Looking for Advice

I am getting ready to replace my pump as I am due for an upgrade. I have been looking at the various products from Minimed, Animas, and Insulet and am seriously considering the Omnipod system. The reps have been great at providing information, but I am really looking for am honest evaluation of this, especially how it compares to the Minimed products that I have been using for the past eight years.

I've not used any other pump other than Omnipod. I had serious mental hangups about cords so this is the route I choose. Couldn't be happier. Here's the best thread to read on the Omnipods: http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/omnipodusers/forum/topics/just-curi...

From that thread, seems a lot have switched from tubed pumps to Omnipod and loved it.

Unfortunately, I can't provide a comparison, either, since the Omnipod is the first pump I have used. I, too, can't imagine myself tethered to a tube. I find the pod convenient and reliable. Yes, there are the occasional occlusions and pod failures, but they are not so disruptive that I would consider another system. I hope this helps.

Sorry about that last post, I pressed "add reply" before putting my reply in! I do, however, have slot to say about the "Omnipod". I did wear the Animas "Ping" for a month or so (I was taking a break from the Omnipod while Insulet and I were feuding over $300 for a while, I found the tubing to be unmanagable. So, I switched back after the 30 day trial was up....however, I am still VERY UNHAPPY WITH INSULET AND THE POD, I have had an ongoing battle with Insulet for years....the administration of the finances is a nightmare, the Pod itself goes "bad" far too often (the faulty pod rate is 20%) U nyself found 2 out of 10 pods going "bad" on me far too often, though I know MANY pod users disagree and feel that I am just too sensitive to this. It is just a matter of taste, I guess.

Steve, with all due respect and with much sensitivity to your experiences, a 20% failure rate for you versus a less than 5% failure rate for me is not just a matter of taste or a simple disagreement. I remember starting out and having close to a 20% failure rate for my first batch. It was frustrating and drove me crazy. Had that rate of failure been maintained, I doubt that I could even afford to stay on the pod for two long since I'd basically be dropping over $300 extra out of pocket every 6 months just to keep a steady supply on hand.

After 2 years though, like I said, my "failure" rate is less than 5% at one or two per shipment. That's actual lost pods due to occlusions or defects. I haven't had a single problem with Omnipod replacing any "defective" pods and an occasional pod that failed due to my boneheadedness without issue.

I have enough confidence in the pod now to really get back to the type of activities I enjoyed doing before going on the pod without worrying about the occasional mishap that causes the loss of a pod totally due to my activities.

I think your experiences are valuable to share and any new user should be aware that the pod is not for everybody. However, I don't think that our disparate experiences represent anything close to a disagreement when we are simply discussing the facts about our own experiences.

Really, our disparate experience highlights the fact that there are no easy solutions to our insulin delivery needs. Though I'm happy with the pod, It's not set and forget and completely troublefree. It's twitchy and tempermental and I've just learned to attend closely to it's needs to get the results that I've gotten.

We really are being given the choice between a rock and a hard place rather than
apples and oranges.

We swtiched my son from the MiniMed to the pod. He was 4 at the time of the switch (he is 9 now). We found that the tubing a problematic as he got it caught on swings and in the seatbelt, etc. My daughter was just starting on the pump at the time and so we started both kids on the OmniPod. We have been overall happy with the system, although there have been several problems that we have had to work out. (We had some problems with minimed too; I don't think any of the pumps or companies are 100% great all the time).

Our biggest OmniPod troubles included a bad batch of pods where we had a high failure rate. Probably half of the pods from the same lot number were defective. We called OmniPod and explained the problem. They sent out replacements overnight and we have had no other big issues with failures. Some fail from time to time, but Insulet is good about replacing them.
I don't like Insulet's billing practices, but that may be due to how they interact with our insurance, because they became more frustrating on our new insurance.
Once in a while, especially in summer when we swim alot, the sticky wears off. We just wrap medical tape around it and go on.

With MiniMed, we had lots of problems with the tubing breaking off at the reservoir. We also went through 4-5 different pumps because of broken battery covers, broken buttons, and just general failures. Medtronic was amazing about getting replacement pumps to us overnight. One time they even hired a courier and sent the pump on a commercial airline. They actually brought it to our front door. I was always very happy with their customer service.

Pros for the OmniPod: Between 2 kids, I've only had 1 controller malfunction completely. We have had to replace another one, but that was because it got dropped and stepped on and the screen cracked. (unlike 4 or 5 from minimed)

My kiddos love the freedom of being able to swim, bathe, etc, without worrying about the pod getting wet. Also with my daughter (11) The pod is better with clothes, because she doesn't have to actually get to it to bolus. Both kids like that you can't see it under their clothes. They also like that they only need to carry the PDM when they are actually bolusing. They can leave it on the sidewalk when they are playing at the park and so forth.
My son says that starting the infusion site hurts less than the minimed. My daughter only knows the Pod so I can't compare there. Both kids only actually say "ouch" rarely when we are changing pods.

They are quite happy with the pods, and I don't see them changing to another system anytime soon.

I'm still a relatively new OmniPod user (3 months now) and I love it for the most part. I've had some absorption issues that some who use the tubed pumps say you can address with different types of sets with the tubed pumps but OmniPod does not have that option. Regardless, I still wouldn't go to a tubed pump just to solve that problem because of the insertion process. I love that OmniPod has the automatic insertion; it's fast, easy, and painless so I'll just work around any issues.

I have a question though for those who talk about failures and faulty devices. Can you describe what happens during your failures/ device malfunctions?

In 3 months, I've had 1 pod that refused to prime and the PDM told me it was a communication error and to remove and to call Insulet. When I called, they replaced it. Is that what you're calling a pod failure? If so, I'll put up with that once in 3 months just not to have tubing and insertion sets.

Hi FHS - Hello again, friend! I agree with much of what you say....I agree that the failure rates of the pods is a bit of an issue, what I call a "failure" would often (for other users) just be an inconvenience - for example..this morning I had to change my pod (had done its time for 3 days) but when I went to fill the new pod, it did not give me the double beep when filled, and that is for me a "failed" pod, even thoufh I have read many posts here that say if it doesnt double beep, one should just go ahead and use the pod - 'it will be fine'. I called Insulet about 10 minutes ago and asked if that would be fine and the response was "No sir! If the double beep doesnt happen and you use the pod anyway We are not responsible for ANYTHING THAT GOES WRONG." And true, Insulet is good about replacements but my feeling is "of course they are! They must do thousands a day!" I agree this is not a "disagreement" per se....just a difference in experiences and feelings.

Finally, I agree that it is not comfortable living with a 20% failure rate and my experience with the $300 is exactly what you are talking about!

Here's something I wrote recently about the topic of opinions - basically, it's the idea of the "vocal minority."

Here is my own thoughts about what OmniPod has meant to me.

Finally, my own failure rate is nothing near 20% or 30% - more like 3%, over the course of over 4 years.


Thank you for the response and the links. I have been considering my options for a while and with all of the issues that I have been hearing on the Minimed pages of late (defective pumps,etc. with the “new” Revel system) I am a little hesitant about continuing with them. I am happy to see all of the positive feedback and the comments about their level customer service. I do find some of the negative comments interesting too as Minimed often has infusion set issues (I had one just fall off the other day after two hours and let’s not forget the Quickset recall recently). No system is perfect all the time.

I chose OmniPod over the Minimed pump in 2008 (at age 38) when I started pumping. My wife had serious aversion to the tubing--it looked so "medical." No system is perfect.

There is a 12 year old girl on my daughter's soccer team who decided on OmniPod after seeing the troubleshooting guides for all the pumps presented at the children's hospital. The troubleshooting guide for OmniPod was 1 or 2 pages. All the other pumps were much larger.

I would absolutely choose OmniPod again. It's only going to get better with the next gen pods around the corner (should be this year). Dexcom and Insulet have committed to an integrated CGM/PDM device (4th gen Dex), which should be available late 2013 or early 2014.

Diabetes sucks, but it sucks less with OmniPod.

I too am looking forward to the CGMS integration. For all the faults of the Minimed system (the inserter looks likes medevil torture device!) I honestly am hooked on it. I find myself compulsively testing my sugar when I take a break from using it. I have heard much better reviews regarding Dexcom’s system regarding reliable readings and would love to make the jump, but the idea of carrying two devices does not so good.

Yeah, that's the twitchy and temepermental part of the pod I was talking about. I've only had one pod not beep and I did not use it. I called Insulet and they replaced it.

I have had any number of pods that decided they didn't want to cooperate fully with the filling from the syringe part. I would get that heavy resistence that wasn't supposed to happen. Of those pods, only one refused to fill and Insulet replaced it. All others I just forced the insulin in, against the instructions from Insulet which I would later find out. All of them worked fine once they were filled. That doesn't happen too often, maybe 2 out of a shipment.

The next most common failure I'll get is the beep of death during priming. At one point, I had three in a row out of one box fail that way. That was the single most frustrating experience I've had with the pod. That was the first month I had the pod and it, combined with some of the things I have read on this board, have left an indelible impression that I may suddenly experience a huge increase in my failure rate.

It's been almost 2 years since and I'm still waiting for a similar experience. I'll always prepare accordingly.

I couldnt figure out why in this day and age they still have pumps with tubes. wireless was for me. I didnt know anyone on any sort of pump when I went on, its been one week. So I am not really the person to answer you I guess.

I had reps from a few companies come to my house and I tried them all on, and tested the pdms. I liked medtronic and omnipods the best. If you are considering switching, since really they all do the same thing in different ways, I am guessing your main concerns is is the pdm easy to use or as advanced as you are used to, and is the pod comfortable or fail alot?

I am assuming tubed pumpers have just as many issues with tubes as omnipodders would with pods.

Hear hear! One thing for sure, both companies have tremendous Customer Service! (Animas and Insulet, that is)

Is it just me or does it take a few seconds for the pod to beep after you empty the syringe? My trainer said some people push the syringe reallllly slowly and it will beep before they finish filling. Other people push it slow but faster than the pod will recognize that it has the mimimum fill amount of insulin to beep.

There have been times when I've finished filling and I leave the syringe in the fill port with the plunger all the way down and I think ok it's not going to beep...but then it does. So far I haven't had any that refused to beep.

I had one beep of death during priming and it scared me to death! :)

Has anyone had pods where the beep sounds kind of sickly or weak?

Yeah, I've gotten a whole range of different beep tones and beep strengths. Doesn't seem to matter or affect the performance of the pod itself.

Thought you may find the brochure for the next gen system useful. See attached.

2785-mylifeomnipodpatchpump2ndgeneration.pdf (1.13 MB)

Thanks for the info, Erik. The PDM changes are pretty blah, but the pod changes excite me:

  • 35% smaller
  • 25% lighter
  • Light blue cannula for easier site inspection
  • Fewer batteries
  • Oval insulin reservoir with the same 85 – 200 U volume