Tandem insulin pump software update... bricked

Received an email from Tandem this morning regarding a software update. Some cool new features! Downloaded the update software on my Mac, started the process, and within 30 seconds I was prompted with an “update failed” dialog. It instructed me to call support. My pump will no longer power on, and they’re sending me a new pump tomorrow morning. Irritating, but that’s life…

One word of advice: ensure you have a backup of your insulin pump settings! (Written or via tconnect.) The update instructions assure you that your settings will be preserved, but this is worthless if your pump is bricked.

For the curious, here are the new features:

  • Improved Bolus Calculator - This update includes expanded delivery correction as well as a new manual bolus option.

  • Optimized Cartridge Change - You will now have the option to fill the cartridge off the pump. Filling your tubing will be faster now as well.

  • Advanced Home Screen - You can now access the Status Screen while your pump is locked. You also have improved insulin estimation and an icon indicating delivery has been stopped.

  • Total Daily Dose - Your updated History logs will include your Total Daily Dose (TDD) every day, in addition to the multiday averages.

We had a similar experience updating my daughter’s t:slim. Fortunately, we were able to recover.

2 additions to your list above.

Tech support for the software update is not available on weekends.

Be prepared for incessant alerts after the update. We still haven’t taken the time to try to change the alerts.

Replacement pump received this morning and it included the updated software. Notable changes from my mid-2015 model.

  • Fill process is different. Biggest change is that you fill the cartridge before you insert it into the pump. This means more work in removing bubbles from the syringe, and removing air from the cartridge. This is offset with a much faster cannula fill. Probably a wash, time-wise, in the end.

  • If you’re hoping to be discrete when changing a site, you’re going to be disappointed. During the cannula fill, the pump vibrates and beeps loudly every couple of seconds. There’s no way, as far as I can tell, to disable the beep.

  • The top button is much more difficult to press and I expect that they’ve hardened the mechanism in some way. That button completely broke on mine last year, so I hope it’ll be more reliable going forward.

I also get that email and can’t wait to do the download. My biggest complaint about my t:slim is the fact it doesn’t do a negative correction for blood sugars under target. So when I switched from Medtronic to Tandem, I had to relearn all that darn math stuff again. Stuff my old pump did for me so I didn’t have to think about it. It was just done. That one issue has been huge for me. Really hate it and probably wouldn’t have made the change when I did if I had known. But it is done and I was told they were working on a fix. I am glad to hear that the FDA finally is allowing us to do those changes. Not happy to hear about pump failure after download. Guess I won’t be doing my download on Saturday when I’m due for a infusion change. Thanks for the information. Can’t wait for the new programming. I still have one more year before I can get a new pump.