OmniPod Update

Speaking of anniversaries, this Saturday marked my three-month milepost using Insulet’s revolutionary new wireless insulin delivery system, the OmniPod. I feel I owe you all an update. So if the details of cutting-edge insulin pumping interest you, read on :)

THE BIG PICTURE
On the whole, I’m at a loss for words to describe how thoroughly this product has changed my life. Let’s just say (conservatively), that I was taking about 6 injections/day before. That’s at least 540 injections I’ve been able to skip in the last three months. Hallelujah!

But skipping injections is a benefit of any insulin pump, of course. The thing for me is, despite the no-needles advantage, I am 100% certain I would not be a pumper right now if my only choice had been a traditional pump attached to my body via 43″ of plastic tubing. That’s still a big No Thank You for me.Op_functions

With the OmniPod, it almost feels like all I have to deal with is a glucose meter. Period. Because the PDM (wireless controller unit) actually doubles as a glucose meter, and it’s all I need to carry around. (God, how I love that!) I just check my BG, and the bolus wizard tells me automatically how much bolus or correction insulin I need. I don’t even have to deal with the two-step process of using a separate meter and then plugging the results into my pump.

And that issue about losing the controller unit? Get over it! First off, we all have to carry our glucose meters around: do you lose yours regularly? I personally never have. Also, as one fellow OmniPoder put it: “It’s a valuable like my car keys or my wallet. They go with me wherever I go, and I’m careful not to lose those, either.”

THE NITTY GRITTY
Obviously, with any medical device determining your health and well-being 24/7, customer service is key. I wanted to note how fabulous the people over at Insulet have been — and not just to me, ’cause I publish on the web; I happen to know that lots of other customers are having the same great experience.

As a responsible blogger, I did want to report that after I complained here about the innacuracy of the OmniPod’s built-in FreeStyle meter, Insulet contacted me immediately and offered a replacement unit. Apparently the problems I was encountering are not common. I suppose I could/should have called them right away with my concerns, but I just assumed that most next-gen products run into a few bugs initially. Anyway, the new PDM unit arrived via next-day FedEx, and after a very long tech support phone call to help me transfer all my settings, I am up and running and highly accurate again! (Note to self: never work in Customer Support, as it requires too much patience)

As far as daily pumping goes, I’m still experimenting with correction factors and basal rate options. For example, I just learned that the OP “insulin on board” feature only shows insulin delivered as a correction — not a meal bolus — therefore I’ve often taken a post-meal correction too soon after eating, knocking myself into a nasty low. You live and learn.

I’ve set three different temp basals for workouts so far, and am still trying to figure out how low to go versus eating during and around cycling workouts. As any Type 1 serious about cycling will tell you, this is a science unto itself.

I’ve also been alternating belly and behind-the-shoulder sites — trying to predict what I’ll be doing that week for optimal placement. I hate wearing the unit on my shoulder during aerobics, not so much ’cause it looks silly as that it bobs around too much (even on my skinny arms). For cycling, however, it’s perfect on the shoulder. Although I find I have to contort a bit and hold the PDM behind my shoulder whenever I want to bolus or get a Pod status — otherwise it doesn’t connect. (All little stuff that shouldn’t be an issue versus the massive inconvenience of injections, but see? The OmniPod’s got me spoiled now…)

MIND GAMES
This might sound twisted, but I actually love changing the pod. It’s a very simple process, and every time I do it, it reminds me how very ecstatic I am to have the OmniPod. Lookey here! See that big needle? That’s not going in me, no sir! That’s just to fill the pod… and then click! the cannula is inserted automatically and I’m on my way.

OK, but the final truth of it all is, it’s still hard having diabetes… I’m still running over 180 a lot of afternoons (lunch is always such a crap shoot), and I’m either too high or too low many nights — often seemingly without rhyme or reason. USER ERROR, I know. What the MD’s might have once called “noncompliant”? Aw, shut up! Even with the greatest D-management tool ever invented, it’s still a volatile disease and I still want to have a life… What I’m most grateful for is that the people at Insulet Corp. seem to understand that.

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45 Responses

  1. Steve
    Steve May 22, 2007 at 7:43 am | | Reply

    Thanks for another Omni-Pod advertisement. If you weren’t posting these advertisements you wouldn’t have the unit. I live in California and tried unsuccessfully to acquire an Omni-Pod for months. They told me you got one because you write technical reviews for them. Thanks for the informative articles. When I saw that massive machine on your arm I decided to stop trying to get something that isn’t as good, for me, as my current pump (with a 23″ tube). I can remove it to surf, practice JuJitsu, Jacuzzi,or simply take a hot bath. I hope you aren’t offended by a more experienced pumper’s point of view (my latest HgA1c is 5.8)!

  2. Carol the OALM
    Carol the OALM May 22, 2007 at 8:15 am | | Reply

    Hi Amy.
    What about downloading data? Does the omnipod create the cool graphs like the animas 1200 series? (now improved with series 2020, downloading bgs and carbs, too.) I am becoming dependent on the easily obtained data.

  3. AmyT
    AmyT May 22, 2007 at 8:26 am | | Reply

    Hi Steve,
    I am not the only one in California with an OP. And I’m not offended by you, either. But I happen to know that you harrassed the company before you decided the OP was too “massive.” Can kindly stop posting your sour grapes here?

  4. Bob
    Bob May 22, 2007 at 8:48 am | | Reply

    Hi Amy,

    I just started pumping but chose a minimed. I’m a thin guy and can only imagine how the pod would stick out under my (tucked in) shirt. I guess for me it is an issue of appearance and not functionality. Hopefully, they will figure out a way to slim down the machine in future revs.

    1. Mike Hare
      Mike Hare February 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm | | Reply

      I’m 5’8″ and 137 lbs. I can assure you the only clothing under which the OmniPod is visible is my bicycling shorts. Do you wear lycra as your normal wardrobe? Used needles for almost 30 years before switching to OmniPod after a kidney transplant. IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. I do have occasional occlusions but they are more an annoyance than a real life threat. I just cannot wear the pod on top of my thigh if I’m going to do a vigorous workout. Takes a little planning but the overall freedom of the OmniPod is miraculous in my opinion. I could go on….and on…and on but you get the picture. I love the little jewel and it would take a really, REALLY large bribe to get me to switch. (We’re talking high 6 figures here)

  5. Emiyl
    Emiyl May 22, 2007 at 9:02 am | | Reply

    I’ve been minimed pumping for about 9 months now, and I must say, the tube totally freaked me out in the beginning, but honestly, not so bad in the long run. I barely even notice it. I do have a pump concern right now though – I left vital pieces to insert my pump 400 miles from me, and am waiting for it to be shipped back here. In the meantime, my sugars haven’t been below 300, and upwards of 500 in the night, and I can’t get back to normal. I didn’t have this much trouble before I started pumping. Is my body just used to the constant stream of insulin? Anyone else have issues when they disconnect from their pump for more than a few hours? (By the way, I just purchased an extra inserter for my “duh” moments such as this)

  6. Ed
    Ed May 22, 2007 at 9:12 am | | Reply

    Amy,

    Thanks for the insightful post, and no yelling at kids in this one ;) ! I’m actually going through the process of picking out a pump right now. I love the idea of not having a wire attached to me but since I’m a more muscular guy alot of the clothes I wear are somewhat fitted (especially my dress shirts for work – thank you Kings Custom Tailor!) Given that I’m worried it will look like I have growth coming out of my body with the pod and also concerned that I’ll constantly rip the thing out – I have a habbit of bumping into things. But I’m concerned that I’ll have to detach the tube too many times during the day for going to the gym, changing clothes, going to the bathroom. Anyone have some advice on where I could get more information about my concerns? I have an appointment with a minimed rep tomorrow and met with my diabetic educator here in NYC yesterday, and I’ve probably read at least 50 websites on insulin pumps but alot don’t seem to address the basic concerns or more technical aspects.

    Thanks!

  7. Kassie
    Kassie May 22, 2007 at 9:33 am | | Reply

    Let’s make a deal – I won’t tell you to get over your issue with tubing, and you can skip telling me to get over my concerns about losing the PDA thingy, ok?

    Pumping in general has been a fantastic option for me for the last 11 years. It’s exciting to see all of the great options out there – options that really address personal preferences. Congrats on your successful selection of an insulin delivery system!

  8. AmyT
    AmyT May 22, 2007 at 9:37 am | | Reply

    Hi Ed,
    I think Insulet will provide you with a “dummy pod” if you just want to try wearing it for a few days…?

  9. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell May 22, 2007 at 9:42 am | | Reply

    Amy

    Thanks for the insight. Can you tell us anything about the software that goes with the unit?

    For example, can you download you insulin dosings (basal and bolus)? Can you download your BG values? Does it have useful graphs? Any statistics?

    Maybe you’d do a software review at some stage? hint, hint.

  10. Anne
    Anne May 22, 2007 at 9:55 am | | Reply

    Hey Amy,
    I’m glad you’re enjoying pumping with the pod! Of course we all have our own particular preferences, so what works for one may not work for everyone… That’s why it’s great to have so many options out there. I would suggest that most of the people who really work on technical aspects of these devices are trying to help make our lives better, and progress takes time. I remember when my dad used to test his blood and it required several steps, one of which included rinsing the strip or something like that. And that was a big step forward. I’d rather have a cure but in the meantime, it’s great to see that there is still progress being made to make our lives a little easier.

    ‘guess I’m in a good mood today!

    -Anne

    p.s. well, I’ll take the reference as me being “serious about cycling” as a complement! Thanks, Amy! :)

  11. Melissa
    Melissa May 22, 2007 at 11:31 am | | Reply

    Thanks for the update! I was just approved for the Omnipod, now I have to contact my Endo and the OmniPod rep to get things moving along. I’ve been waiting so long for this pump, unfortunately I’m a researcher and had heard about this pump long before it became available to anyone, so I’ve been waiting a long time. I’m a little nervous about changing, but only because I dread change, fact is I always come out of it okay though. I need to get rid of the tubing because I have pulled my set completely out too many times to count. Nothing I do seems to keep the tubing in place and out of snagging on something. I haven’t spoken to the rep yet, but my insurance told me my copay would be 20% of a 3 month supply, can you give me any idea what that might be? Just curious, like I said, haven’t spoken to the rep yet about costs or anything, was waiting for approval.
    Melissa

  12. BP
    BP May 22, 2007 at 12:12 pm | | Reply

    Hey Amy
    Thanks for the continuous updates on your experience with the Omnipod. I just got back from my endo’s office and my A1C has crept up from 6.3 to 7. I am so upset and frustrated. To add to the frustration, I am waiting on an appeal with my insurance company for the Omnipod. Seems a pump isn’t medically necessary. HA! I am hating this condition (and myself)right now and reading your posts really helps put things in perspective. Thanks!

  13. Kevin
    Kevin May 22, 2007 at 3:11 pm | | Reply

    You might want to write up a comparison of how the insulin on board (IOB) feature works across the mainstream pumps. Last time i checked the literature, the IOB calculation is supposed to consider all bolus insulin as a safety measure, not just corrections. I’m sure if my daughter’s pump only tracked correction doses as residual insulin that she wouldn’t be nearly as safe from the effects of stacking insulin. We also regularly run an IOB at night to see if her IOB is in line with her BG which results in the pump recommending no correction. This is accurate because of the meal bolus being included in the IOB calc. This begs the question for me at least as to why Insulet made this choice? Maybe a patent thing?

  14. jules
    jules May 22, 2007 at 6:18 pm | | Reply

    Amy. I too am celebrating my third month with the Omni-Pod and I do like it a lot. My insurance company, Aetna,covers 100% of the cost. So it is far cheaper for me to be on the omni pod than any other device. The only co-pay I have is for the insulin. I’m confused about your placement on your shoulder. Can you be more specific? I’ve placed it on the underpart of my upper arm but I’m not sure where you would place it on your shoulder. I received a notice from Insulet about a month ago saying their software would be available soon. Have you heard anything about this? My favorite part so far is waking up with normal glucose levels and I haven’t had a night time low in three months. I’ve come to realize that you can not have normal levels of glucose if you eat fast acting carbs…no matter how good the technology. I’ve reduced my carbs dramatically and it’s paying off. Combined with the OmniPod, I’m on my way to very good control. Thanks for all you do to get the word out.
    Jules

  15. Steve
    Steve May 22, 2007 at 6:57 pm | | Reply

    Dear Insulet Rep.,
    Harrassed the company? That’s a joke. I asked them why you were able to get a “Mega-pod” and I couldn’t. They told me you were an employee. Comment on that fact instead of attacking me. Diversion is a nice way to escape though. Does “sour grapes” mean I can’t get the “OP”? You say you aren’t the only one in CA. Tell all the Californians how to get this tubeless wonder…

  16. AmyT
    AmyT May 22, 2007 at 7:04 pm | | Reply

    Steve,
    As you know, I am not an employee. I do some marketing writing for Insulet periodically, but made it very clear that if I became an OP user, I would have complete editorial independence here on the blog — good, bad, and ugly. Luckily it’s all been pretty good so far.

    And they are working on the software, which is not quite ready for prime-time yet.

  17. Felix Kasza
    Felix Kasza May 22, 2007 at 10:45 pm | | Reply

    Hi Amy,

    could I ask you a favour, please? If you have the time, can you recheck that the PDA does not take meal boluses into account when calculating corrections?

    If that is indeed the case, it would mean that the IOB is completely inaccurate while there still is active insulin from a meal bolus, wouldn’t it?

    Thanks for checking –
    Felix.

    1. Mike Hare
      Mike Hare February 14, 2013 at 10:03 pm | | Reply

      Felix, If your PDM is set up properly for your metabolism the bolus will be completely consumed by the meal it was injected to cover. So should not be considered as IOB. I’ve been on the OmniPod for about 2.5 years and my AiC is stable at 6.2 and my avg. BG is about 140 so it must be working pretty well.

  18. AmyT
    AmyT May 23, 2007 at 6:53 am | | Reply

    Felix,
    That’s what the Customer Support folks told me just a few days ago (?)

  19. Anne
    Anne May 23, 2007 at 8:28 am | | Reply

    Looking and thinking more about the OP, it sounds really appealing. I think the main advantage it has is combining the meter and pump into one thing in a smart way. Streamlining the BG correction process by suggesting a correction bolus makes it that much easier to, well, correct a bolus! Now they just need to figure out how to get a CGM in there, too. I guess that’s where the Minimed Paradigm really wins out. I wonder what people on the Paradigm think about their CGM/pump system…

    My only concern with the OP (which is probably equivalent to OP users’ concern over tubing) is having a biggish bump on me. Is it heavy? Does it pull on your skin, especially when you wear it on your arm? Where can you wear the thing? And would it slow me down when I swim??? (the most important question :) ) One last question. Is there any way to turn it off (completely suspend basal rate etc) without the handheld device, aside from pulling it out?

    -Anne

  20. Challenge Diabetes
    Challenge Diabetes May 23, 2007 at 10:22 am | | Reply

    Accurate Calculation of Insulin On Board (a.k.a. – IOB)

    Wow. Based on what I read over at Amys blog, its disconcerting that there is an insulin pump on the market that does not consider residual insulin from a bolus entered to counteract carbohydrates (carb or meal bolus) – only insulin boluse…

  21. Chris
    Chris May 23, 2007 at 1:24 pm | | Reply

    Amy,
    I can’t believe you would really take 6 shots/day rather than be connected to a pump with a tube. Sure, I wish my minimed did not have a tube, but I’ll take it. I am a VERY active professional equestrian and have not had ANY trouble with the tube working around horses all day and galloping and jumping fences at high speed. And I surely love my A1C at 5.2, not to mention that I am pregnant and could in no way have managed to get through the hormonal changes of pregnancy without the pump.

  22. Melissa
    Melissa May 23, 2007 at 7:16 pm | | Reply

    Granted, I would rather be on a pump than shots, but the tubing can get in the way. I’ve tried everything to tape it down and what not. So far I’ve zipped (and severed) the tubing into my jeans zipper twice, I can’t even count how many times in the past 4+ years I have caught the tubing onto a cabinet/cupboard handle and ripped the infusion set out, not to mention I have 3 cats, 2 of which are still kittens, 1 of which is abosuletly in love with playing with the tubing. And wearing dresses is dang near impossible, in fact I gave up. I am looking forward to using the OmniPod.

  23. Andy
    Andy May 25, 2007 at 8:03 pm | | Reply

    I’ve been on the OmniPod for 18 months and love it. The IOB feature does incluce all IOB and not just corrective bolus’s. I usually wear mine on the back of my upper arm. For those of you who think it’s large, remember that it’s about 1/2 the size of a conventional pump. For the first time in 50+ years as a Type I, I barely realize I am one and the Pod is so unobtrussive that I usually need to feel around to find our where it is.

  24. Donna
    Donna May 31, 2007 at 2:29 am | | Reply

    Hello, I have been on a Minimed Pump for 10 years, jsut recently changed to the Omnipod. I first tried to see if my insurance would cover the new real-time glucose monitoring supplies that just came out with Minimed and they said NO. So, my doctor introduced me to the OP. I thought how cool would it be to be wireless, even though I have learned to live with the wire and know how to hide it well on the Minimed. Its only been a couple weeks with the OP, and I am having a hard time getting used to it. I am a very thin person and it doesn’t hide well at all. I was just thinking about wearing a bathing suit and not being to hide it. I don’t know if I am going to keep this now, but I was curious to see what others thought about it as well, so here I am reading blogs :-) . I have a great relationship with Minimed, and I have heard that even though your insurance company may denyyou coverage for the new CGM product, they say appeal, appeal, appeal, and don’t give up. I asked OP if they plan on having this technology and they do, but I’m sure it will be down the road, they don’t have any dates yet. NOW, I am sitting here debating with myself on which one to go with. Maybe I need to give it some more time to get comfortable. My husband tells me it shouldn’t matter how it looks on me, but that its a better technology product all rolled into one and more convenient for me. But I am having a real hard time with the appearance of the whole thing and definately how I am going to wear a bathing suit with it :-) ……?!?!

  25. Manny Hernandez
    Manny Hernandez June 3, 2007 at 5:24 pm | | Reply

    Amy:
    Back in TuDiabetes.com, one of the members was wondering about the pros and cons of the Omnipod vs. the Minimed with CGMS:
    http://www.tudiabetes.com/forum/topic/show?id=583967%3ATopic%3A2841&page=1&commentId=583967%3AComment%3A3066#583967Comment3066.

    Would you be able to help?

  26. Bob
    Bob June 12, 2007 at 12:54 pm | | Reply

    I’d to provide my reaction to the Omnipod, which I have been using since August, 2006. This is my first pump, so I don’t have anything to compare it with. I have had diabetes for 44 years and have injected insulin during that time. I have struggled with the Omnipod and have thought about stopping the pump and going back to injections a couple of times. When it works, I am very happy with it. But, I have had many defective pods. It seems like 10%-20% of all of the pods stop working for some reason while they are on and they start beeping with the message to disconnect and put on a new pod. Sometimes the pod will fail while I’m out during the day, and always for no apparent reason. I wonder if other people have had similar results. The Omnipod service people are always very good and replace the pod immediately at no cost. They ask for the error code that the device provides, and only once have they said that the failure, an occlusion, is not one that they pay to replace (They still replaced it even though they said the next time they would not be able to replace it). I am currently in Switzerland teaching a two week college course and I’ve had one pod failure. As a result of the numerous failures, I have started to carry a bottle of insulin and syringe with me when I leave my apartment for any length of time. I am very careful following all instructions precisely and I don’t believe that it is anything that I am doing wrong. If you or anyone has had a similar experience, I would be interested in your thoughts. Omnipod has told me that their failure rate is only 2% and my experience is at least a 10% failure rate.

  27. Clete Boothby
    Clete Boothby July 18, 2007 at 4:42 am | | Reply

    My 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 in february. Her mother wants to put her on a pump. I do not want her on the pump at the moment due to the fact there were several days where she was not tested consistantly. That since has been corrected. I, despite my hesitation to a pump, liked the minimed, she likes the OP and was wondering what advantages and disadvantages exist to what would be best for her. She is always high with her but rarely out of her range with me as I have a large focus on nutrition. Any advise? Thanks,
    Clete

  28. kal
    kal November 6, 2007 at 1:58 pm | | Reply

    My daughter is 6 years old and she is interested in the Omni pod, me and my wife like the idea of the Omni pod and the freedom she will gain out of it. One of the many concerns we have is the customer support, any one can advice us on how is the customer support at Omni pod is like. Thanks

  29. david
    david March 28, 2008 at 6:36 pm | | Reply

    I am considering the Omnipod. I am however concerned about ongoing cost. If the pods are $35 apiece, how much of that does the insurance cover? If any or is it just another prescription in which they cover anyway?

  30. ardis
    ardis April 27, 2008 at 11:28 am | | Reply

    I’ve had the same minimed 507 since 1996 and though it still works, it gets so nasty inside because I hide it in my bra. Do the pods stay clean for the 3 or so days they’re in? If you go out dancing and sweat and don’t shower right away, what’s it like? And could someone please answer the question about the sagging on the skin that someone asked? I’m of average build so shouldn’t have this problem, but I’d prefer an objective answer instead of a Rep’s. Thanks from Seattle, AB

  31. Jana
    Jana April 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm | | Reply

    David:
    It depends how many percent your insurance covers under Durable medical equipment. Mine covers 100% so I do not pay anything for the pods, some insurances cover only 50%, then the person is responsible for 50% of the amount.

    Ardis:
    I have the Omnipod since November 2007, so far, the pod is not so heavy that it would pull your skin or it would be sagging on the skin, I don’t even feel the pod, sometimes even forget where I wear it ;o) The pod stays on skin perfectly for 3 days if you do not bend or move your muscles too much in the place you have the pod on, otherwise, Insulet told me about mastisol, which holds the pod firmly in place, and I have a problem removing it after 3 days (they recommend Detachol for removing it) but I have a skin reaction from that product, so I use it only when necessary. Otherwise, Omnipod is great, now I am trying to find a place where to hide it during the summer months ;o)

  32. Chrissy
    Chrissy May 27, 2008 at 2:15 pm | | Reply

    Hi, I have been using a minimed pump since 2006 and have been thinking of switching over to the Omnipod. One of my main concerns is placement of the actual pod. I attach my minimed to the back of my waist area so that my pants or skirts sit right above it. I want to put the pod in the most discrete area, but since it’s a little bulkier, I am not sure where to put it. Suggestions please???

  33. Deba
    Deba July 2, 2008 at 11:14 am | | Reply

    I too have just started the omnipod…it is a little over a week now and it is wonderful to say hte least. I have been able to get my gluclose level under control very quickly. The only issue I have is frequent occlusion errors. I have been through 5 pods. I am not sure why I have the issue. but after reading this blog I will contact Insulet and speak with them.

  34. Jill
    Jill May 18, 2009 at 9:18 pm | | Reply

    I have a question for all of you who are concerned about “hiding” the pod; why would you want to? In the eight years since my son was diagnosed type 1, I have been absolutely gob-smacked over the ignorance of the general public and diabetes and its issues. When ever someone comments on his pod (all very politely I might add) he uses it as a teachable moment. Lots of people have gained a better understanding of this disorder thanks to my wonderful, willing, and (gee…what IS the opposite of vain? ;) ) 15 year old son. Diabetes is not something anyone needs to be ashamed of.

  35. Andy
    Andy May 20, 2009 at 10:36 am | | Reply

    I’ve been on the Pod 3 1/2 years and make no significant effort to hind it even though I can easily hide it if I want. If I was a kid I would carry a Sharpie and let kids sign it like a cast. If you think the ignorance is bad today you should have seen it in 1955. BTW for those that care the Pod is way easier to hide than a pump because it goes so many more places and is less than 40%a the size of any other pump. And that’s not including the bulk of the tubing and catheter for the other pumps.

    Also in answer to an earlier post. Yes in the early days Insulet had some Pod failure issues. They have been addressed and the failure rate is now very close to zero.

  36. Mike D
    Mike D June 2, 2009 at 8:06 am | | Reply

    To address only the most recent comments (as I know insulet has made many progressions since the first years) I have been using the pod for 10 months and have had a very frustrating experience. I should first say that it IS a great product / idea and for all those concerned over the weight /feel of the pod or placement please do not worry. I am a very active person (road bike, lift, train for marathons and trail hike on almost a daily basis) and I place the pod on the side of my buttox / hip. You would be surprised how much it is not a hindrance to being comfortable, does not pull there, is not visible, an barely has a bulge even with tighter jeans (I am a guy girls you may have more of a bulge) or dress pants. Also, even when on a mountain for multiple nights or running where it bounces etc. the thing stays put and does not come off easy.

    The majoy thing for me however, and one that I have been working with insulet with and am praying they come up with a solution, as I have tried everything they have recommended, is that the failure rate is extremely high. I was told by my doctor that it doesn’t work as well for some people than others, but I had no idea it would be this bad. I have been tracking my failures in a spreadsheet in an extremely detailed manner in order to best facilitate finding a solution and on average when there is an occlussion, it occurs upon the first bolus. Sometimes it will happen later, which is even more frustrating because usually my blood sugar will sky rocket due to lack of insulin flow well before the buzzer goes off, which by the way continues to ring until you can get to your meter and push the ‘ok’ button. To give a detail over the results, I have tracked my progress since the 1st of the year which has been 151 days as of today. Theoretically this would require 53 pods (1 per 3 days). Over this time period I have experienced 39 pod failures, 34 of which were due to occlussion. As an approximation, I figure I ‘should have’ used 51 pods, however 34 were switched out due to occlussions resulting in a total failure rate of 40% (34 failed / 85 total). I know that my results are not representative of the typical experience, but just want people to know how bad a case can get. Is there anyone reading that has experienced such difficulty? I do want to remind anyone considering this product however that once I get the pod attached and past the first 1 or 2 boluses without an occlussion, it works great and you may very well experience just that without the occlussion problems at all.

  37. Mike D
    Mike D June 2, 2009 at 8:09 am | | Reply

    To address only the most recent comments (as I know insulet has made many progressions since the first years) I have been using the pod for 10 months and have had a very frustrating experience. I should first say that it IS a great product / idea and for all those concerned over the weight /feel of the pod or placement please do not worry. I am a very active person (road bike, lift, train for marathons and trail hike on almost a daily basis) and I place the pod on the side of my buttox / hip. You would be surprised how much it is not a hindrance to being comfortable, does not pull there, is not visible, an barely has a bulge even with tighter jeans (I am a guy girls you may have more of a bulge) or dress pants. Also, even when on a mountain for multiple nights or running where it bounces etc. the thing stays put and does not come off easy.

    The majoy thing for me however, and one that I have been working with insulet with and am praying they come up with a solution, as I have tried everything they have recommended, is that the failure rate is extremely high. I was told by my doctor that it doesn’t work as well for some people than others, but I had no idea it would be this bad. I have been tracking my failures in a spreadsheet in an extremely detailed manner in order to best facilitate finding a solution and on average when there is an occlussion, it occurs upon the first bolus. Sometimes it will happen later, which is even more frustrating because usually my blood sugar will sky rocket due to lack of insulin flow well before the buzzer goes off, which by the way continues to ring until you can get to your meter and push the ‘ok’ button. To give a detail over the results, I have tracked my progress since the 1st of the year which has been 151 days as of today. Theoretically this would require 53 pods (1 per 3 days). Over this time period I have experienced 39 pod failures, 34 of which were due to occlussion. As an approximation, I figure I ‘should have’ used 51 pods, however 34 were switched out due to occlussions resulting in a total failure rate of 40% (34 failed / 85 total). I know that my results are not representative of the typical experience, but just want people to know how bad a case can get. Is there anyone reading that has experienced such difficulty? I do want to emphasize to any considering the product however that when I get past a couple hours with no occlussions, this thing works awesome, and you may not encounter such occlussion issues.

  38. felix
    felix August 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm | | Reply

    I have a similar experience to Mike D above. I want to love the omnipod since it is easier to give many small boluses (boli?) with the pod than with the needle. Also, I would rather not have a pager type pump on my belt with a tube if possible.

    My issue is that the pod fails a *lot*. Either occlusions or failing while priming. A couple of nights ago I had 3 pods fail in about an hour. Also, failed pods can interfere with the new pod (I assume the wireless signals get mixed up) which leads to more frustration, usually while high. Calling in the failed pods means you have to go thru a 10 minute phone conversation reciting serial numbers and error codes. (I’m not sure why they assume you are calling in failed pods falsely, it’s not like I can do anything with a bunch of extra pods…) Another issue is that a failed pod means you lose all your insulin which means you end up fighting with your insurance company again…

    So at the moment I am looking for an alternative. Any suggestions?

  39. Daniel
    Daniel September 29, 2009 at 11:49 pm | | Reply

    OK, so I am not sure if this is the site to ask a question on, there seems to be some pretty strong opinions on here on all sides. I am a clinical social worker with 15 plus years in a Hospital setting and to my surprise continue to remain lost on this aspect of my own care.

    I am a 47 yr old male on insulin for 10 yr now. I was the last in my family to be diagnosed and now the only brittle one of the bunch. I have maybe 15 living family members within 2-3 generations currently diabetic and countless that died from complications. Diet, drugs, exercise, and shots have really done nothing to truly control my sugars and the side effects are now at a point of showing their unhealthy heads. I have begun discussion with my PCP about finding an Endo in the Phoenix, AZ area (I moved here about a yr ago), but he is reluctant to give up control. Oh well, he does not have it anyway.

    My questions tend to be based on is a pump something I should now consider?

    My sugars have always spiked 2 hours after eating no matter what I eat, the insulin I take or anything else we can figure out. For example, I was at 97 this AM and had 2 eggs a small sausage patty and coffee ( took 10 units of novolog). 3 hours later I checked my sugars and was at 179.

    I currently take 65 Units of Lantus nightly and between 10-28 units of Novolog with each meal. My scale starts at 10 units and runs 1 unit for every 10 points above target. My PCP is wanting me to take more insulin even to the point of causing crashes (I think this is very unsafe).

    Would a pump be programmable (and would the OP be a good pump to start with) enough to see these spikes and adjust for them? I do not mind the 6-8 BSs a day if they work, I do that many tests now. However, if I end up doing Insulin before a meal and then 2 hours later that could end up as many a 7 shots a day (3 before meals, 3 after meals and 1 at night). That would get real old real quick.

    Any suggestions? Am I nuts or just an extremely out of control diabetic?

    Right now My A1C is 9.8 and climbing.

    seeking help and advice in desperation,

    Daniel ;-)

  40. Laine
    Laine November 30, 2009 at 10:41 am | | Reply

    I wish that I was on the Omni Pod so bad but I am only 11 so my parents made sure that I had to get the Animas with tubing. They think that getting the Omni Pod wounld be bad because I preticipate in a lot of sports and such as soccer. And they said that I need to wait till the Omni Pod gets a lot smaller then how big that it already is. Hope that maybe when I get older that I can start to use the Omni Pod which would I think that would make my life a lot better.

  41. CB
    CB January 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm | | Reply

    It took me 20 years to become a ‘pumper’ & omnipod was the one. Diagnosed at age 5 & a Type 1 for 35 years, I was excited by their offering. Unfortunately, I’m very disappointed in their customer service & considering moving to a different pump.

  42. Jean Haight
    Jean Haight July 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm | | Reply

    I havebeen using the Omni Pod for over 5 years. I’ve had other pumps before this,this is defintely the best. The only problem I have with Omni Pod is that I have just started on Medicare and Medicare won’t cover the Omni Pod because of the Code Numbers it has been given. It literally takes an Act of Congress to get these numbers changed. I have been working with my Congresspersons Office and the two centers for my State to get the code nubers changed. The present Code numbers are Pod A 9274 and PDM E 0784. This means that Medicare wont cover the Omni Pod because it is deemed disposable. If the Congress will change the Code numbers to make the Omni Pod and the PDM durable Medicare will cover it.

    I am working on it with my Congress Person,a newscaster on the local NBC network,and the Insulet Corporation to get the code numbers changed to make the Omni Pod a durable item. It seems to be progressing and I’m hoping that in the not to distant future it will be given the code numbers so that it can be covered by Medicarw.

  43. Jean Haight
    Jean Haight October 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm | | Reply

    If anyone is ready to start on Medicare we need to work together to get the members of Congress to change the Code Numbers. I know this is a real task. The present Code Numbers are: Pod A 9274 and PDME 0784,which means that they are disposable and Medicare will not cover them. We have to do what people are doing to get anything they want accomplished to get done: write letters,make phone calls,have family members and friends help with these task. If we sit back and wait it’s not going to get done done.

    We are not important enough to stimulate action from the Congress,so lets show them how wrong they are. I’ve even been contacting members of the National Media if we can get them interested we have a great ally. I personally believe in the POWER of the PRESS!
    If anyone has any other ideas on how to get this accomplished please share them.
    Than you,

    Jean D Haight

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