The Preexpiration Alert Needs To Be Revised

I love the OmniPod – love it, love it, love it. However, I think the preexpiration alarm is awful and in desperate need of revision based upon events of this morning.

I changed my pod on Saturday late morning. Today, while I was at a meeting at work, the pod went into its annoying preexpiration alert sequence. Given that this was exceptionally disruptive to the meeting, I had to leave, go back to my office, and disable the preexpiration alarm with the PDM. I absolutely HATE this “feature” of the OmniPod. I could tolerate a simple double beep as a preexpiration alarm – but a repetitive sequence of lengthy alarms that compels you to return to your PDM is ridiculous.

While users need to be made aware of when the pod has expired, it would be nice for users to have the ability to disable the annoying preexpiration alarm sequence. Why does the pod have to go into such an obtrusive alarm sequence a full nine hours before the pod actually dies (given the 8-hour postexpiration grace period)? If there are OmniPod users who love this current feature, so be it. But at least give those of us who hate it (and actually find it disruptive at work) the ability to disable it.

Of course, I could have changed my pod before the meeting. But should I have to sacrifice hours of active pod life and insulin just so I can sit through a meeting later in the day? I also don’t think I should have to be “on guard” and tote the PDM with me to a business meeting out of fear of the preexpiration alarm sequence at hour 71.


I agree with you. I had the same situation at work where the alarm was going off every hour. I had an occlusion one morning before going to work and had to change. So everyone had to listen to my alarm while I was trying to get back on my schedule for changing the pod. It would be nice if we could turn it off or at least have a vibration mode.

In the set up menu you have the option of turning off the Reminder alerts or you can set up custom alerts. Try calling customer service I bet they could walk you through which is best.

Do you have the newest PDM? I have the original PDM and there’s no option to turn off the expiration reminder. You can set the reminder for 1 - 18 hours – but you can’t turn it off.

Thanks, Jeff. While that will solve the problem by disabling the preexpiration alert, it creates a new problem by disabling all of the other reminder alerts (e.g., the low reservoir alert, user defined alerts).

I just think there needs to be an option to shut off the preexpiration alert alone.

(Janet: I have the second generation PDM.)

I agree as well. I find myself changing Pods early to avoid this issue while Caleb is at school. I love, love, love the OmniPod too, but I wish we could turn this little alarm off as well.

I don’t think you can turn the expiration alert off. Only reduce to one hour. Unless as Janet implies, this is new to the 2nd generation PDM - I must go check this out now!

The way Omnipod alerts and requires changing after 72 hour mark even on updated PDM is one of my biggest reservations about the system.

The Pods expire at 72 hours, however there is a grace period of 8 hours beyond that. At the 80 hour mark it will completely turn off, but at the 72 mark it simply says it has expired and tells you to change it each time you turn the PDM on, but it continues to function normally up until 80 hours.

The expiration alert seems to be the same with the new PDM as with the old: you can change the reminder alert to begin anywhere from 24 hours to 1 hour before expiration. You cannot turn it off. I think it’s important to have the alert. There are times when I lose track of “change day” and am happy for it. It’s just on the days when it is due to be changes at noon or the like, and I don’t want to change it until he gets home from school, that I find it a bit of a nuisance. I either have to change it early or Caleb beeps on the hour until he gets home.

The alarm is great…if you want it or need it. I totally understand how it comes in handy with Caleb.

I just want to be able to turn it off, or have a modified alarm that is a bit less obtrusive (like a fire engine siren or a foghorn) so I can get through a business meeting without disrupting my coworkers. I don’t think the preexpiration alert was very well implemented. There is just no reason why it needs to be like this, as shown by the fact that it can be deactivated with a global deactivation of all reminder alarms.

I think that the preexpiration alert, along with the insulin on board calculation, needs to be retooled for the next go round.

Don – I’ve done tubed pumps (20 years, in fact), and I passionately believe that the OmniPod is the best insulin delivery option out there for T1 control despite the preexipration alert.

Why don’t you just set the pre-expiration alert to go off at a more convenient time? I agree that it is annoying, but you do have the option of choosing when you want it to go off, and it’s not that difficult to change to suit your daily schedule. When you’re talking about a device that can literally mean the difference between life and death, the FDA is going to make sure it’s as idiot-proof as possible.

Thanks, Jaybear. Omnipod (or upcoming Solo) is the one system I am willing to consider. The pod expiration alarming every 15 minutes in the 71st hour bothers me just on principle. I suppose it isn’t that big a deal but something about it really bothers me. It is nearly moronic that deactivation of pod expiration reminder alert requires global deactivation. The 72 hour alarm should be optional and mandatory, every 15 minute beeping should only kick in at the 79th hour. It is a rare mis-cue by Insulet with an otherwise ergonomically excellent and sensible product. This level of intrusive alarming is not necessary. The tubed pump systems don’t have it.

The preexpiration alert does not appear to be FDA mandated considering the tubed pumps lack it, and the preexpiry alarm can be turned off through global deactivation of reminder alarms. It seems like giving users the ability to turn off the preexpiration alarm alone should pose no barrier to FDA approval.

True, I can fidget with the PDM before every business meeting to tinker with the preexpiry alarm, but that annoying and time consuming option seems somewhat out of line with Insulet’s goal of making diabetes a smaller part of my life.

Oh I completely agree with you! My comment of it’s importance wasn’t meant to at all refute your point - your point is completely valid! There should be some way to set it up so that you are not in the middle of a meeting or a class, etc. and have it go off. Even with the best of planning, I think the way it is set up this could be unavoidable (sans early Pod change of course).

I didn’t realize it could be deactivated with all reminder alarms. I think the only one that we use is the expiration alarm. I would turn that off if I could. I once turned off the alerts (including the beeps when a bolus was accepted) and the expiration alert still went off. I’m going to have to once again go play with the PDM!!

If there is a way to turn off the pre-expiration alert, I haven’t found it. I have all reminder alerts turned off, but as far as I can tell, you can’t turn off the pre-expiration alert or the low insulin alert. You can only adjust when they go off. I have the new PDM.

There is no way to disable the preexpiration alert alone. Insulet confirmed when I called them about this problem last week.

Jaybear -

I think the reality is that the pod is worn by responsible folks like yourself but also young children who are being treated by parents/grandparents/daycare etc…, older folks who cannot hear as well as you and of course the “not so responsible” user. It is a universal pod for one and all.
Surely any inconvenience is just that but as Jim says you can set those time frames and we all know it is going to happen from time to time. And yes, the FDA isn’t going to let drastic changes like altering the warning signal happen without real hard data to support it. Remember this is the design they presented for approval and got it.
Good luck but I hope this minor issue is just that for you…minor.
best wishes…

You are definitely right that there are a lot of different people who use the pod and who take care of pod users. But that’s exactly why a one-size-fits-all universal approach doesn’t work and why the PDM is very customizable.

If you want the preexpiration alarm, I want you to have it. But by the same token, you should understand why I and others don’t want it. I assure you that this was a major issue during my business meeting when I had to leave it. I don’t like having to leave a meeting because of my alarming insulin pump any more than the alternative of having to check my insulin pump before a meeting to make sure it doesn’t alarm.

Actually, the modification I propose would not be a drastic change at all. Since the preexpiration alert can already be disabled through global alarm disablement, separate disablement of the preexpiration alert should pose little issue for FDA review.

I did a search to find out if there was a previous discussion on this topic.

My son had an occlusion 3 days ago at 4am. Not a hugh big deal - it was due to be changed later that day anyway and we planned to change it before school so he would not have to deal with a change at lunch time. He changed the pod (which he has become quite quick at doing) and went back to bed for a few more hours of sleep.

But, now the problem. We are now on a 3 day cycle where it will alarm at 3am even though we could wait and change it later that morning within the 8 hour window. (I refused to change it 10 hours early before bedtime because we have just had too many that did not make the 72 hours. It sort of feels like you are killing the pod before its time.)

And, this was the only night this week I did not have to monitor his BG through the night due to hockey or other sports. Oh well, I hear sleep is really overrated!

We do the same thing but then it starts going off the next time while he is still sleeping. Very annoying