March 15, 2012

The Best Pump

The question which is the 'best' insulin pump floats up in diabetes conversation regularly. Best is a natural but probably wrong question.

The quality of pumps and their ability to preform the basic insulin deliver functions is so good that these days users have the ability to choose the device and vendor that best fits their unique lifestyle. That is a real wordy way of saying, ‘there is no best pump.’

Happily one size does not fit all.

People with diabetes have different needs because as individual their diabetes varies. So don't look for the absolute best pump but to the device that best accommodates your individual lifestyle. This dude's may love his backpack but it may not be your best choice. (And what is in the giant bottle on the bottom of that thing anyway?)

Design and feature matter. For example the patch, folks seem to have a love / hate relationship with the OmniPod. That is great. If you are drawn to the patch pump, no tubing, PDA driven approach -great. If. like my kids. you think it is too big and uncomfortable and tube are okay a more traditional pump may be better in your life. There are a lot of criteria individuals can consider. Remotes are really great for little kids. Lock the pump down and have mom or dad operate it with a remote control. How much insulin do you use and how much does it hold. Is it a color a young girl is comfortable wearing 24/7.

CGM may matter. If CGM integration is mission critical only Medtronic has int on the market in the USA. Animas, Roche, OmniPod and Tandem are in the on deck circle with Dexcom. Remember that deck circle is a baseball term. There is no clock in baseball and Animas and Omni pod have been next in the line up for years waiting to come to bat. Some of the fans in the stands are getting rowdy and jeering the Ump wanting to see them come to bat. Food databases are touted as a key feature. If they are to your look carefully at the implementation and ease of building realistic meals. Can you customize the food database to your needs.

Service matters. Check it out by calling the service in the middle of the visit by the sales team. Like everything else service varies. We have had great service from Animas other say they have had issues. Read up on TuDiabetes and CWD and keep in mind that when the device is as integral a part of life as an insulin pump individual service expectations will be very high.

Sets matter. People talk about pump features but the set and how it feels going in are where the rubber meets the road. Well the insulin meets the subcutaneous tissue. Try on sets as part of the sales process. Sets plural not set.

Instead of which is best maybe the question should be what features best adapt to my lifestyle. That the art and science of insulin pumping has progressed from that back pack size prototype, in the black and white pictures above, to diverse miniature devices is great.

What is best is we get to choose based on our individual preference.


Related posts from the YDMV archives:
Why Pump
What would be Really Cool

3 comments:

  1. You stole my post!

    Okay, not really but I was about to write something similar in reference to my upcoming switch.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I look forward to your perspective and am confident it will be great.

    ReplyDelete
  3. i think the bottle on the bottom of that backpack pump is for when it converts to a jetpack, right?

    i agree with what you've shared here. my kid is currently on medtronic but she thinks she would like to switch to animas. i was disappointed when i learned that the fda recently (?) pulled their approval for the dex for kids under the age of 18. i've not seen that mentioned around the DOC but i think it's because most of the blogs i follow have kids that have been using the dex since before the recall and are thus, "grandfathered in".

    ReplyDelete