Omnipod Technology Improvements

I would like to get comments from all of you Omnipod users for an idea that I would like to pursue. Both my son and I use the Omnipod and one of the downsides of the system is downloading the data. I usually try to download the PDM atleast once a week but at times I have a hard time getting the PDM from my son, who is now 17 and interested in cars and girls. What I would like to do is build an adapter that plugs into the PDM that would allow the PDM to be downloaded at a settable time, using 3g or Wifi to a central database (almost similiar to the Copilot system). Then I wouldn't have to track my son down and get his PDM because the data would automatically download.

Once the data has downloaded to the centralized repository the system would "Data Mine" looking for:

  1. Trends in our A1C (30 day average BG) (ie. is our A1c slowly creeping up and forecast when we would hit that # if nothing was to be done)
  2. Monitor BG testing (are we testing enough, morning, lunch, dinner, night time, etc and provide notification to remind us of our testing)
  3. Look at trends in our IC ratio (pre meal and post meal)(are we within 30 points?)
  4. Basal rates (if we haven't eatend for a period, which we all do, are our basal rates holding?)
  5. Basal rate testing reminders if the system determines that #4 is outside of the 30 point window or not enough data points available for analysis
  6. The system would give recommendations for settings (IC, basal, sensitivity) based up the data and the trends
  7. ???? (looking for more comments)

The user interface to this system would be through an iPad or iPhone App that would give you "Push Notifications" to alert you that something needs to be done or checked. I find that it is easy to determine a problem but the big issue is what do I need to do to correct the problem and especially having a 17 year old off to college how, as a parent, can I monitor his BG without interfering with his college life but yet ensure he is maintaining his health.

I would love comments because this is something I am going to design and build. I am a seasoned software engineer and have been developing embedded system software for avionics for 20+ years. I have been hoping that the industry would step up and give us the tools we need but as a diabetic I know what is best for me and my son. Insulet Corporation has given us an incredible product that has made my life wonderful. I am wanting to take this product and move it to the next step where it becomes more of a prognostic tool to assist in having great #'s.

Keep in mind that in the avionics world this type of technology is used to monitor the health of aircraft engines which we fly daily. Because of this type of technology it has become safer to fly. Our bodies are machines and in some ways are repeatable. Because we are repeatable we can also be trended to determine changes to the "norm".

So give me feedback as to what you would like to see in an iPad or iPhone App to assist you in your diabetes management.

Look forward to hearing from you.

I hope you sent your comments to Insulet. I don’t understand half of what you wrote except the results and if all that could be done, you get my vote. Oh, and while you’re at it can you find a way to upload all this data to a MacIntosh? Thanks.

Actually, I’d like to see a Google phone app.

While I think the program itself might be useful and a great idea, I am concerned about your motivation. No parent wants to hear this but as your son goes off to college he’s an adult and responsible for his own health now. Sure, help him out whenever you can and provide support but you’ve got to let him find his own diabetes regiment… otherwise he’ll just end up rebelling against it even more. The easier it is for us the better off we are and the more likely we are to make changes, but you’ve got to let him make the changes and take charge of the diabetes himself.


ROCK ON Mitchell! Add me to the supporters list! ( I cant think of any other improvements that would fit into your technical scheme right now, but i will continue to give it thought).

That would be a great product. You’re trying to do the right thing for yourself, your son, and thousands of other people with diabetes that use the Insulet OmniPod system!

I’d like to work with you on this. I have over 25 years of embedded development experience (HW and SW), including the Medtronic MiniMed Guardian RT CGMS (SW Team Leader) and the Insulet OmniPod (both Pod and PDM - SW Team Member).

I sent you an invitation to be friends. Read my profile to learn more about me. Also go to to see what I’m working on. In addition, as a hobby, I write iPhone diabetes apps. Check out the App Store for a few apps I have there (Pancreum).



I would be interested in helping as well. I’m currently a flight software engineer at LASP (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics) and before moving to LASP I worked for the Air Force. I design the hardware and software for scientific instruments used to study space weather. I also write iPhone apps as a hobby, I’ve written a chess clock for both the iPhone and the iPad, they’re called Merkmatics Chess Clock and Game Clock for iPad. I have also worked in the pharmaceutical industry and have been published for my research in Computational Chemistry, basically using data mining techniques to predict how different compounds would behave after being placed in the human body.

I am a type I diabetic and I have been considering improving the Omnipod system for a while now. I was mostly focused on replacing the PDM entirely, but I think the FDA would frown on such an approach. I haven’t made much progress on this mostly because of lack of time, I think it would be really productive to have a team of like minded people to collaborate with.

As for your idea I think the most interesting part to me would be the data mining to pull out trends, possible causes and even suggestions on how to bring the numbers down. Of course working on the hardware and software would be interesting as well.

Hope to hear from you soon,


i really wish I could be of help, but it seems this is a group (on this thread) WAY beyond my mental capacity! Y’all go to it, and GOOD LUCK! You alll have ALL of us behind you! ( I dare speak for the entire group)(rather precoscious, no?)

android most def! …not everyone uses an iphone/ipad/ipod something that would be universal to all

Mat, Mitchell,
This product (both HW and SW) will also need to go through FDA approval. That is because it gets data from the PDM and re-sends it to a central location and then makes decisions "for settings (IC, basal, sensitivity) based up the data and the trends."
It is also necessary to get Insulet to share its PDM communication protocol specifications (IR and/or wireless), so the this SW can be written to talk to it.
It’s not as simple as it seems and could take a couple of years of development (and FDA approval) before it can be commercialized.

I’ve reached out to my local Insulet rep on two occasions because I was vrey serious about writing my own cross-platoform software for reading the PDM data and providing a better interface for mining, researching, and reporting based on it. But nothing ever came of my requests. The primary problem was determining the format of the binary data file that can be read from the PDM; I asked the local rep to have an engineer get in touch with me to discuss how to parse that data, but I never heard back.
I know lots of people are either unhappy with the archaic CoPilot software or use a Mac instead of a Wndows PC; I’d love to write a better app that would run on Windows and Mac (and even Linux); I’ve been writing such apps for more than 15 years. I just can’t get to the data. If you solve that problem, we’d be able to do a lot of great stuff with better software.
I’m not sure about a wireless adapter for the PDM, since I want to keep it as small and discreet as possible. But if you could do it small enough so that it didn’t add significant bulk, I’d be interested.

Just read your website. Very cool. I didn’t realize until just now that you are pursuing your own tubeless pump/cgm. Are you really in beta with a product?

No, I only have a prototype for the CGMS. Unfortunately, we still have a couple of years to go until we get to that point. The main reason is lack of investment capital…

It’s not that simple to get that info from Insulet. No engineer will call you and tell you the data protocol/message format for it. It would require an organized effort, involving a partnership, their legal department (NDA - Non-Disclosure Agreement), etc.

At the time I was an independent contractor (without a contract) and would have been happy to partner with them (though my LLC) to develop some better software. I would have even been willing to absorb some of the initial development cost myself, or contract myself to Insulet, or whatever. It was the only time my local rep has let me down; at least a phone call from corporate would have been nice, even if they weren’t interested.

It’s critical that patients have access to the data on their devices. The software they provide simply fails communicate the data effectively.

I’m a Minimed user, but I’ve reached out to my sales and support reps and have begun escalating on this issue. I have also started contacting their competitors with offers to switch. Why are we paying hundreds of dollars per month with so little access to the data? Software to get at the data should be open source, simply because the methodology produces better software.