Leaving OmniPod- considering Minimed, advice?

Dear All,

Good afternoon! I'm leaving Omnipod due to a severe allergic skin reaction to their adhesive. I'm now back to the drawing board and Minimed was my number two option before.

Does anyone have advice? I really liked the tubeless but my skin can't take it anymore.

Thanks in advance for insight! I really don't want to make the wrong decision.


Maybe consider the question from the other way around, other than being tubed, what about Minimed wouldn't work for you vs Omnipod? Have you already tried placing pods on top of a hypoallergenic adhesive?

Our 20 year old son has worn an MM pump since age 14. He also has experienced skin sensivity issues. To keep skin reactions to a minimum, he swabs with Skin Prep before placing the infusion set. This helps prevent site redness as it is stronger than an alcohol swab and also helps keep the site sticking. For the first three years of pump use, he could only keep an infusion set in place for 2 days before his BG would start rising and he'd be forced to change the set. For about the past year and a half, it seems that his skin will now tolerate a set for the full 3 days that is recommended for a site change.

I can't offer suggestions as far as which is better, but I am a new insulin pumper (As of march) and going from no insulin pump to wearing a strange device on belt that is attached to my body via a long tube was not as crazy or ridiculous as I thought it was going to be. I hardly notice it really. The only thing is I have the longer tubing length which is funny since I'm 5'3" but I find it is more practical for using the restroom, getting dressed, etc. Also, if you can try the MIO infusion sets (well, try all of them before you buy) but I especially love my mio sets. They don't hurt when I insert them (unless I hit a vein) and I never feel them. I guess the first few days were awkward getting used to it and all but now it's just a part of me. Probably a lot like you getting used to the omnipod at first?

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.

I like that the Tandem Tslim and Asante Snap can hold 300u in pumps that are no bigger volume-wise than the medtronic 5xx. That said, I don't see how you can make the wrong decision with any pump unless you have a specific priority. For waterproof, consider the Ping. For a remote, consider the Animas Ping/Roche Combo. I am not a fan of medtronic as a corporation but I like my medtronic pump. My priority is quick and efficient bolusing and my fav feature is the Express Bolus button which wakes up the pump and directly opens the bolus screen with one press.

I agree with this. You can't go wrong with any pump. Every pump on the market has been approved by the FDA. The rest is just details. Do a little research and go with the one you like the best.

I have Don. Unfortunately, the barrier wipes don't stop the reaction. Thank you for bringing up the idea of reframing the question. :)

Thank you Cheryl! I'll talk to the Minimed cde about the skin prep.

Thank you! I am worried the device will feel strange. I loved the concept of keeping some sense of normality with the pods (lack of tubbing) but in use, it just doesn't work. I'm glad to hear it didn't take much to get accustomed to! Have you ripped out the infusion set on accident by getting the tubbing caught on something? That's a fear I have. Thanks!

Maybe it's not the adhesive but the cannula that you're allergic too. You may need an infusion set with a needle instead of an infusion set with a nylon cannula.

Thanks Brent! What a helpful response! I'm actually already on the Dexcom G4 but had to discontinue use of it for the time being as it was causing an allergic reaction too. I love my Dexcom! I was lucky enough to wear it for 21 days (3 sensors) before the reaction started.

So if I go with Medtronic, I won't be using their CGM and I won't have the interfacing option. I was very interested in the Vibe option but I can't wait for that to get approval. I'll have to check out the t:slim, I've never looked into it as it wasn't on my endo's list of pumps she recommended.

Thanks again for all of your helpful info/insight!!

Thanks again guys! Very reassuring! :)

I hadn't considered that, I'll definitely bring it up to my cde for the medtronic infusion sets. Thanks! :)


I’ve been pumping with a Paradigm pump for a little over 5 years. I can’t offer a comparison to other pumps because this is the only one I’ve used, but I can tell you that I’m very happy with Medtronic as a company. I realize they have a vested interest in keeping me happy because they make a mint off me :-), but even given that I’m impressed with the minimal hold time on their phone support and their quick email responses. Also Medtronic seems to have an arrangement with UPS Logistics where they keep pumps in regional warehouses, because I’ve called the 24-hour line as late as 11pm to report a problem and had a replacement pump by 8am the next morning. I don’t know if that’s standard for pump makers or not, but it makes me happy to know that their turnaround is that quick.

One note: Medtronic currently has a new pump and CGM sensor undergoing the FDA approval process (its already out in Europe), and when my warranty lapsed a few months back they were offering a free upgrade from the current Revel to the new pump when it’s approved. That was only valid if I got both the pump and CGM. The new sensor is supposed to be quite a bit more accurate, wearable for a week, and the new pump will stop delivery if it detects a dangerous low, I believe. If you’re not getting both the pump and CGM you may not care about all of that :-).


Matt, I also use the Medtronic Revel, and got the same upgrade offer in December 2012 when I upgraded to it. I was told that the offer would be valid if the new MM Veo pump and Enlite sensors, which are now available in Europe, had to have been approved by the FDA in the "next 6 months" from my December order; by June 2013. Under these conditions, I would get a new upgrade for free. Well, no FDA approval and 6 months have definitely passed, so it appears we are in for a LONG wait for the VEO/ENLITE combo. I like MM pumps, but have had variable success with the CGM. I do not like that javelin insertion and the sensor is randomly accurate.

God bless,


I call the insertion device “the harpoon” :-). That and the length of the sensor insertion needle scared the hell out of me when i first got them. I prefer the Dexcom syringe method, but i llost the dexcom transmitter :-/.

CGM accuracy is going better for me this time round, though I’ve gotten several “lost sensor” alarms in the past week. That will be annoying if it continues.

Two things that seem to help accuracy for me are a longer wetting period (wait an hour before starting the sensor after insertion) and selectivity in calibration. The sensor seems to get confused if I calibrate too often, I usually calibrate before each meal and once before I go to bed.


I've been using a MM pump for about 15 months now and I worried about the sets getting ripped out. I've dropped my pump many times now and have had it dangle at the end of the tubing, but it hasn't ripped out a set yet.