Which pump companies will survive?

I found the article fascinating, as I haven’t been following the fortunes of the pump companies. If you don’t agree with some of the conclusions, please don’t give me grief for posting. I am not endorsing the comments in the article. I welcome opinions on the piece, if given in the spirit of amicable discussion. Thanks!

The OmniPod from Insulet may be the only wireless/tubeless system, but this advantage is mitigated as pods are still too expensive to manufacture.

Perhaps they should try to redesign the pods a little and eliminate the need to produce large amounts of pods. Take Cellnovo for example. Part of their patch pump is disposable, like the reservoir, while other parts can be reused. Insulet could try something similar

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That was an interesting take on things. I am personally a Tandem user, as I have no interest in Medtronic really. The thing to me is he starts out with how lack of choice would be bad, but then basically promotes having just two companies…

What he proposed really doesn’t take into account the many factors that make it hard for anyone to compete in the pump market. He blames the other companies’ decline on their own mistakes and failures, but while they may have made mistakes, there is a lot more to it then that. Why does Medtronic have such a dominant market share? Is it because the others just completely suck, or are highly mismanaged? Does Medtronic have just that good of a product that everyone wants it? Or do they have an artificially held market dominance?

My vote is on the latter, and even the strategy he proposes is probably not going to fix that. Our healthcare system, which requires using a third party to pay for anything, and our over lobbied political system both work together to ensure that we have the least choice and the most expensive products, sold and distributed by companies with little care for the customers (why would they when they don’t have to because they will get paid either way?). Certainly some of the other companies have made mistakes, but competing in the insulin pump market, or any other healthcare market, is an endless battle with the big controlling companies doing everything in their, and the government’s (through lobbying), power to prevent you from ever succeeding. Let’s not even talk about if you want to develop a cure…

That said, on the topic of some other things he had said, I am seriously starting to consider if MDI would be worth a try. I have been on the pump since one year after being diagnosed, so basically 19 years I have been constantly attached to a device. Always worried about whether my pump site will melt off from sweat, or how i will afford my supplies, or getting my tube stuck on things and yanked or possible even yanked out. Not to mention now I have been having intense irritation from the pump sites (and CGM) that even skintac hasn’t helped mitigate. And also, perhaps the icing on the cake, sites don’t last hardly at all for me any more, no matter where I put them. It is a miracle if I can get them to last 3 days, and unusual I get them to last 2. So after about 24 hours my boluses and basal start having less effect, until randomly everything just stops working completely until I change my site. I would have to argue that MDI has probably seen more technological advancement in those 19 years than pumps have. I mean, 95% of the features even my new t:slim X2 has are the same as what I had on my very first Disetronic D-tron. And at this point, even if they came out with a true artificial pancreas system, the issues would likely be the same for me. And let’s face it, if they don’t have instant acting insulin, then an AP system is probably not going to really work that well.


This guy was incredibly wrong about at least one thing in his article:


Convert all the systems so they can be run by a smartphone, thus eliminating the need for the expensive PDM that runs the OmniPod.

I know it costs more in Canada, but in the U.S, the PDM is dirt cheap. You can buy it direct from Insulet for $300. It is a one-time cost.

The one-time PDM cost is minimal. It is the reoccurring (every 3 days) cost of the pods that are the expensive part.


Just a note, that was published in February 2017. Yes, it has not yet shaken out, but then again, it has not yet shaken out. Competition is a good thing and while choices may be slimmed down it might not as well.