New features for OmniPod - Need your input

The recent inspiring discussion by Matt, Mitchell and Gil about taking matters into their own hands has prompted me to create this post. Perhpas Gil can help provide insight on this as a former Insulet engineer.

There are a lot of good ideas floating around from pod users about how to improve the OmniPod and I would like to formally collect some of those suggestions and send to Insulet. I've tried to engage Insulet marketing a couple of times about doing more to leverage this community (via social networking and product management) but with no success. I have a marketing background and worked ten years at a medical device manufacturer, and in my view the TUDiabetes OmniPod group is a great resource that can provide some useful customer input--taken in context of course. So I have a three step plan:

1) online brainstorming for ideas on improving the OmniPod

2) Do an on-line poll of this group to help rank order the suggestions

3) Send the top 10 to Insulet. I'm sure they have input from a lot of sources, it would be great to add our voice.

Brainstorming ideas:

Since Insulet is already releasing a smaller pod and is working hard on CGM integration, I am leaving them off the list. [updated]

OmniPod New Features

1. Smaller PDM

2. Daily/Weekly calendar to allow entry of Weekend basals

3. IOB calc option that includes food bolus (similar to other pumps)

4. Ability to enter carbs for a low to record history

5. Make canula more visible

6. Vibrate option for alarms on PDM (instead of audible)

7. Slightly curved/cushioned (or flexible) bottom of pod for better fit on body

8. Better adhesion, more contact points

9. In history, display actual bolus instead of suggested

10. Formal method for removing unused insulin from failed pods or removable reservoir

11. Improved data reporting/mining

12. Smart phone version of PDM (iPhone, Andoid, etc).

13. Customizable food library that can create a meal number and link to bolus

14. Sunlight readable screen

15. Skins for pods

16. Larger reservoir

17. Waterproof/shockproof PDM

18. Better form-factor for PDM (smaller, more modern style & features)

19. Quick shut-off for alarms

20. More visible serial numbers

21. Alarm if canula has dislodged

22. Longer distance for PDM to pod sync

23. More accurate calculation for insulin level in reservoir

24. Expand preset options to be user definable (i.e. alarm volume, alarm frequency, extended bolus interval, temp basals, etc)

25. Go right to check BG after BG reminder (remove "ok" step)

26. Upload food counts from a computer

27. Expand data input to include items such as A1C, Doctor appt, and other medical info

28. Integrated lancet

29. Rechargeable PDM (like cell phone)


I would like the pod to hold 300 units like the other pumps. I need a high amount of insulin perday and changing every 2 days gets expensive. If they could expand the resevoir, it would be greatly beneficial to alot of diabetics.


i would like the software to be more flexible - change settings in the software for the pdm be able to add food counts through the computer

Dave, do you mean you want to be able to enter food data (i.e. carb counts and descriptions?) into something like a spreadsheet and then download it to the PDM?

I love this idea. I, too, had a conversation with their marketing department. I mentioned an on-line community of enthisuastic podders with a lot of bright ideas.

  1. Ability to select foods from a menu and have the PDM total the carbs for a bolus–the proposed Cellnovo
    does this.
  2. Have the PDM truly be your diabetes manager—record doctor’s appointments with reminders
  3. Ability to store test scores—A1c…BUN…Creatinine…Cholesterol, etc.
    My One Touch Ultra Smart meter had this capability—I miss it.
    You’ve addressed some of the other suggestions that I expressed.

Skin tone pods and Andriod version of PDM (not every owns/wants to buy an iPhone/pod/pad).

I think the new pods will have blue colored canulas to aid visibility.

I would love to see all pumps allow each person to set default settings to whatever suits them best: for example, customizable audio volume, frequency of alarms, time interval for extended bolusing and temporary basals (from 1 to 60 minutes), and IOB with or without meal bolus. I’d love to see meal presets for combo/extended boluses.

How many of you have wasted test strips because you forgot to hit the “ok” button after you’ve set a “check bg” reminder? You enter a test strip, apply blood, only to get an error message. The fact that you’ve inserted a test strip should tell the pdm that yes, I am testing my BG!!!

@Don–good idea about the ability to have presets (extended boluses) for certain foods. I always do the same thing–extended bolus wise, when I have pizza or mac and cheese, Chinese.

Kati, a great idea and one that gets a lot of comment. One thing to remember is that there is no one skin tone and from a manufacturing perspective, the company couldn’t make custom pods for everyone. Would you settle for some kind of “skin” or sticker that would be matched to your skin or even decorative versions?

Most definitely.

The Jewel Pump uses an HTC/Android phone for it’s controller and record keeping tool. I’ve got an Incredible and I’m not loving it. I had a great record keeping iPod Touch App that also has a desktop component. It made it easy to manipulate the date and print reports. The iPod wirelessly syncs with the PC. I have a lot of items that I entered into the database by hand that I don’t want to lose. I find the food database on the PDM to be not at all helpful. I’m torn between two platforms. :slight_smile: Android is becoming very widely available on a number of different of handsets. Try as I might, I just can’t quit my iTunes. Don’t think I don’t resent the hell out of Apple for that.

I sent them a picture of “My Sexy Pod”–it’s decorated in pink lace. They tod me that they’re already working on decorated pods.

As much as I love apple products, I do have an Ipod Touch, but it’s not something I carry with me at all times as I do my phone. And until Apple comes out with the Iphone on all carriers, I refuse to switch to AT&T just to get one. That said, I just think it would be better to do both an Apple App and Android for all users.

First and foremost, I want a waterproof-shockproof PDM. I want to be able to throw it in my pocket on a hike, take it rafting, or be able to drop it in a puddle. There is no reason why they need to make the PDM a consumeable item, especially when there are ruggedized cellphones with more features and capabilities. I would pay a lot more money for an integrated CGM reciver and PDM that could go through lifes paces with me! This could be an option, not everyone would need it, but I know a lot of people would like it…

Second, a removeable resivoir (kind of like your no. 10) if you could remove the resivoir, you wouldn’t need a larger one, or a way to extract insulin, jut pop in a new resivoir when you are out of insulin…

Third, more anchor points of the adhesive to the actual pod. I would get significantly better andhesian, and lose a lot fewer pods if there were more anchors

And to your ideas? YES YES YES to numbers1,5,6,7 (flexibile, yes…curved solid…no…It wouldn’t be accomadating to all of the different locations we wear the pods) 8 is a big yes, and 11 is a must, and 12 would be nice to see with Apple AND Android options!

Thans for asking!

I LOVE all these ideas, and agree with all of them, especially the more visible cannula (maybe red/=?) and the removable insulin (perhaps a dtachable reservoir?) Good Luck in your quest!

I’ll leave the feature requests for the users. I’ll just comment on a few of your listed items:

Item 1: This would be a major effort and could be a problem for some people with vision problems, but it should be ok as long as the display size (and fonts) are not decreased.
Item 3: This has been requested by many users. They should probably make this a user-selectable option, to please everybody.
Item 6: If you mean pod: this would increase the pod’s cost and size. If you mean PDM: a prototype of the PDM had a vibrator but that feature was removed from the final product.
Items 2, 4, 9: Fairly simple software changes.
Item 12: This would either increase the pod price by a lot and/or require major pod re-design.

your sexy pod was cute :slight_smile:

I like all of the new features. Especially the IOB calculation. I really want to consolidate all the gadgets that I have to carry. Dexcom/OmniPod integration worries me. I don’t relish the idea of lugging around the PDM at its current size and functionality. I understand the problem with iPhone/Android integration is the communication among the pieces. I hope someone comes up with a solution.

Multiple sizes might be useful. Get just as much pod as you need.

More robust record keeping and data entry would be really good. I would really like to be able to add my own food items that are my personal favorites. Expansion of the Abbott software would be nice so that you could enter food database items and be able to sync.

Also being able to enter amounts for carb calculation would be really useful. I’d like to enter the portion I’m having and have it calculate my carbs. Also, I’d like a net carb count.

I suppose for all of this the PDM would have to be the size of a coffee table. I just want it all. Not too much to ask.

Your feedback is always great becasue of the inside knowledge you have–especially when you talk about things that have been tried before. In this particular case, I was hoping to spur some direct feedback–without worrrying too much about what the company currently says they can or cannot do. In the end, if there is enough customer demand Insulet will figure out to meet that need–or the competition will do it.