I've been with Medtronic for 8 years, and I'm about to switch to Tandem. Why? I think Medtronic lags behind in terms of technical innovation and features. Since Medtronic is the current leader in insulin pumps (they have 77% of the insulin market (source: http://artificialpancreasproject.com/news/7-9-06-holy-grail-pioneer...)), they seem to feel like they don't have to work as hard because of the incumbent user base. Also, when I asked for a local rep to call me, I never got the call.
Originally, I was just going to go with the Revel, but my endo suggested that I look at other offerings because she also thought Medtronic was lagging behind. On my list were Omnipod, Tandem t:slim, and Animas Ping. I almost immediately took the Omnipod off of my list because I didn't think the pod would be small enough for where I like to have my infusion sites (thighs and top of buttocks). I liked that Animas has the Vibe with Dexcom support, and I also liked that the t:slim looks sleek and new and Dexcom support is coming. Of the three listed devices, I called all three companies to speak with a CSR about their offerings.
I told the Omnipod about my concerns, and they sent me a demo pod. After receiving the demo pod, I decided that the pod was too big for my infusion sites and the clothes that I wear. The final nail in the coffin for Omnipod was the 200 unit reservoir. With my insulin usage, I would be changing the pod every 36 hours.
Next I spoke with Animas. I met with an Animas rep within 48 hours of my initial call to their CSR. I liked what I saw. While the Animas Ping does not have Dexcom support, support for the Dexcom unit is available in the Animas Vibe. Unfortunately, the Vibe is not offered in the US. The Animas rep says that Vibe will be available in the in US by 2014 but can't give a firm date. Also, Animas currently has an upgrade plan. If the Vibe is released before the end of 2013, you can upgrade to the Vibe for $100.
Lastly, I spoke with the Tandem rep about the t:slim. My local rep called me the next business day after speaking with their CSR, and my meeting was the same week.The t:slim is slick. It has a great fit and finish and has a 300 unit reservoir. The display is vibrant, a touch screen, and made of glass. Tandem seems to be on the cutting edge of insulin pump technology.
So, why did I choose the t:slim over the ping? Even though Animas says that the Vibe will be out in the near future, I have no guarantees that this will actually happen before 2014. The information on the Vibe that I received from the rep cannot be vetted because, technically, the Animas reps cannot talk about unreleased products or release dates. Animas claims that they are waiting for final approval by the FDA. Animas has been saying that the Vibe release has been imminent for well over a year, and the Vibe still isn't available. The final straw against Animas was the 200 unit reservoir.
But, now you'll have two devices (the new pump and the Dexcom) on your hip instead of one. My question to you is, have you actually used Medtronic's CGM? Medtronic's CGM is uncomfortable. The transmitter flops around if you don't use a transparent bandage, and the sensor itself is huge. Furthermore, the sensor is only approved for use for 3 days and is not very accurate. In my use of Medtronic's CGM, I found that I started having problems on the 6th day of use and the accuracy of the sensor didn't get decent until day 3.
On the flip side, while I haven't used Dexcom's CGM, I have seen it. The Dexcom G4's sensor is considerably smaller than Medtronic's. It's only a slight exaggeration that the Medtronic CGM is like a harpoon compared to the Dexcom. Dexcom's sensor is also better designed because the battery/sensor clips into sensor at all four corners of the battery/sensor. This means that the battery/sensor won't flop around like Medtronic's CGM. Lastly, the Dexcom G4's sensor is rated for 7 days of use but has been worn for as long as 20 days by members of tudiabetes.org.
So, after doing all of my research, the choice was clear. I'm going with the Tandem t:slim and Dexcom G4.