Pump manufacturers' reflexive drive to the proprietary confuses PWD

Continuing the discussion from Pumpers: square bolusing:

Most pumps do the same things but in their need for proprietary business-motivated exclusivity, they have sown the seeds of confusion in our community. It would be nice if we could claim a universal pump language that describes accurately and unambiguously what we do with a pump.

A pump is just a syringe with brains and a memory. It can deliver a single immediate dose of insulin just like a syringe. Whether this is based on or motivated by a meal dose to cover carbs, a correction dose to bring down a high BG, or just added insulin because we have a hunch, it doesn’t change its nature across insulin pump brands. It’s still an immediate bolus.

A pump can also deliver a bolus over time. The manufacturers may not have intended to confuse us but their proprietary nature sure has that effect. It’s variously called an extended bolus or square wave bolus. They mean the exact same thing but the duplicative terminology seems destined to especially create confusion among new pumpers trying to learn all the lingo and connect with other pumpers on the DOC.

When the pump combines an immediate bolus and bolus over time features, it awards yet another name that has sent its phalanx of attorneys scampering off to the patent and copyright office to greedily claim nouns of its own with nary a thought as to how these duplicate names may harm the communication of their beloved customers. One company calls it a combination bolus, another deems it a dual wave bolus, and a third a multi-wave bolus.

I wish I could get all these players in one room and tell them to “knock it off!” They’re acting like childish fools and are actually doing a disservice to the people they claim to serve. The industry should just get together and decide on the best, most descriptive, standardized terms and let those standards play out across all the various pump models.

We’re starting to see the begrudging and slow acceptance of the data these devices produce recognized as belonging to the patient/user. The emergence of third parties like Diasend and Tidepool and their permitted ability to access data from multiple devices and produce some information so that we, the authors and people who can benefit the most from our data, can view and act on the info.

Does anyone else see this business behavior as needless and without value to people with diabetes?

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And you say that in the USA???

With all the patterns there and the use of those words are patterned to. That why.

Not sure I understand your comment. Are you remarking in an ironic sense that our patent laws are at the root of this? If you are, I can’t disagree with that. I see the need for some business exclusivity following an important technical or process discovery. But there should be a reasonable limit to that exclusive protection in the law.

The example that really seems out of whack is Medtronic’s claim that the calculation of a carb bolus or correction insulin dose could not populate the dose field. That meant that users of other pumps had to serially scroll up to the calculated does. That was an outrageous over-step, in my opinion.

Doesn’t Europe also have some patent laws?

Yes I mean Patent laws.

And yes We have patent laws also.

Yep, it’s all about having a (cough) competitive advantage, just like software companies that use “Trash” v. “Wastebasket”.

Is it helpful in the context of end-users trying to understand how to use pumps/meters/SW, etc? No, but someone, somewhere decided that proprietary terminology creates value and value can be monetized/translated into a higher stock value, etc.

I can see the meeting where these kind of decisions are made. The PowerPoint presentation is rolling along with the key players in the room all building up this fantasy while the realists and possibly the more creative types just nodding and going along to survive. I’d be hard-pressed to believe that Medtronic has monetized their self-populating bolus wizard in any significant way. Sure it’s a nice feature but it’s way down the list of deciding factors when a real world user considers a purchase. And in their quest for competitive advantage they have disadvantaged a lot of potential future customers.