OmniPod UST400 | User Review Update

Caleb has been using OmniPod for almost as long as he's been living with T1D - 7 years. A few years ago, a parent asked me write a user review on the UST200 system. Caleb's been using the UST400 system for six months now and this is an update to our original review. - Lo

Executive summary of our review of the UST400 system: lighter, more discreet, better performance, improved range, minor annoyances of new ID screen and multiple confirm screens. Negligible failure rate.

Digging Deeper:

The smaller Pod is the most noticeable change for us, as users for over six years. Caleb's reaction was immediate and dramatic. It is lighter and more comfortable. For days he continued to comment about it - less noticeable under his clothes, could barely feel it, and it's so light. Caleb never ever complained about the former Pod. He doesn't complain about much when it comes to diabetes, and he's also not easily impressed by diabetes developments. So for him to go on and on about how awesome the new Pod is, is noteworthy.

Other improvements I like:

  • The range. It is nothing like the increased range that the Dexcom G4 provides, but it is improved. I have found that at times I can be in the hallway while Caleb is in his room sleeping and change a basal rate. In a vehicle, I can deliver a bolus without having to reach back or pass the PDM. Little things like that are a nice plus. It's not completely reliable though. Particularly if the Pod is on Caleb's back and he's facing me thereby creating a barrier between Pod and PDM, connection can be difficult.
  • IOB on the home screen. Easy peasy, always at the ready. I no longer need to continuously do math to figure out what's left of delivered bolus'. Caleb is also much more aware of IOB since it's in his face all the time.

That's pretty much it. Other than that it's business as usual for us.

Other Observations:

  • I was really looking forward to the new IOB calculation. I thought this would be a significant improvement for us. It's not. After so many years of dealing with IOB, we're so aware of it, that the calculation is nothing more than a verification for us.
  • Although the improvements from our perspective are few, the smaller Pod size is a substantial enhancement - much more than I expected. Not only does Caleb find it more comfortable, but we're getting improved insulin delivery. Caleb is back to changing his Pods every three days rather than every other day. His blood sugars have also been much more consistent - this may or may not be to the new Pod. He's on a new schedule at school which may have something to do with it, but I think the Pod is a contributing factor.
  • As far as error rate, for several months this was not an issue for us. Over about five months we maybe had two errors.This has changed since the temperature dropped and coats went back on. We seem to be having a static issue. We had this during the first winter of using Omnipod, but not since. After years of going into school for maybe one Pod error a year, I've been into school several times in just the past few weeks to change an errored Pod. It seems to be coincident with putting on or taking off a coat. I hope Insulet will figure this out soon like they did with the older Pods.
  • The ID screen is fun - I can change the name to something funny like "Foxy" after Caleb spent a week singing, "What Does The Fox Say", to give him a chuckle the next time he turns it on. He can do the same - leave me little messages to make me smile. It's also annoying - especially for night checks. I suppose the increased range increases the risk that the wrong person can get bolused when there are multiple Podders is the room. Since there are none in our proximity, it would be nice to turn it off.
  • The extra confirm screens are also a minor nuisance and even less so than the ID screen, so it's really not even worth mentioning.

We are very happy with the system. We've spoken to Caleb about trying out other pumps. He is not interested. He values the tubelessness of OmniPod over anything else that is available for insulin pumpers today.

Please see our comprehensive review of the OmniPod UST200 system which still applies to the UST400 system.

1 Like

Thanks for the update Lorraine. I got the original demo pod from Insulet last year and decided I would wait until the sleeker, smaller, lighter version became available. I had been doing MDI for more than 38 years so waiting a bit longer was not a big deal. I got the new system in May and except for a few minor glitches along the way I could not be happier. While the extra steps to confirm even the most basic commands can be annoying it's not anything that would make me stop podding. I too use the ID screen in some creative ways - in fact I am sure my "Lets Go Sox" is the main reason the Red Sox won the World Series this year. I am hoping my "Lets Go Pats" screen is equally helpful.

Haha! Love it! (tho we are NYY fans) :)

Maybe you could try my technique next year ? Who knows it could work :)

Great review Lorraine. I'm from Ontario Canada and we should be seeing the new generation of pods and PDM soon. I'm excited for the new launch here.

I wanted to tell you that when I was researching pumps some time ago I was fortunate enough to find your blogs about OmniPod and Caleb's stories. They have been a great inspiration and resource for me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your efforts. You and Caleb are amazing for sharing.

have to agree with Caleb, I love my OmniPod system and couldn't live without my tubeless pump either. It's a freedom that I cherish.

Thank you again for all your support that you've given.

Absolutely will give it a try! ;)

Thank you so much for this post, pretty much helped me decide this was right for me

I'm getting my first pump ever, and can't decide which one. I really like the Omni Pod. Has anyone experienced problems with customer service? I've read many complaints online regarding this, as well as frequent failure of the pods. I'd appreciate your advice.

Congrats on getting a pump Kathy. I love my Omnipod and have nothing but great things to say about the customer service I have received. When I first started May 2013 it took a while to figure out the best places to put the pod and I had a bunch of occlusions which eventually stopped when I switched from Apidra to Novolog insulin. Early this year I had a slew of pod failures and alarms which caused me to seriously question my pump choice. Insulet replaced all of the failed pods and allowed me to return 2 boxes for replacement. Since getting them replaced I have had 2 failures and both were on the 3rd day of use. Any pump is going to have problems because none are foolproof. But for me it came down to making the right choice for my lifestyle. I swim and scuba dive regularly and having to disconnect just wouldn't work. I like to wear dresses and a tubed pump doesn't allow that easily. My insurance would have covered any brand of insulin pump so that was not a constraint and I'm really glad I chose Omnipod.

Thanks for such a quick response, Clare. I have a lot to think about.

Kathy - I think you should ask your endo or CDE to take a look at all the pump options. Both tubed and tubeless. You really can't get a sense of them without putting your hands on them. If they're unable to do this then get the pump companies themselves involved. You're a potential customer and they all want customers. Here is a fairly unbiased review of pumps.
http://integrateddiabetes.com/insulin-pump-comparisons/

Kathy - Good luck with deciding. Like Clare, for us it was a lifestyle choice. Caleb not having to disconnect is a pretty big deal with all his activity. We have an occasional failure - it is rare. Haven't had an issue with customer service since Caleb was a preschooler - I think we just got someone who was having a bad day. :)

I’m working with my diabetic educator now. I am in the process of the Asante Snap trial. They are the only company who will allow me to try the pump. So I’ll see how that goes. I’m not committing to anything yet. Thanks for all your help!

I’m working with my CDE. I have an appointment next week to try the Asante snap pump for a 4 week trial. I’m not committed to anything yet, though. I’ll see how that goes. The link for reviews was very helpful. Thanks!

Glad you are at least getting a chance to try pumping out. The Asante only uses humalog which has given me problems in the past.
Omnipod has the demo pods so you can feel the weight of it and see if your skin reacts to the adhesive. But they don't let you trial a working pod as far as I know. I do know that if you go with another pump - for whatever reason - Omnipod has a "cut the cord" program which allows you to purchase an Omnipod Start up kit for $199.

Yes I tried the pod also. I like the omnipod PDM too. So I haven’t ruled it out. But I have no experience in pumps, so I’m taking my time. But I will be glad to stop MDI of 6 shots a day!