New Roche Insulin Pump

OK, we lost one glucose monitor vendor recently, but now we’ve gained a pump vendor instead.  Roche Diagnostics Corp. is breaking into the growing U.S. insulin pump business with its Swiss-made product that carries the well-known Accu-Chek brand name.

Roche_pump The new Spirit Accu-Chek pump comes from Disetronic Medical Systems, the insulin pump division acquired by Roche in 2003.  Launch is planned for Monday, and the $6,195 product will begin shipping on Oct. 30.

I’m not up on pump pricing, but that sounds kind of steep to me.  No matter, I’m sure Roche has insurance coverage in the bag.

This model’s packed with features, including four bolus options and five basal rate profiles.  “Its side-mounted tactile buttons, together with the bolus calculator residing on a separate PDA device, will allow the user to calculate a bolus and program their pump for insulin delivery without ever having to remove their insulin pump from their pocket or bra-pouch.”  It’s also got a reversible display so you can wear the pump any way you want — there is no upside-down.

Sounds good.  What do you pump aficionados out there have to say?


10 Responses

  1. Kassie
    Kassie October 12, 2006 at 6:39 am | | Reply

    That price is pretty much on par with other pumps – at least ‘retail’. Insurance companies, of course, don’t pay that amount.

  2. Brian
    Brian October 12, 2006 at 7:36 am | | Reply

    Honestly, this new pump from Roche does not look like anything groundbreaking. Personally, I don’t care about lots of neato features. I want something that will really have a major impact on the way I manage my diabetes and this isn’t it. I think it will eventually come in some kind of closed loop glucose monitoring insulin pump. Until then, I’ll collect interest on my $6,195.

  3. Megan
    Megan October 12, 2006 at 8:22 am | | Reply

    Yeah, the price is pretty much on par with pump costs.

    As far as features- it’s actually pretty slimmed down feature wise compared to other current pumps, but it makes up for some of them in the PDA.

  4. Kerri.
    Kerri. October 12, 2006 at 12:35 pm | | Reply

    The idea of “no upsidedown” is interesting. I’m often pivoting like an owl to read my pump, depending on where I have it stashed.

    And the price seems right in line with all the other pump prices. Bottom line: These gadgets are mighty expensive. ;)

  5. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk October 12, 2006 at 1:03 pm | | Reply

    The “no upsidedown” feature is something long awaited in other pumps. (Let’s hope there’s no patent on this such feature, otherwise it’ll be years before we see it in other pumps).

    I wish they’d picked a better name for the product. “Spirit” just doesn’t seem like something a guy would go for and a name like that must have been thought up of by non-diabetic people…

  6. Stu
    Stu October 12, 2006 at 1:21 pm | | Reply

    I know in the past, the Disetronic pumps used a special type of battery that you could only get from the company,unlike others that run on batteries that can be purchased most anywhere.

  7. Jules
    Jules October 12, 2006 at 7:13 pm | | Reply

    I’m not a pumper yet…just trying to figure out which one to get. I like the tactile button idea. Is this a feature on other pumps?

  8. Rick Stockton
    Rick Stockton October 13, 2006 at 2:30 pm | | Reply

    I’m a DTron+ user, and so had a natural interest in taking a good look at this. It’s way better, but NOT WATERPROOF for swimming or Jacuzzi.

    It is ‘waterproof’ to 8 feet for 30 minutes, so it normally will survive an accidental dump into the make-up/handwashing bathroom sink. If it does happen to leak a bit, you pull out the battery and let it dry out. But it definitely AIN’T an Animas in this area.

    For JaysonJ: The battery situation is now absolutely AA (joke, joke): It uses one AA battery. And unlike most others, you can switch, in the menu, between Alkaline AA and NiMH rechargeable (rechargeables WITHOUT the memory problems and to-low voltage of the old NiCad batteries). YAY!

    The button arrangement is super clever: because the pump IS NOT rectangular, you instantly feel which one is the “up” button and which one is the “down” button, without looking. And having only two buttons on the face is way better than having all 4 there, as most competitors do.

    With my old Dtron+, even though the “menu” and “confirm” buttons are mounted horizontal at the tubing end, and the up/down buttons are mounted VERTICAL at the other end, it’s really hard to tell which pair of buttons your finger is on when it’s in your pocket. I always have to pull it out.

    It’s incredibly small for a pump with such a large (315 uL) cartridge. And I was talking with a Canadian user last night: even though the cartridge filling method has changed, us penny-pinching cheapskates apparently CAN refill used cartidges. But even though I do it, I MUST EMPHATICALLY RECOMMENDED AGAINST DOING THIS, there’s a big non-sterility risk after the plunger has been pushed up during run time!

    Jules, all the leading pumps have fairly “tactile” buttons these days. The Spirit’s unique difference is making it so easy to tell which button your finger is on, and where the other buttons are, when you’re not looking.

    Kassie, I’ve got a CGM, and I REALLY don’t think there’s an advantage in a closed-loop system. First problem, even “fast” insulin has a lot of action 3-4 hours later: If an after-meal spike caused your pump to take off on it’s own, it could be a big problem later. Second problem, do you REALLY want your pump doing arbitrary ‘shoot’ while you’re asleep? CGMs often have bad readings, and the Abbott will NOT be an exception: If you roll over and sleep on the Sensor, the accuracy of the squished-out and under-circulating ISF will NOT BE THERE.

    Maybe closed-loop with an in-body BLOOD Sensor, but I wouldn’t go NEAR having my Dexcom giving unmonitored instructions to my pump. Could lead to really dangerous situations, I think. And the MM Sensors are less accurate than the Dexcoms in the Hypo range, making mis-diagnosis and dangerous mis-treatment even more likely. But per above, I believe that even Abbott will not be immune to errors, that’s why the haven’t been able to get it approved as a total replacement for finger-stick bG testing. Too many “D” and “E” readings on the Clarke curve.

  9. Rick Stockton
    Rick Stockton October 13, 2006 at 2:38 pm | | Reply

    BTW, my “spare” DTron+ cost only $200, bought when the FDA banned their Sale to new customers. So 20% copay of on a $6000+ machine is a big chunk of money for me, they’re gonna have to offer a BIG upgrade incentive to make me switch. (They might, to get out of the current DTron+ proprietary battery mess. ;)

    And I really, really want 2 meters, not just one It takes up to 15 hours for them to get a replacealcement to youwith “24×7 Customer Service”. Even a 10 hour overnight replacement is unacceptable for me. And I’m often quite a ways from cell-phone service, far away from “delivery service” – accessible roads.

  10. Rick Stockton
    Rick Stockton October 13, 2006 at 2:42 pm | | Reply

    As for “no upside down”: You gotta go into the menu to flip the display over, if you’re thinking of pulling it out while you’re groggy from sleeping then switching the display takes WAY more brain power and time than flipping it over. But if you always wear it a certain way in certain clothes, then it’s a nice feature to have it display correctly whenever you pull it out in your “natural” way (whichever that turns out to be in those clothes).

    Frankly, I’m WAY higher on the button arrangement than the “flip the Display” feature, and highest on the use of NiMH rechargables.

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