Looking for my first pump

Hello everyone! I've had type 1 diabetes for about three years now and am looking for my first pump. I'm a little bit over the injections. I am currently looking at the OneTouch Ping and the Accu Chek Combo (being released in the US the beginning of October). I haven't looked into Medtronic much yet and my insurance doesn't cover OmniPod. I'm mostly just looking to find out what insulin pumps other people with diabetes have and what you think about your pump.

Thanks for your input! :)

Hi Amanda!

I have the Medtronic Paradigm MiniMed Pump and LOVE it. I've looked into most of the other options when I got the pump (which was about 7 years ago now, wow!), and I've looked into the OmniPod in depth. I loved the idea of the OmniPod because it can be attached more places than the minimed, but I've talked to users who both love it and hate it and there are a few things about it that I wouldn't like to deal with, including the limited reservoir, you can't move it once you place it (for different outfits, for instance), and a few other things. The MiniMed is extremely user friendly, which I love, and it has a few different options for kinds of cannulas you can use to place it.

When I was looking for my pump the animas (one touch system) was much less advanced than medtronic, but I can't speak for it now. I've looked at the Ping, and I haven't seen anything that the MiniMed doesn't do - my meter automatically communicates with my pump and my pump (with the preset settings) knows how much insulin I need to adjust for my numbers and how many carbs I'm having, and I could have a remote if I wanted it as well.

I've seen a little about the Accu-Chek, and again, haven't seen anything the MiniMed doesn't offer. The MiniMed is waterproof for accidental exposure, and connects to a PC (or Mac) via USB and provides tons of charts/data with numbers/insulin/etc.

If I didn't have a pump now and were to get one, I'm not sure what I'd do... I think I'd look closer at the Accu-Chek, but Medtronic has always been so far ahead of the curve as far as advancements in the medical field and with research I would find it hard not to have a product that I know will be consistently on top of its game. That includes benefits with insurance; Medtronic is highly trusted with insurance. (I also received a free upgrade of my pump after 4 years, and the MiniMed has a 4-year warranty, which I've used - I just had a crack on the screen I didn't like and they sent me a new one! For a $6,000 pump that's pretty awesome.) And Medtronic's customer service has always been amazing, available 24/7.

I just realized I sound like I work for Medtronic... lol... but I really don't. I've just had my pump for 7 years and have only had 100% positive things to say about my pump and Medtronic, which says a lot. Plus, I keep up with Medtronic and the things they're doing as I'm an RN and am especially interested in their research!

Hope this helps a little, and although I am very biased toward Medtronic, you should definitely consider all your options and look at what your insurance will cover, overall price, how much insulin you use (different pumps hold less/more insulin), etc. I would make a list of your priorities and look at the pumps that fulfill them the best! Have fun choosing!


Well I haven't had mine very long, but I have the Ping and so far I really like it. One of the main reasons I went with it over the Medtronic is the ability to do most of the pump features from the meter remote. That way I can leave the pump itself alone and don't have to mess with it for bolusing or checking information.

I just briefly looked over the Accu-Check Combo and it looks like it's the same principle as the Ping, being able to do most activites from the meter remote. The one thing I can say is that it looks like the Accu-Check does have a better screen than the current meter remote for the Ping, though I'm told a new meter remote with better, color screen is coming.

Other things you may want to find out, is the Accu-Check waterproof? I haven't tested it, but the Ping is waterproof up to 12 ft for 24 hours. Now I don't exactly plan to take a swim with it, but it's nice to know if I get stuck in a down pour or thrown in a pool. Did a quick check and it is waterproof (yay internet!). Water Tightness IPX 8—Protected against the effects of temporary immersion in water under standardized conditions (≤ 60 minutes and ≤ 2.5 meters [8 feet]).

To sum up: On Animas Ping and quite happy with it so far! Like not having to mess with the pump itself for administering boluses

I have the Minimed Revel and LOVE it. I initially was interested in it because of the integrated CGM system, but have not really made much use of that feature (I found that CGMs, both Dexcom and Minimed's didn't provide a level of accuracy that, for me, warranted the cost and extra scar tissue. Pumping was more important).

Anyway, I considered both the Animas Ping and the Minimed Revel extensively when looking for my pump last year. Here is why the Minimed Revel "won" for me:

  • Has the integrated CGM; if I ever want to resume using it again or use it periodically for looking for a pattern, it's all integrated into one device. I can't carry around more stuff!
  • Has a really good reputation and has been doing "pumping" for a long time.
  • Had a really low rate of complaints on FDA's website (compared to Animas and Omnipod, which both had more consumer generated complaints for what is a smaller market, as Minimed has more pumps out there on the street)
  • Offers an array of infusion sets. This means that if one set doesn't work, you can try another (Animas also offers multiple kinds of set; with the Omnipod, you're stuck with what you get)
  • I love the Bolus Wizard and the menu function of the pump. It is easy to use and doesn't take a lot of thought. It also seemed that the Ping required a few more button pushes for things like bolusing or doing a temp basal.
  • Carelink. This is the software that Minimed uses and I love it. Very intuitive and generates a variety of different reports. This has been extremely helpful for me!
  • Ruggedness. In talking to people, it seemed (and this is totally anecdotal, so take it for what it's worth), that people had fewer breaks/cracks/mechanical issues with their Minimed when compared to the Ping. Again, this is totally anecdotal, but something I considered because I do a lot of backpacking and camping.
  • Design. When I tried on both the Ping and the Revel, the Revel felt more comfortable to wear. On the Ping, where the infusion set comes out, there is this little black cap that sticks up. When I tried it on, it annoyed me because it dug into my stomach. Small thing, but comfort is important to me. And the Revel just felt a little less bulky to me (I use the smaller one that holds 180 units).
  • Consider your insulin needs - the Revel comes in two models, one that holds 180 units and one that holds 300 units. The Ping only comes in one model that holds 200 units. I think the Accucheck holds the most.
  • Skins. Ok, this is totally silly, but I love the fact that I can get skins for my Revel. I change them out once every few months. There are thousands to pick from (or you can make your own) and just give the device a little more of a personal feel.

Some things I DON'T like about the Revel (compared to the Ping):

  • The Ping's screen is easier to see. But people also seem to report that it gets scratched up more because it is so large. That said, I do sometimes find the Revel's screen a bit difficult to see.
  • The Ping is (per the company) completely waterproof, while the Revel is just water resistant. I don't know if I'd submerge any device that is more than $8k, but it's something to consider if you're around water a lot.
  • The Ping has a remote built into its meter and also has a menu of food items in the meter that contain carb counts. The Revel's meter will send its results wirelessly to the pump, but that's it. No remote bolus feature and no listing of food items' carb content.
  • I believe at some point the Ping will be integrated with Dexcom (like in the next year). If this is important to you, go with the Ping.
  • The Ping allows for basal rates in 0.025 increments above 1 u/hour. On the revel, once you go above 1 unit per hour, you can just do rates of 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. However, both devices bolus at all rates in increments of 0.025 u.

Overall, I LOVE my Minimed Revel. I would consider the Ping in the future, and I really hope Minimed implements some of the features described above in its next pump. That said, they have been doing this insulin pump thing for decades now and hold the largest sector of the market for a reason (IMO). I have seen people post very positive things about both Minimed and Animas in terms of honoring their warranties and providing customer service support (and equally negative things as well...but bad experiences happen with any company).

I can't tell you all how much I appreciate your responses. Choosing the right pump feels slightly overwhelming, and I'm glad to have your input. You've definitely given me some things to think about in choosing my pump. Thank you!! :)

Also, search through some old threads on this site if you can and you'll find PLENTY of discussions about this topic. It comes up pretty regularly, although you definitely want to be aware of upcoming changes that are being discussed on the rumor mill. Getting a pump is kind of like committing to a cell phone - you know the technology is going to change, you just don't always know when. And with pumps the commitment period is longer (generally about 4 years) and more expensive.

Haha. Yeah, I've started to realize that. I actually just said the same thing to my husband a couple hours ago. ;)

I can't even count how many hours I spent researching the pumps. If you want to feel even more overwhelmed you could also check out the brand new T:Slim pump. ;-) Another thing I did which I found really helpful was looking up youtube videos on the different pumps. There are no shortage of videos showing people unboxing, going through the menus, changing infusion sites, etc. It's a little better, in my opinion, than what you'll see on the differen pump sites because you get the honest feedback of the users (many of which have used a few different pumps), plus you see the day to day use of it.

I really do think it comes down to the little things, like MBP said. To me, the ability to bolus from the remote was worth the little black cap sticking up. In the end, you're probably going to be pretty happy just to be pumping rather than taking X number of shots a day. I know I was!

One other thing to consider. I don't know about Medtronic or Omnipod, but Animas has a financial assistance program. I applied for that and ended up being able to get my pump at no out of pocket cost. Of course, can't guarantee that for anyone else, but I was super happy when they told me that.

I have a Medtronic Paradigm Revel Pump and I love mine. Medtronic has been awesome as far as handeling all the insurance/authorization part of it, and it all went through very quickly. Medtronics Pump is pretty user friendly as well.

I have an Animas Ping and love having it. It is doing wonders for my diabetes control. It came highly recommended by two friends who use them. What I like about the Animas Ping is the nice Colour screen for my old eyes, the remote capabilities from the meter, the ability to reprogram the alerts, the food catalog stored in the meter to help count carbs and is customizable, and the safeguards of operation built into operation eaze. The training and customer service is tremendous! I was very impressed with the ease of inserting the infusion set and the way Animas handles infusion set insertion. (I didn't care for the Medtronic inserter device. The Inset device is included with each new infusion set.) It took me a year to get my pump cleared with my insurance company, and there was one customer service representative who did it all. She did not give up. The pump trainer that the company sent to get me started is a CDE and is available by phone and e-mail to answer my questions. Animas prides itself with having a CDE answer all the telephone inquiries that they receive.

I don't know anything about the Accucheck pump. If it is something new, or new to the United States, I think I would be more comfortable to see their track record down the road before I ordered their pump. MiniMed is a good pump. Nobody would go wrong by choosing it, but I really didn't like the customer service rep that spoke to me about the pump, nor its constant telemarketing and pressure to buy in the end, when my insurance company approved its purchase.

I feel I made a great choice with the Animas. Best of luck with your decision and keep us posted.

Brian Wittman

Minimed/Medtronic also makes all-in-one infusion sets (the Mios), which are the same as the Insets offered by Animas.

Could not agree more about the YouTube videos!! I did a lot of YouTube surfing when looking for my pump. The teens on YouTube give some of the best reviews (this kid does a great breakdown of the Ping vs. the Revel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M0KeIqdYro).

You have to decide which has the features that are most important for you. Also, see if your local diabetes clinic has a "pump day" when the reps come from the different companies and provide information on their pumps. I went to one of these and it was helpful for me to be able to hold and try on the pumps. It was then that I discovered the issue with the Animas design; I am very short, so for me this was an issue because it would have deterred me from wearing it. I also felt, after trying them on, that the Revel would be easier to conceal under clothes. Being a woman, this is something that's important for me.

BUT....if you spend a lot of time around water or have poor eyesight, the Ping might be better. It all just depends on what you need.

Also, the new t:slim came out, and you may want to look into that. I'd be leery trying anything that new, but if you're comfortable doing so, you should look into it.

What is it about the Revel v. the Animas that makes it easier to conceal under clothes?

To me, the Revel (at least the one I have, which is the smaller pump that holds 180 units of insulin) seemed less long and a little flatter. It is narrower and less "boxy." When I put both pumps down my bra (one place where I like to stash it), the Revel seemed to bulge out less. Also, when clipped to my waist band, the Revel feels a bit flatter compared to the Ping.

Now, I should add that I am pretty petite (just 5 feet tall). So what sticks out on me may not necessarily be an issue for you if you're more of an average-sized person.

I think from the first post, MBP is referring to the black thingy in the pic sticking out:

I also have a Medtronic, the 523, and have liked it a lot. The screen is a non-issue, I can see it in the sunlight during the day and the backlight is generally easy to access in the dark. I am very pleased with the simplicity of the interface and how well it’s worked for me. I don’t always think of the reports but, when I want to look at them to see what’s going on and consider changes, they have been very useful.

I’d describe the sales support as sort of weird. My first experience, getting a pump, the salesperson was a nurse and was very supportive for a few days, emailing me at 10:00 PM, etc. I was very impressed. This lasted until I got the hang of it and then it was crickets. The second was a bit less cozy at first but again once I’d figured it out, they dropped off the radar. At first I was sort of taking it personally but I think that’s kind of how it works, although I would think they’d be better served to say "ok, we’ll talk to you until you get the hang of it and then you can talk to your doctor…"

The product support has been very good, including a pump failure the Saturday of 4th of July weekend 2011. The 3 1/2 year old pump failed while I was about 1/2 way through a long run (I think maybe 14 miles?) so I had to run back (60-80 minutes…) and then drive another 20 minutes home. I called Medtronics and they were very helpful, “the button error message means we are sending you a new pump…Tuesday” since w/ the holiday on Monday, nothing was going out until then. I was initially like “OMG” but, in terms of the organizational support it was pretty good. The other odd thing was that the pump had gotten sweaty due to the heat when we ran, like 87 heating up to low 90s by the end of the run, and really humid, unlike this summer. It also kept bleeping. First, I tried taking the battery out, still button error. Then I left it outside to dry it out, still button error. We were having a party (holiday, w00t) so I put the pump in the freezer so I wouldn’t have to hear the bleeping. The next AM, I opened the freezer and…silence. No error message. It seemed as if the pump had “dried out” and perhaps was ok? I was too gun shy to use it but it made me think the nuts and bolts were pretty solid.

I had a similar experience with the Medtronic rep I worked with, although to be honest, I was fine with that. I didn't need any other support (I really didn't even need the support they provided to be honest; there wasn't a thing that the rep taught me that I couldn't have figured out myself). When I did email her a question, she was responsive. And I thought she did a really good job of working with my endo to figure out my initial basal rates. If you're just sort of generally tech saavy (like you can work an iPhone or something), you can figure it all out. It's just not that complicated.

If you haven't already, read "Pumping Insulin." It's a great book (be sure to get the newest addition). Was really helpful for me in terms of figuring out how to adjust my basal rates successfully.

At this point I've met with reps from both companies, Animas and Medtronic. I am officially torn between the two. There are aspects to both that I really like. I like the Revel, and I know you were talking about concealing it in clothes. One of the things I'm not so sure about is what I would do when wearing a dress and needing to look at the pump. That's where I feel the remote access of the Ping would be ideal. Do you wear many dresses? What do you do with your pump when you do?

I went with the Ping for a couple of different reasons. First, I liked the idea of it being waterproof. I wore it to a water park and many time in lakes/pools without issues. Second, the remote capabilities are just great. I often wear my pump in the Animas "leg thing", available on their website. I can do everything from the meter that I need in order to get through the day. I also use the quick bolus button quite often on the top of the pump. Third, I'm a technology guy and the look of the Ping screen has the look and feel of something from this century and not stuck in the 90's. I know this has nothing to do with functionality but lets be honest, you're going to be using this thing 24/7 for the next 4 years (or whenever your insurance lets you get a new one). Finally, the insets/canisters were something I thought I would need variety with. The Ping has a 45 degree inset, which I thought I would love....turns our I didn't. And the larger canisters were not necessary for me.

I never really considered the Omnipod but it may be something I would look into next time. The infusion set can definitely get annoying when sleeping, but you get used to it.

No matter which you choose you will be happier than MDI.

I have a question for you regarding the "leg thing." Do you find that it stays in place? I've thought about maybe ordering one of those when I finally get my pump. Now that I've seen them all, I'm going back and forth between the Ping and the Revel. I wear a lot of dresses and was thinking the leg thing could be good for dresses, but wasn't sure how well they actually work. Thanks Mike!

For the most part it does stay in place, however, it has fallen down many times, especially when walking fast. There is stitching on the top and bottom that can get uncomfortable after an 8 hour day. I typically pull it up to just under my knee and try to pull a sock up as well to make it more comfortable. I believe they also make one for your thigh but I could be wrong. You'll be amazed with some of the solutions you'll come up with!

Yep, in fact I'm wearing a dress right now. I have my pump stashed in a baby sock down my bra. When I had lunch, I just pulled it out, bolused, and stuck it back down my bra. Some women will safety pin the baby sock to the inside of their dress, while others opt for garter belts (available at http://www.pumpwearinc.com/). I do find that skirts work a bit better (Anne Taylor Loft has come out with a few cute skirts recently that have little front pockets on them, perfect for any pump).

You probably will find that you change the way you dress a tiny bit, but it's not like I had to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe or something. I just kinda consider my pump when trying on clothes and favor clothes that have pockets. Some dresses have cute little front pockets that are GREAT for pumps (you just cut a small hole to thread the tubing through). Regardless of which pump you get, you'll need a little creativity to accommodate it, but it's definitely not hard. These things are pretty small.

Consider too the availability of infusion sets (not every infusion set works for every person) and the software that the pump uses. I LOVE Carelink (the software I use with my Minimed pump); it has been indispensable in helping me adjust my basal rates.

I will say that lots of people rave about the remote bolus feature and I can see how important that would be if you really want to keep your pump concealed. I don't care that much about it, but that's my preference.

Also, the screen on the Ping does look nice.....

What's your total daily dose right now on MDI? Would you need the larger Revel or the smaller one? Would you use the CGM?