New Omnipod system to use Android device as PDM?

Omnipod presented at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco yesterday, and the Powerpoint presentation included a picture of the “2017 Omnipod Dash Insulin Management System”. There was no sign of the tradition PDM. The device on the slide labeled “PDM” was listed as “Android Locked-Down Device” and connected to a BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) pod with a two-way connection, according to the slide. The picture of the PDM included on the screen a virtual button for bolusing. This would be a fantastic replacement for the current PDM, although I would prefer being able to use my existing smartphone rather than a separate device. According to the illustration, this system also receives data from a CGM and includes detailed information about BG and the pod, including an estimate of the time remaining until the pod runs empty. The company is targeting the fourth quarter of 2017 for this release. These are significant upgrades to the current system.

They presented that in November. The current plan they have for the device does not let you use an actual phone, in that it can not make calls. It only let’s you run the pod and see CGM data. It has no BG meter.

On the plus side, it allows Dexcom readings to be integrated into the device, which is their move toward the AP stuff down the road…

But you still have to carry your phone for “phone things”. And since your phone already gives you Dexcom readings, and now you will need to carry a separate BG meter, it actually ADDS a device to the things you have to carry.

If you consider 4 things that diabetics carry with them - insulin delivery, BG meter, CGM, and phone.

Before, 2 devices let you do all of that - 1) PDM and 2) phone

In the new version, it will be 3 devices - 1) omnipod dash system 2) BG meter 3) phone

Maybe at some point, when they let you use your actual phone for bolusing and such, it becomes really great. But as for now, it’s just a more modern looking PDM, with the added benefit of CGM, but without the benefit of a built-in meter.

Other factors I am concerned with are the cost difference. I can replace my current PDM for $300. Not sure what they will charge for their new device. Also, not sure how convenient they will make the device passcode lock. I don’t want to enter 4-6 digits to unlock a device just so I can take some insulin.

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Since I rarely carry test strips around with me (I keep some at home and at work), the meter probably won’t be a problem for me.

My biggest concern will be total button pushes to do something. Some pumps make you push 14 or more buttons to bolus.

Counting unlock, I can bolus with the current PDM with 8 button pushes. I hope the new version is close to that.

As I told Insulet, 90% of the time when you pick up your pump device, you are bolusing. Please make that easy!

At least pushing a smartphone screen should be easier than the buttons on the current PDM. I’d guess we’ll learn to navigate through 10 buttons in about 2 seconds.

I know some people don’t like the current PDM, because it is clunky. But I actually like the push buttons, because I can bolus without even looking. Like when I am driving, I can go through it from memory, count button pushes, and then just a quick glance before I deliver lets me confirm I got the right number of units.

I can also easily do it with one hand. I think using one hand with touchscreen is more difficult , at least for me.

To echo what others have already said or are likely thinking, it would be nice if my daughter could just use her iPhone. But honestly, anything will be an improvement over “The Brick”.

Why is everyone so down on “The Brick”? It is comparable in size to every other insulin pump except for Tandem which is pretty small. It has the same antiquated screen like every other pump, and same push-button technology (again, except for Tandem). But is seems people are more down on the brick than the colossus that Medtronic makes or Animas makes.

I looked at every single pump. And not on a website, I looked at them in person, touchy-feely. I really didn’t see that omnipod is any worse.

Serious question, why? Is it the thickness? Is the fact that it is tubeless make people want it to be more like a modern device? Because it goes in your pocket or purse, people want it to resemble a thin phone more?

Just curious…

They should just copy the open source app Loop when it comes to bolusing, CGM presentation etc. I don’t think it can be more simple than that. Bolus button, type in the number, confirm with fingerprint and it’s done.

I believe this new system will be able to be hacked by the OpenAPS community so that you CAN use your phone in the near future.

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I find the PDM too thick and bulky. I carry both my phone and the PDM in my left front pants pocket. I have the rubber cover on the PDM. It’s hard for me, particularly in the car, to get either of those devices out easily. I welcome a thinner PDM.

I agree it is very thick, and even more so with the “rubber” on it. But it’s not any more cumbersome than any of the other pumps. And that’s why I am curious.

I hear so many more people complaining about the PDM being big, but I don’t hear that from the other pump users.

The thing about the Android device though - yes it will be thinner, but how big is the footprint? They keep making phones bigger. How big will this one be?

Here is the next iPhone:

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I’m down on “the brick” for one simple reason: It’s an additional device I have to carry around that, in 2017, it’s absurd I have to.

It will be a very short time after the Dash starts shipping that the DOC engineers will crack the APK and get it on an any phone. It’s actually pretty easy.

It won’t be long after that that completely open-sourced apps from the DOC are talking to the pod directly.


Fewer devices is better, yes. But to make the thing work on an actual phone, they will also have to crack the cryptographic key exchange between PDM and pod.

Because it’s a Brick.

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Ha! You made me snort out loud again. :joy:

I like my brick. I can take insulin with it. I can use it as a paperweight. I can throw it at the TV when the ref makes a bad call. It’s good!

No, that would be necessary to control from an independent, DOC-engineered app.

Cracking open (software-wise) the “locked-down” Android Dash device to copy the application(s) from it that control the pod is a piece of cake. Making these apps run on a different Android platform is child’s play.

It is entirely possible to sandbox the app(s) and spoof the execution environment to “look” as if it’s running on the original Dash device, with the same serial number, etc.

Point is, shortly after the Dash system is released, we will do hacking necessary to run the Dash applications from your non-locked-down personal Android phone, eliminating the need to carry around the Dash device. With xdrip+, we will realize the SINGLE DEVICE DREAM on Android within the next 6 months or so.

Controlling the new pods from an open-source app like Loop, OpenAPS, etc., may never happen, because this will require cracking the encryption, and I don’t believe that’s going to be any more successful than it is trying to tap encrypted banking data traffic. RSA is pretty damn solid encryption.

I really hope that you are right on that. I would love to have my pump control + APS on the newest galaxy phone.

I think it looks like one of those mobile cashiers.