Major reliability improvement?

A month ago I got my quarterly shipment from Insulet. These pods (lot number from one of them: L41236, mfg 7/14) came with a new syringe design that has a completely clear cylinder, and no rubber stopper on the end of the plunger. First time I'd had this newer version.

So far, these pods have been rock-solid reliable. I'm on pod 13, and have not had any sort of failure at all. I usually have at least one pod per box, on average, fail in some way.

The batch I had the quarter before this was from the older design -- came with the older style syringe, and also failed all over the place. I think I had a 25% failure rate from that batch.

Anyone else notice a change recently?

Yes, I noticed the new design when I received a replacement pod, which lasted 3 days without any problem.

I'm still using my old batch so can't really say much about the error rate of the new design. Actually, I'm not even sure if there's anything fundamentally different in the POD design besides the change in the syringe.

Mine don't have the new syringes, but I've not had a failure in about 4 boxes. They have become much more reliable. My biggest problem remains that the new pods cannula insertion sometimes sticks for a few seconds, which is very painful.

I hope and pray what you're experiencing is truly a change for the good. My last box of pods resulted in 5 failures. The replacements (had the same syringes as in past) did not fail. So far my new box is doing well. I have pumped for almost 9 years now and only been using OmniPod for about 6 months. I love no tubing, but the failures have been challenging. While the failures get replaced, it's still frustrating and quite a painstaking process, not to mention multiple sticks to my body that shouldn't have to occur. I have 3 boxes left from my last order, but I do hope your experience bodes well for all of us when we get new shipments! Thanks for sharing!

I’ve only been on a pump (omnipod) since February of this year, with very few failures…maybe three total. I like that the new syringes have the minimum 80units line marked on them. I don’t like to waste insulin and only load around 120 units per pod and still have leftover when I change it in three days.

Very happy camper here.

I just got a new shipment of the ‘newer’ pods. Have yet to use them, but as an RN, my first thought was ‘Oh Lord, the syringes LOOK much chintzier!’ I noticed the lack of a rubber stopper and the printing on them appears much fainter than the older ones.
With this shipment, I also rec’d an update (dated May 2014!) to my manual’s page 8, ‘clarifying’ about the amt of insulin missed before the pod alarms for occlusions.

Yes, that was my first thought too -- much cheaper design and construction of the syringe, purpose to reduce production costs. No problem if it doesn't affect function...

...which it hasn't. The new syringes are an improvement in my opinion -- the material used for the cylinder is crystal clear, so it's a little easier to manage and remove bubbles.

I have no doubt there have been some engineering changes to the pods. Nothing visible in form, but at the very least some software changes, and I suspect some minor changes to the insertion mechanism to deal with the sticking issue (i.e. inserting cannula, but not removing the needle without either a delay, or some tapping on the pod). Could be nothing more than a dab of lubricant on the brass lever arm.

In any case, 100% reliable so far, I'm on pod 14 now (I'm a T2 with IR, so I generally go 2.5 days on a pod).

The last batch (with the old syringes) I had before this was a disaster. Pod errors all over the place. I think I had a 20% failure rater overall. Out of 50, I had 3 give me pod errors during priming, and never even put them on. As some may recall from another posting, I had one simply stop communicating at all with the PDM after a day and a half.

So, my theory is that was the dregs, from the last pallet in the warehouse of some pretty old ones that they're finally getting cleaned out as the new updated design is rolling off the line.

We haven't gotten any shipments with the new syringe design, so I can't comment on whether we are seeing less failures. I will add, however, that we experienced our first shrieking Pod failure ever two nights ago. Not nearly as traumatic as what I'd been led to believe. Still love the OmniPod!

Insulet sent a letter around the same time as the new syringes that explained (sort of) the software changes in the pods. Being a software engineer myself, my interpretation of the letter was that they adjusted the algorithm that determines when an occlusion alarm is triggered. Basically, it sounds like they "relaxed" it a bit so that it will tolerate slightly more sensing of undelivered insulin over a longer time. The goal/effect of such an adjustment would be a decrease in occlusion alarms - not failures per se but I think many people see them as the same.
I the letter any more, but that was my interpretation when I read it.

You suggest failures themselves are not reduced, but this move suggests that engineers believed the failure was not in delivery but in too many false alarms. Presume they have evidence many of the alarming pods were perfectly fine; just an over-sensitive occlusion test... Reducing false alarms is a reduction in failures; but if they aren't right (or as is usually the case in all matters partially correct) indeed there may be more occlusions that are missed.

I just opened a new box of Pods, and I have had the same trouble with the cannula insertion needle sticking that you had. OUCH! I did not have this problem with the last box (which also was a part of my latest shipment), so I hope that this does not continue with every Pod in this box. Alas, I fear that since they probably all came off the assembly line in a row, this whole box could give me trouble. On a positive note, I am glad that the problem is not just my tough hide that this causing the problem. ;-) Misery loves company.