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Kathryn

My personal experience in using the loop versus the FreeAPS X (FAX)!

In 2019, I started as an ambitious intern at integrated diabetes services. At that point, I had lived with type 1 diabetes for about 10 years. Growing up, I didn’t meet many other people with type 1 diabetes. I never attended a camp or conferences (nor did I know they existed). I knew pumps existed, but I had no interest. I wanted as little people as possible to know I had diabetes.

Just prior to coming to IDS, I did an internship with Ascensia Diabetes Care and that experience is where I really connected with other T1s for the first time. It was awesome to be around other people that “got it”. Still, I had no interest in a pump and continued with my good old lantus and novolog. I did get an InPen, pretty much as soon as it became available.

When I started at IDS, everyone wore a pump….I was surrounded and for the first time felt like the odd one out. Soon after, I had Alicia train me on the omnipod. All I could think was “why didn’t I do this sooner”? Eagerly, about a week into the pump I built loop (would highly recommend getting used to standard pumping first). The rest was history. Loop has made me so happy and I love how little I need to think about diabetes now. I learned from the very best how to get my settings dialed in and I’m forever grateful to Gary, Alicia and Jenny for mentoring me into the clinician I am today.

With all of that back information being said, the reason I’m writing this is to share my experience of loop versus FreeAPS X (FAX)! Keep in mind, I was very happy with loop. Below is a list of pros and cons from my personal experience. I’ve included references in case you would like to learn more. Everyone has different desires and needs and it’s important to make our management decisions for ourselves.

After about a month of using FAX I went back to my beloved loop.

Pros & Cons of using the FreeAPS X 

PROS:

CONS:

  • So many setting options that can be confusing if you do not read the documents and have a full understanding of them.
  • No override capability (just temp target presets) (which honestly worked for me but there’s a learning curve)
  • If coming from loop, settings most likely will need to be changed (I had to make mine more aggressive)
  • Autotune recommendations are very conservative
  • No ability to change absorption time
  • Noticed some lagging (dose calculation were sometime slow to spit out, might have just needed to rebuild)
  • I almost delivered the wrong amount of insulin a few times – gives an insulin recommended dose and then I had to type in the amount to deliver

Pros & Cons of Using LOOP

PROS:

  • Ability to set and save overrides or just run a temporary basal adjustment
  • Easier learning curve in my opinion since there isn’t so many extra features
  • Access to some additional features if desired with patches
  • Data analysis is more straightforward since less toggle options

CONS:

  • No dynamic adjustments
  • Just a placeholder for getting help with therapy settings and unsure of how well it will work if and when there’s something there
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