What's your pump of choice?

I'm just starting to look into the pump options that are available to me, I have a couple appointments in the next month for pump "training" classes and hope to finally get started this summer. I've talked to both my CDE and insurance company (boy, was that a roundabout phone call) and the "biggie" choices that I have are the Accu-chek Aviva Combo, Omnipod, Animas OneTouch Ping, and the MiniMed Paradigm. I was curious about the t-slim but that one isn't covered by my insurance company because it's considered experimental, plus the disposable pump that is now on the market?

I will admit that I haven't done too much research beyond the packets of information I've read and some blog accounts. So, what's your pump? Why do you love or alternately, not love it? How long have you been using it? I'd really love to hear multiple opinions before I go into my next appointment, especially from people who actually use them! Thank you in advance!

I love my Medtronic 523 as it's been very reliable. I have had 3 pumps since 2008, very few technical difficulties and very good results from using it. I also am wedded to the single unit idea and have no interest in a pump/ CGM that require an extra gizmo.

Way back when, I was on a minimed pump and never really liked it (I never got the hang of insertion and hated the harpoon thing that came with it). Eventually I went back to MDI for about 8 years or so. 2.5 years ago my endo pushed me to look at pumps again. Still hung up about insertion, I chose the omnipod (tubeless with auto-insertion). I'm so glad! love the pods and have no regrets. I know that if you read accounts online you will hear a lot of griping about "pod failures". I think it is a small minority making a lot of noise (not that I doubt the users had a rough time, just that their experience is the norm). Yep, they can happen. But I haven't had a failure in months (idk, maybe 8?). Not a big deal to me.

I think there are so many options available these days that you need to consider what is most important to you and find the one that matches your needs. Good luck!

I agree with Kate - it comes down to what is important to YOU.

Here are some key features that are different among the pumps that are usually the decision points. Without knowing your lifestyle and expectations, it's hard for anyone else to answer these for you.

1. Do you want a waterproof pump ? eg, spend lots of time in or near the water ?
2. Do you have a preference or absolute want for tubed vs tubeless ?
3. Are you considering CGMS also ? If so, is having the pump/CGMS as one device important ?
4. How much insulin do you use / day ? Some pumps hold more insulin in the reservoir, so if your TDD is high, you might prefer pump with larger reservoir.
5. Do you think having a meter-remote is a major convience ? Or doesn't matter ?
6. Is having a 'food database' important ?

Bottom line is that all the pumps have 70-80% of the same basic functions regarding programming it, and options for basal and bolus insulin delivery. There are minor differences in the 'smallest increment' and delivery rate, etc, that for most adults don't make much difference. Some have features that seem to be preferred more by parents of young kids.

If you are considering CGMS, I'd recommend to get a trial period either through your healthcare team or from the company. If you then choose CGMS, it might lead to a difference choice of pump.

Personally, I use Minimed Revel, and Dexcom CGMS, and like exactly what I have. I may consider the Animas Vibe when it is available in US. This is based more on the CGMS preference, rather than the pump.

You may find this guide helpful.
diabetes forecast 2013 consumer guide

S-Y-R-I-N-G-E is my preference! (8 D

A BETTER question is WHY do you want one? What is your expectation re: using one? Critical questions...

I suggest that you read back through the archives and read about the different pumps available now. Also if you go into the Group section of TuDiabetes, you’ll see that there are groups for each type of pump. The current and old posts in those groups will give you lots of information.

I pumped with Medtronic for 8 years and was very happy with their pumps. What I was not happy with was their CGM system. For me it was inaccurate and painful. For several years I used my Medtronic Revel pump with a separate Dexcom CGM system. When my warranty ran out this fall, I switched to Animas because they will be the first pump to combine with Dexcom. I actually liked my Revel pump better then my Animas Ping, but whenever the Animas/Dexcom pump (called the Vibe in Europe)is released, it will fix many of the things that I don’t like about the Ping.

So for me, the CGM is important. Another thing to consider is tubed or tubeless. I’ve never been bothered by tubes and would have never wanted the huge Omnipods of me. But Omnipod has come out with smaller pods and I think that definitely deserves a look.

One very important thing is how much insulin you take daily. Medtronic has the choice between 180 and 300 unit pumps. T-Slim and Accu-Chek are 300 unit. Animas is 200 unit pump as is the Omnipod. You want your reservoir to last at least three days ideally.

My last advice is to do lots of homework and ask lots of questions. One thing I will warn you about is to make sure that information and opinions you read online is up-to-date. Also realize that both Medtronic and Animas have new pumps at the FDA for approval and you want to think about the features of those newer pumps.

And one last thing, look at the t-Slim and if you really love it, try to work with your doctor and Tandem to file an appeal to get this pump. It’s new, but not experimental.

Sam - You've already received some great advice here. While I am probably in the minority of pumpers, I place a good deal of importance on the ability of the pump to download its data so that it can be viewed/analyzed on a computer.

I use the Animas Ping pump. I can upload the data from my pump, CGM (Dexcom G4), and my Accu-Chek Aviva to a web-based upload site called Diasend. It is the only program that I'm aware of that integrates pump/CGM/meter data. Unfortunately, while Diasend can facilitate uploads of many different brands of meters, they only allow Animas pumps and Dexcom CGMs to upload.

Once you choose a pump, you'll probably be locked into that choice for 4 years, the typical warranty period for most pumps. Insurance companies won't allow you to get a newer pump at least until the warranty expires. Why don't you try out the various models so that you can make a decision based on your personal preferences?

Pumping insulin is a great way to match a unique dialy basal profile to your unique metabolism. That's something that's made more difficult using MDIs. The pump also has a much better memory than me. (Did I take my meal dose? When did I take it and how much insulin did I take? How much insulin is still active in my system? This insulin on board function (IOB) is a very valuable feature when using a pump.)

Off-loading all the pump arithmetic (dose calculation, high BG corrections) onto a machine that's unencumbered by the effects of low or high blood glucose, is a great feature of any pump.

As someone already noted above, some of us have had pump delivery problems with the Omnipod. I gave it a five month trial and had to quit because of too much pump-caused hyperglycemia. It appears that my experience is in the minority but I would hate to see you make a 4 year comittment and then be stuck with something that does not work for you. Many people here love their pods and do very well on them.

I've used insulin pumps continuously since 1987; 21 years on several MiniMed (Medtronic) models, 5 years on Animas, and 5 months on the Ominpod. I would not willingly go back to MDIs.

Good luck with your choice!


I do not think that tubeless pumps are the way to go, consider gluing a computer mouse to your infusion site and if that would really be more convenient. The other disadvantage is the inability to see the site. I am currently using my third Animas pump (IR1000, 1250 and now Ping) and have no complaints. I eagerly await the Vibe to be used in conjunction with my Dexcom G4 but am extremely disappointed in J&J/Animas for the promises not being met with it's introduction. They messed up with the T-Slim as a rechargeable is not the way to go. Minimed's decision to go with a proprietary infusion fitting is a violation of common sense. The Orbit Micro was and is the most comfortable infusion set I have used in 10 years, if you can find it. All things considered I'd go with the Animas as the advantages and advances in my mind are still in their court. The promises of the Solo from Roche are not deserved and would prefer to not use a pump manufactured by a third party in China with no medical device experience. My opinions are my own, good and best of luck.

that 'computer mouse' is the size of a large strawberry - or the dexcom sensor, very small and thin, the new, smaller version of the pod and you can see the cannula through the POD window. Why can't you see the site, you can see the site as well as you can with a standard set? PODS are great...the PDM is so easy to use. I don't even feel my POD on and more places to wear it.

I gave it a five month trial and had to quit because of too much pump-caused hyperglycemia

Can you please explain? thanks!

The thing is, there are just as many site failures, kinked cannulas, air in tubing, wrong infusion sites/sets with tubed pumps as well. So, no different with the PODS, the thing that's great about the PODS is, you fill it up, push a button and it's on..end of story, it primes itself and I don't even feel mine. Glad you like your PODS. My pump nurse started 3 new pumps last week, all Omnipods.

The Omnipod and I didn't get along. Some pod sessions went along uneventfully and my control was beautiful. But then it seemed like every third pod or so, I would have unexpected high BGs and would be forced to change the pod early.

I almost always had highs for the first 8 hours after a pod change. With some experimentation, I found that if I took 7 units with a syringe at the pod change then I wouldn't go high. With a total daily dose of only 30-32 units, 7 units was a large dose to counteract this effect.

I also had more problems with occlusions in that five months than I've had in many years of pumping. I've used insulin pumps continuously since 1987.

The straw that broke the camel's back was waking up Thanksgiving morning after 8 hours of 180+ BGs. The pod was screeching with an occlusion alarm. I felt miserable from the high BGs and the GI upset it caused due to gastroparesis. I switched back that day to my old Animas pump and never looked back.

The whole blow by blow tale can be read here. I think that some in the Omnipod users group were glad to see me go! I know many here love their pods and I think that's great. It just didn't work for me.

Sarah - I wish you the best with your O'pod. Most people that start on them do quite well with them. If I had more dependable insulin delivery/absorption when using the system, I would probably still be using it. Especially now that the pod is smaller. Happy podding!

OK, thanks. Well, maybe I spoke too early, too soon..ha! I've been on the phone with Omnipod for the last 30 minutes because my PDM keeps saying 'communication error - pod status not available', while I'm trying to correct for the over correcting of too much glucose i ate when I corrected for my 50 low BG 2 hours ago. UGH. My pump nurse just put a new POD on me this morning, put it too close to my arm pitt and had to just put another NEW pod on. Last friday, 2 days into new POD, my BG's sky rocketed right before bed (POD failure). I took the thing off, gave manual corrections and levemir and after 3 hours went to bed. I've only been on this for a few weeks. IDK. I like the tubeless feature, that's why I switched but if this keeps happening I too may be back on Revel. This is just causing me so much stress, especially when we're still trying to figure out my correct basal/bolus with pump. Hate this disease. :(

Sarah - Any new system means a learning curve. Once you learn how to work it, then you should have some smooth sailing. Technology is a double edged sword. It can be quite useful yet also create a whole new set of problems. You might want to post to the TuD Omnipod user's group. It's an active community and people really try to help each other out. I hope that you can iron out these glitches and get on with your life. In any case, you can always return to your Revel. Good luck.