’m on the omni pod! I LOVE IT!!! I do not have any tubing to the pump! I have two problems with 2 pump. The company sent me 4 to replace them! I use them on my arms, leggs& back. Never have took a shot in in the gut! EVER! but if I get the nerver up i could! Take a chance & look at the info! The start up cost is VERRRRRRY LOW ! Ya the pods are a little high, But if you add it up it will take 2 1/2 years without insurance to even up! Amnd you can doo what ever you want to do , without the tubeing!!! Call me anytime! ANYONE that has used the pod will tell ya, It’s better than Christmas & Halloween combined!!!

Hi Jenna,
I can only speak about the Minimed, which has been my only pump so far (I am on the 515). My experience has been a good one so far, in spite of the two pump failures I’ve experience in the course of almost 4 years. In general, you have to be prepared with a backup plan, no matter how reliable your pump: you never know when it could happen.

I would recommend you join the “Pumping Our Insulin” group, where more than 400 other pumpers exchange tips. They may have tons more advice to help you choose your pump.

Best of luck in the process!!

Jenna,

You will still have to test your BG with a traditional meter no matter which pump you choose, including the MInimed. Minimed recommends that you do not use the readings from the sensors to make treatment decisions. The sensors can be very accurate, but sometimes they can be totally wrong. I’ve had some bad sensors that don’t track well and if I gave extra insulin to correct a high because the sensor said I was high, I would have been in trouble. The sensors are used for trends - to see if your BG is rising or falling but you should not take insulin based on the numbers.

The Animas Ping has a remote/meter that you can use to control some of the pump functions without having to remove the pump from wherever you have it hiding (pocket, clipped to a belt etc). The meter/remote is part of the One Touch Ultra line and uses the same strips as an UltraSmart, Ultra2, Ultra Mini etc. It tests your BG like any other meter but it sends the result to the pump automatically. The Minimed pumps come with a different Lifescan meter (that does NOT work as a remote) that will also send your BG readings directly to the pump. BG readings can also be entered manually.

I don’t think any pump uses rechargeable batteries. I don’t know how long the lithium battery lasts, but I know it’s much longer than an alkaline. With my Minimed pump using the CGMS sensors, I have to change the battery about every 2 weeks. The constant communication between the pump and the sensor transmitter uses a lot of battery power. Lithium batteries are more expensive, but they do last a lot longer (months compared to weeks).

You can always contact the pump companies that interest you and see if a rep will schedule a visit so that you can see the pumps in person.

Jenna-

I use the Omnipod and I love it! I wish I could offer advice on what meter works for you but I can’t, only you can. Melissa said it best call the reps for the systems your interested in and go from there. Good luck and let us know what pump you decide on.

Cherise