insulin pumps

Insulin Pump Comparisons

It amazes me that so many pump users are still given little to no choice when it comes to selecting an insulin pump. Their healthcare team simply gives them a single brochure or puts them in touch with one pump company representative to place an order. For those whose pumps are out of warranty and are in a position to order a new one, many are automatically upgraded (or pressured to upgrade) by their existing pump company.
You can also visit the pump company websites, but be aware that the material on the websites, as is the case with their brochures, is going to be weighted heavily in their own favor. if you’re lucky enough to work with a diabetes specialist who has experience with multiple pumps, by all means, ask for their input.

Here are just a few of the highlights, with pumps listed in alphabetical order by manufacturer:

Animas One Touch Ping
Medtronic/Minimed Paradigm Rebel
Roche Accu-Chek Spiritu Combo

One Touch Ping

Key Advantages

Bright full-color screen
+ Cartridges are easy to fill without air bubbles
+ Plans are in place to integrate with the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor
[Editor’s Note: The Animas Vibe is currently under FDA review. This could launch sometime in early 2014.] we already have it in EU countries
Key Disadvantages

–  Pump programming requires multiple steps and many button presses
The OneTouch Ping meter-remote uses outdated testing technology
No averages, statistics, or blood glucose/carb history accessible on the pump itself

Paradigm Rebel

Key Advantages

CGM Integration – pump serves as display for Medtronic’s continuous glucose monitor
+ Company has longest/most experience in the pump industry
+ Excellent web-based downloading program, CareLink
Key Disadvantages

–  Pump is not waterproof
Alarms/alerts may not be loud enough to hear/feel
Roche Accu-Chek Spirit Combo

Accu-Check Espíritu Combo

Key Advantages

Full-color meter/remote offers excellent flexibility in calculating boluses
+ Intelligent insulin-on-board adjustment based on expected effects of bolus insulin
+ Holds up to 315 units of any type of insulin
Key Disadvantages

–  Pump does not calculate bolus doses; must use meter remote to perform calculations
Must check blood glucose using the Accu-Chek Combo meter; cannot manually enter blood glucose for bolus calculations
Pump screen is small and has limited contrast

> previous insulin pump models
Source: Diabetes Interview 2014
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