Is omnipod better than medtronic? I have some questions about it

I currently use a medtronic pump & considering changing to the omnipod. One of the problems that I have with medtronic pumps is with insertion sites. Sometimes I insert it in wrong. Has anyone had any problems with this regarding the omnipod? What is the biggest problem that you have had with it? I was also wondering if it’s easy to sleep with? And, does it easily become dislocated? It looks like it might fall off easily. Also, how is the customer service in comparison?

Never having had a medtronic pump I can’t answer much in comparison but here’s what I can tell you. Omnipod insertion is completely automated. You stick the pod on, hit a button, and it does the needle insertion / retraction for you. I have heard of very few people that struggle with actually inserting the pod’s cannula because it is so wonderfully automatic.

The biggest problem I’ve had is some pods errors. There have been times when I’ve gotten what I have to assume was a bad batch of pods and half the box has given me some sort of error. In my case most of these came while filling the pod or while priming and every one of them was replaced promptly after a short call to customer service.

Most of the time I don’t notice the pod while sleeping. On occasion it’ll be somewhat noticeable (if that site is more tender than usual or something) in which case I’ll just sleep on my other side or my back to keep it off the bed. I would say I run into that problem no more than once or twice a month though.

Once you learn to use the pods and place them correctly it’s fairly easy for most of us to keep them on. I know when I started using them I knocked a couple off because I ran into door frames but I learned where to place them to avoid this. I have heard that some people’s body chemistry makes it harder for the adhesive to stick so need to use some sort of extra adhesive. The only time I’ve actually lost pods due to them falling off was after numerous hours in a water park. Usually I have to pry them off my body and sometimes I even use medi-sol to make them stop sticking.

I can’t talk about customer service in comparison but I have very few complaints about Insulet’s CS. I wish their phone message was shorter and their responses were more consistent but once you learn how to talk with them they’re very responsive and I’ve never had to wait long to get a rep.

I hope this was helpful, the Omnipod really is a very different product than most insulin pumps. You can request a sample pod from their website to test things like sleeping and how easily it falls off. Go there and try it out! Good luck.

I can’t compare, since my son has only ever done the Omnipod - but I think the insertion with Omnipod is pretty fool-proof since it’s all automatic. Obviously you can still have occlusions, or pain, but the actual insertion involves pushing a button on the PDM, and then the pod automatically does everything else.
The “biggest problem” for us would be how the IOB is calculated. I know there are arguments for why it does it the way it does it, but I wish it included all insulin - not just correction insulin - in the calculation.
My son lost 2 within the first month from getting knocked off, but hasn’t had a problem since. I think he just had to get used to where they are. We also wrap them when he plays sports now, but that’s mostly for his comfort because when we forget there hasn’t been an issue.
He doesn’t mind sleeping with them at all - but then again he only wears them on his arms. Not sure how it feels on the back or stomach.


We too have only used Omnipod for my 5 year old daughter. IOB is our only complaint - I truly wish they’d add that feature in more than anything else. it can be dangerous sometimes. We sometimes have to use mastisol or extra hypafix tape if she is swimming or bumps it, but she is 5 and is rolling around and slithering off of couches etc. so I imagine she’s pretty tough on it. She has been on it for 1 year and haven’t had more than 2 or 3 “bad pods” which Insulet replaced immediately. I think their customer service is great.

As far as insertion goes it is automatic as the others have mentioned. we do use EMLA cream but our daughter is too young to try it without I think.

Good luck!

I can’t help you with a comparison as I’ve never been on pump therapy but I start with the Pod in 3 days…Finally!! its here and no more MDI’s. I would suggest to go the Omnipod’s website, you can see more information on it but what I did was order a sample pod and they will send you one and you can wear it and see what it is like, how it is to sleep with and how it stays on. I got 2 samples and actually wore them for about a week, 4-5 days each. Knocked one off on a door frame and found out (from other posts) it’s better to wear them further back on the arm and a ton of other tips from this site.

Why I choose the pod was that it was a wearable tubeless option, water proof so I didn’t have to take it off for a shower. A lot of the other features are pretty comparable, can’t tell you on the insertion part but I’d suggest watching the links below. It will give you an idea of how it works in a real life situation. Caleb (one tough little dude!) in this video also has other videos posted that you can watch and this one shows a pod change. Sorry not as much help as I’m just getting ready to start but I had a lot of the same questions I’m sure you do about how this things going to stay on and how it feels. Keep in mind that hopefully by the end of 2010 that Pod unit it self will be smaller yet… think they say around 40-45% smaller if I recall correctly. I’m hoping this is soon also as it will help with the staying on and sleeping with it. Good Luck!!

I’ve pumped both. I had a 508c and then a paradigm 722 before I switched over to the pod. I don’t want to turn this post into a Medtronic bashing session, b/c it’s not that it’s not a good pump. It’s a great pump and I was happy w/ it. But I think the omnipod is better. For me, much better.
The auto insertion is so awesome. When I was on MDI I got so frustrated sometimes with having to get out the needle for a shot. Then when I moved to the medtronic pump, it was better (since I had to ‘stick’ myself less) but after a short time, it too, got frustrating b/c sometimes if I inserted at the wrong angle it would hurt, etc. W/ the pod, I stick it on, I ‘press go’, and I just make sure to pinch my skin up so it inserts properly. Then I’m done! It inserts the same way, every time, which means one less variable for me to have to worry about; something I really enjoy :slight_smile:
I had some sticking issues (just with it peeling at the edges) before the 3 days were up, but a little skin-tac applied before I put a pod on has resolved that issue.
I think it’s fine to sleep with. Do I notice it sometimes, yes. Does it wake me up if I roll over on it? No. I wear it most of the time on my love handle/flanks and on the back of my arms. There are several other discussions in this forum about what folks do to keep in place for sports, and for life in general (some ppl use extra tape of various types).
The few times I’ve had to call customer service, I’ve had positive results. I had good success w/ Minimed too, so in comparison I’ad say it’s comparable. I have not had a PDM fail, but from what I’ve read on this forum, it seems like Insulet may not be quite as ‘quick’ in sending a replacement compared to MM (w/ MM if you have a pod fail, most of the time they’ll overnight it w/ no charge to you…at least that’s the experience I had w/ one MM issue. w/ Insulet, it seemed like they didn’t really ever overnight anything. But again, that’s just from what I’ve read so first-hand experience may be different).
For my lifestyle, and for making diabetes a smaller part of my life, I believe the omnipod has rocked! I think it’s a great pump. And I have no plans to return to tubed pumps any time soon (or ever, if I can help it :wink:
Good luck w/ getting switched over to a new pump if that’s what you decide to do!

Hi there,
I’ve worked as an engineer in the development team for both the Medtronic CGMS RT and the Insulet "pod and "PDM. I was going to give you some input on the subject, but after I read everybody’s responses I saw that they were excellent and fair. I know, decisions, decisions… but either way I think you’l be able to manage your diabetes very well with either one.

As far as insertion goes Omnipod has been more comfortable for me hands down. My inserter for the medtronic pump got sticky so sometimes I would have to hit it with my palm to make sure it was driven in all the way. The automatic Omnipod insertion is super quick and literally feels like a little pinch.

I switched from Medtronic to Omnipod recently, and so far have been very happy with the switch (about a month and a half). I was on the medtronic pump for 10 years and pretty happy with it for awhile. A few differences I have noticed now, medtronic never called to ask me how I liked the pump until about 2 weeks ago (after I had switched), Omnipod called a few times within the first 2 weeks to make sure I was adjusting okay, and to see if I had any questions. There is a local representative of Omnipod that supposedly you can call if you need to borrow a PDM, or get extra pods quickly. Never had that with medtronic. One time with the billing on medtronic they had a third party handling the payments, and that company lost one of my payments and proceeded to harass me with phone calls literally yelling at me that I had missed a payment. I received a letter about a month later telling me that they had lost my payment (the very one they had harassed me about). I filed a complaint with medtronic, but honestly should have been given an apology. Was pretty unhappy how the recall of infusion sets was handled- I had a botched set, and received a letter about this, not a call, while I was out of town. Personally I feel like that could have been handled better. Also when replacements were sent out they trickled in for about a half of a year. This may sound like a bit much, but remember that it was over a 5 year span for those parts. The plus is Medtronic has always replaced my faulty pumps quickly (overnight).

I haven’t had to deal with Omnipod in that capacity yet, so we’ll see when that happens, I am a little worried about the faulty pods people reported. And I have knocked a few off adjusting to the pod not an infusion set.
I also am happy to not have a $5000 piece of equipment on me, I was always scared of breaking it, so a replaceable pod is a bit of a load off.

Hi sweetgurl! i just switched from medtronic to the omnipod a few weeks ago, so i’ll let you know my thoughts…

  • my main reason for switching was convenience. the medtronic was pretty bulky under my clothes and the tubing made it hard to wear sometimes. i also had problems with it when i played sports and sweated. the omnipod is much smaller and easier to hide (and getting even smaller in a few months, so i’ve heard) and you don’t have to take it on and off for showering, etc. so it really is continuous. (it was annoying when i had a dual wave bolus from breakfast and then had to shower.)

  • in terms of the insertion, i had some problems with my medtronic as well. at first, i used the quickserter and had a lot of problems. i eventually inserted it manually and that helped a lot. i could see if it had gone in correctly and was completely in control of it. like others said, the omnipod insertion is automated and is pretty painless. however, i have also had problems with occlusions on the omnipod too, so it’s not foolproof. the pod also has a window so you can see if the cannula is inserted correctly. now, actually seeing the cannula through the window is another story when you’re wearing it on your back or something!

  • for the adhesive, it seems like people’s experiences vary a lot. there are lots of tricks and tips on here to keep the pod on, reduce the irritation, etc. i did have one fall off right after i had put it on and there’s really nothing you can do except put on a whole new pod. you can recover some of the insulin that’s in the pod, but not all of it. other than that, i haven’t really had any problems with mine sticking. i mostly wear them on my stomach and back so they’re not really bumping into things.

  • other probs: i have had several problems with them so far, but i think it’s mostly because i’m new to it. i think things will become a lot smoother as i go along. the customer service did replace some of the ones that didn’t work for me.

  • stacking/iob: this is something else to be extremely aware of and one of the things i liked better on medtronic. medtronic calculates all of your insulin on board from meals and correction when you’re doing another bolus. omnipod only calculates the insulin on board from any correction boluses. so you just have to be careful and know your own body.

i hope that’s helpful! feel free to e-mail me if you have any more specific questions. i wish you all the best!

The OmniPod is the only pump I’ve ever known and I love it, so will you.

Same as Bradford. I was with Medtronic through the 508c, the 712, and then the 715 before I left them because I didn’t like the direction their CGM tech was headed.

Omnipod has WAY better user friendliness with its big bright color screen, reviewable data, integrated meter, auto insertion, and customer service. Medtronic was good to me, but I agree that Omnipod is a better device with a bright future in the industry. I’ve been with them for a little less than a year.

I don’t notice it while sleeping and I usually wear it on my back, butt, or arms. If I put it on my outer thigh and roll onto it, I do notice it a bit, but I generally just shift in my sleep.

My biggest complaints moving from a tubed pump are that it’s frustrating to lose a pod to the various errors, occlusions (I’ve had way more in one year than on a Medtronic for 8 years), and to the occasional “forgot I had it there and ripped it clean off” moments. But that should just tell you how little one notices it after you put it on. I forget I’m wearing it. I enjoy being tubeless, though I wouldn’t balk at being on a tubed pump again. It’s great to not have to “wear” the device or find a place to clip/stash it.

everybody’s requirements for a pump are different. there really is no 1 pump that is “better” than the others. I’d suggest you contact your Omnipod rep and set up a 3-day demo. I liked the omnipod, but in the end, the 200u reservoir was too small. (i go through 50-80u each day)

I can see already that you’ve gotten a lot of great comments, but I just wanted to echo some of them in case it helps with your decision. I used Medtronic Minimed 515 for 4 years, swtiched to OmniPod and have been using OmniPod for maybe 6 months now. Insertion with the pod is WAY better. However, it is easier to accidentally bump and dislocate a pod than a traditional infusion site. I like the OmniPod much better overall. Customer service was great for both companies in my experience. I don’t think either pump was easier or harder to sleep with - just different. For one, you have a tube that can sometimes get tangled and for the other, you have a bump in one spot on your body. Neither are ideal, but neither are awful either. Hope this helps. It sounds like you’ve gotten a lot of other good responses as well, so good luck with your decision. I’m sure you’ll be happy either way.

One question, don´t you miss the CGM ? I am also thinking about which pump to get (MDI right now), and I have to say that I don´t like tubing at all, but I do like having a CGM. If Omnipod had it it would be a no brainer.

I use a CGM, actually. I have been using the Freestyle Navigator in combination with the Omnipod. I’ve been on the Navigator for a year and a half and think it’s the best diabetes technology device I’ve ever used - all pumps included. It’s accurate, easy, user friendly, easy to carry, etc. They aren’t integrated devices, true, but Omnipod plans to integrate with Dexcom within the year (I’ve seen the mock-up of the integrated devices) and with Navigator in the foreseeable future, so if integration is crucial to your decision-making, it’s still worth looking into the pod. I’m a HUGE proponent of CGM use - I just didn’t like Medtronic’s take on it. Dex and Nav are better CGMs, hands down.

I use the Omnipod and the Dexcom CGM. I wouldn’t want to live without either of them! As Melissa said, the integration is coming soon so we’ll only have to carry around one device for both sites. It’ll be great. I tried the medtronic CGM last summer and it didn’t work at all with my system (it read between 80 and 160 the whole weekend but my sugars ranged from below 45 to above 300!). Even if I had the minimed pump I still would have gone with the dexcom CGM for the increased accuracy and the longer sensor life.

I know 4 adults who have minimed pumps - 2 got it specifically for the CGM, and all four are now using the Dexcom CGM because they disliked the Minimed one so much. I also know a couple of people who like the minimed CGM, but based on the people I know, I wouldn’t pick the pump because of the CGM. We are fighting for a Dexcom right now, and I’m really hoping the integration with Omnipod will be soon so we can have the “closer to a closed loop” system.

They don’t fall of me… it’s actually a pain to get them off of me even after three days cause they stick so well. I’ve run them into door frames, people, you name it, and haven’t had one fall off. It does hurt if you catch it on the corner of the wall, just cause it pulls on it so hard, but it didn’t come off.

To help with the IOB issue - do you have the Reverse correction set to ON? It is found under Settings - System Setup - Bolus/basal/calcsRatios/factors/targets - Reverse correction. With it on if the BG is such that the correction bolus/IOB is still to high it will in those cases reduce the meal bolus to help reduce for reactions when your BG is below your target BGS. That has helped me.