2018 New Insulin Pump Comparisons and Reviews

/2018 New Insulin Pump Comparisons and Reviews
2018 New Insulin Pump Comparisons and Reviews 2017-12-07T14:42:29+00:00

Insulin pumps are NOT commodities.  There are differences between systems (some subtle, some obvious) that make certain pumps better options for certain individuals.  It is astounding that so many people are given little to no choice when it comes to selecting an insulin pump.  Given that pump warranties last longer than the average marriage, it makes sense to invest some time in comparing the various devices before making a selection.

Every member of our clinical team has personal and professional experience with every make and model of insulin pump.  We are not employed by any pump company, and we are not easily pressured (although really good chocolate has been known to sway our opinion a bit), so we can offer you fair and impartial information/insight.

Please use our pump comparisons to help make an educated decision.  We have listed the positive and negative features that are unique to each pump.  Features that are common to all pumps, such as allowing for multiple basal patterns, are not included.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours.  If you would like some expert input, feel free to contact our office and schedule some time to meet or speak with one of our clinicians.  And for assistance applying your pump to achieve the best possible glucose management, please reach out.

Pros & Cons of the Tandem t:slim X2 and t:flex Insulin Pumps

tandem tslim x2 insulin pump

  • Unique Advantages: Pros

    • X2 has software/features updatable through download from website
    • Bright, full-color touch screen
    • Modern, high-tech appearance
    • Compact, thin dimensions
    • Rapid number entry/fastest bolus entry
    • 2-Way Bluetooth (X2) allows full integration with multiple devices, including smartphones & CGM
    • X2 displays data from Dexcom G5
    • T:flex holds up to 480u
    • Charges; No disposable batteries
    • Can calculate boluses up to 50 units (60u with t:flex)
    • Site-change reminder w/customizable day & time
    • Graphic on-screen history display
    • Carb counting calculatorTemp basal up to 250%, 72 hrs
    • IOB & time remaining displayed on home screen
    • Missed bolus reminders customizable by day of week
    • Alert for high temperatures
    • Secondary basal programs can be linked with secondary bolus formulas
    • Limited unintended insulin movement with changes in pump position
    • Low suspend features pending
  • Potential Drawbacks: CONS

    • Hybrid closed loop features pending Small buttons can be difficult to activate; screen goes blank if buttons missed 3x
    • Unlock procedure required to perform any programming
    • No attached clip (must put in a case that has a clip)
    • Tubing connector looks “medical,” can snag on clothing
    • Proprietary tubing connection, cannot use third party infusion sets.
    • Basal & bolus settings in same time slots; may take several steps to edit
    • Extra confirmation steps with all programming
    • Weak vibrate mechanism
    • No meter link
    • Company’s long-term viability is uncertain; pump is their only product
    • Requires charging 1-2x/week

Pros & Cons of the Medtronic MiniMed 670G with Guardian

Our 2018 review

Medtronic MiniMed 630G insulin pump

  • Unique Advantages: Pros

    • Large, secure, long-established company
    • Industry leader in R & D
    • Data from Medtronic Guardian CGM displayed on-screen
    • Automatic basal shutoff when low glucose detected by sensor (may help prevent severe hypos)
    • Hybrid closed loop(Automode) basal adjustment based on CGM readings and predictive algorithms
    • High-contrast full-color screen
    • Slim attachable clip
    • Integrated meter serves as remote control for bolusing
    • Frequently used boluses & temp basals can be stored as “presets”
    • Downloadable to online Carelink program
    • Choice of slow or fast bolus delivery
    • Generates insulin/carb/BG statistics
  • Potential Drawbacks: CONS

    • “Airplane Mode” option CGM and Automode require additional finger sticks for calibration and safety checks.
    • Maintaining Automode requires a higher level of technical acumen and interaction with the pump.
    • Frequent system alerts in Automode may become intrusive
    • Attached clip is upside-down
    • Must pay for loaner/backup pumps
    • Screen and text are relatively small
    • Insulin-on-board only deducted from correction boluses
    • Downloading restricted to Carelink program
    • Multiple menus and programming can be complex to master
    • Many button-presses and confirmation steps in basic programming
    • Sensor supplies currently on back order until Spring 2018
    • Delay in getting pumps, supplies and training to new users
    • Company’s marketing can be overly aggressive

Pros & Cons of the Medtronic MiniMed 630G with Enlite

Medtronic MiniMed 630G insulin pump

  • Unique Advantages: Pros

    • Large, secure, long-established company
    • Industry leader in R & D
    • Data from Medtronic Enlite CGM displayed on-screen
    • Automatic basal shutoff when low glucose detected by sensor (may help prevent severe hypos)
    • High-contrast full-color screen
    • Optional “Connect” feature for sharing CGM data on smartphones Slim attachable clip
    • Integrated meter serves as remote control for bolusing
    • Frequently used boluses & temp basals can be stored as “presets”
    • Easily downloadable to online Carelink program
    • Choice of slow or fast bolus delivery
    • Generates insulin/carb/BG statistics
  • Potential Drawbacks: CONS

    • “Airplane Mode” option CGM accuracy, longevity, transmission range, ease-of-use considered inferior to competitors
    • Automatic low-suspend feature may be disruptive and counter-productive
    • Must pay for loaner/backup pumps
    • Insulin-on-board only deducted from correction boluses
    • Attached clip is upside-down
    • Downloading restricted to Carelink program
    • Screen and text are relatively small
    • Multiple menus and programming can be complex to master
    • Lots of button-pushing and confirmation steps with basic programming
    • Company’s marketing can be overly aggressive

Pros & Cons of the Insulet OmniPod Insulin Pump

Insulet OmniPod

  • Unique Advantages: Pros

    • Reduced up-front costs
    • Can program through clothing from a few feet away
    • Discrete pump size
    • No tubing (minimizes wasted insulin, no tangling/snagging, less awkward, no siphon effects)
    • No disconnecting/reconnecting means no missed/lost insulin
    • Simple, automated cannula insertion (minimizes discomfort, reduces “human errors”, creates more site options)
    • Forced pod change reduces chances of lipodystrophy & absorption problems
    • Pump is fully watertight
    • Temp basals and boluses can be customized/preset
    • Freestyle meter built into handheld programmer
    • Large color screen w/text and graphing capability
    • Only 2 parts; simple for travel
    • Android-based programmer with Dexcom display pending (early 2018)
  • Potential Drawbacks: CONS

    • Low-suspend, hybrid closed loop features in development No integrated CGM
    • Bulky programmer
    • Pod creates a “bulge” on the skin
    • Cannot enter boluses or make setting changes without programmer
    • Cannot do programming or editing while bolus is delivering
    • Only one cannula orientation/length
    • Max reservoir volume 200u; minimum fill amount 85u
    • Pod stops working after 72 hours (plus grace period)
    • Handheld will not calculate bolus if BG < 50
    • Dislodged/clogged cannula or pod error requires complete pod replacement
    • Pod does not have vibrate option
    • IOB not displayed in bolus calculation
    • Must suspend when changing basal settings
    • Temp basal limited to 12 hours max.
    • Not covered by all third-party payors
    • Insulin-to-carb ratios in whole number increments only
    • Loss (or malfunction) of programmer renders pod non-programmable (delivers basal only)