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24 Responses

  1. Marcus
    Marcus September 24, 2013 at 5:11 am | | Reply

    Good review… Like you, I was waiting and waiting and waiting for Medtronic’s new sensor and just had enough waiting. I filed my Dex paperwork last week.

  2. marge stromberg
    marge stromberg September 24, 2013 at 5:50 am | | Reply

    I’ve been following the T-slim with interest as I was on a couple of the early market research panels. It’s interesting to hear about all the steps needed to use it… I’m afraid I’m too impatient for that one!

    When I began pumping 22 years ago we had one choice and one only. Amazing the choices today!

  3. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter September 24, 2013 at 6:27 am | | Reply

    Love my G4. Back on pens because of bubble problem with Medtronic pump. Like my Nano.

  4. Melissa
    Melissa September 24, 2013 at 6:55 am | | Reply

    Ah yes, I am another one who has been waiting on the new Medtronic sensor. Starting to thinking about ordering a dex for my daughter.

  5. Patty Wagner
    Patty Wagner September 24, 2013 at 7:06 am | | Reply

    My daughter loves the t:slim – and she hasn’t had any issues with bubbles yet – some teeny ones come through the pigtail during priming, but they either break up inside or otherwise hang out in the luer lock; causing no problems. She’s not even all that careful when she puts the insulin in.

    I’ve seen various tutorials on withdrawing air with the syringe, etc, but I believe that’s more for solving the “hidden insulin” issue and not for bubbles.

    When you load the pump, 20 or so units seem to disappear. So, she puts in 160 units in hopes of getting 120 to use (20 hidden and 20 for priming). Tandem said it has something to do with the measurement markings on the syringe vs. actual usable insulin as measured on the pump. Tandem uses actual unit measurements on their syringe, and other pump companies use “useable unit” markings on their syringe. As long as we know what to do to get my daughter 3 days worth of usable insulin, I’m fine with it.

  6. David
    David September 24, 2013 at 7:06 am | | Reply

    An enjoyable read, thanks. I like how the Tslim holds 300u in a size no bigger than the 180u medtronic 5xx. It would be at the top of my list if not for the extraneous safety taps. In the trade-off between safety and ergonomic convenience, the FDA has gone too far. If cars were under FDA purview, we would be pressing a button to unlock, again to turn the ignition, and once more to engage the gears. FDA decision-makers should be required to pump saline until they realize that adding extraneous steps doesn’t effectively improve user error when frequent and routine actions become semi-automatic. The key is fully understanding what you are operating and establishing good habits.

  7. Diabetes Counts
    Diabetes Counts September 24, 2013 at 7:28 am | | Reply

    Hello, we are holding a ‘Diabetes Open House’ for Diabetes Awareness Month in our area and we hope to have some of these product representatives on hand for people to see these things, we have shared your article on our web page. Thank you for the information!

  8. Terry
    Terry September 24, 2013 at 8:13 am | | Reply

    Thanks for the review. I don’t mind reading several reviews of the same item, like the t:slim. It’s interesting to get more perspectives. And I think that reviews like yours keep the pressure on companies to not lose sight of the user point of view.

  9. Richard Wagner
    Richard Wagner September 24, 2013 at 9:48 am | | Reply

    I like the review. Very helpful information.

  10. Terry Keelan
    Terry Keelan September 24, 2013 at 9:51 am | | Reply

    Three reviews in one! A bargain. Love my Dexcom. Just switched to the t:slim and, yes, the button presses are annoying. However, knowing how often my iPhone does random things with its touch screen when it’s in my pocket, I understand the FDA’s concern. I have struggled with the refill procedure; the mechanics, the calculations, the length of time, but it may just be a learning curve. The Medtronic procedure seemed so simple and straight forward. The intermediate step with the syringe is annoying.

    Also unhappy about going through a third party for my supplies.

    Well, I had to have my new gadget and I got it, so I’m pretty well stuck with it for the next four years. I may pay a price in convenience for the cool factor of having a new gadget. It should have made things easier. Or I should have been more patient with my research.

    Terry

  11. Skye
    Skye September 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm | | Reply

    I agree 110% with your first line about the t-slim: “It’s pretty, but annoying. And I really don’t trust it.”

    I’ve been using my t-slim for 9 months now, and while it usually seems to be working fine, it certainly has some quirks and I did NOT have a very smooth transition from my previous pump (10 years with Minimed), which was a pretty big surprise! I’m happy to be rid of MM, but I wish I’d done more research first or found a way to test out different pumps before having to make a decision. Its not a BAD pump, but in my opinion, it sure doesn’t live up to all the hype about it.

    As for the Dexcom though, I LOVE it! Its so much more stunningly fabulous than the MM version and I would recommend it to everyone, even without the integration with a pump! Actually, I’ve decided I prefer the separate piece- it turns out my SO checks it at night even when its not beeping, because it stays between our pillows and so its as quick and easy for him to check as it is for me to check. Not a perk I would have thought of, but not one I’d be excited to give up now either.

  12. Scott E
    Scott E September 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm | | Reply

    Like many others, I’ve been running short on patience with the new Medtronic sensor, and after learning of those same results you did – where the Enlite doesn’t even measure up to the Dexcom, I wonder why I keep waiting. But the thought of yet another device to carry around and manually enter data into, plus the idea of replacing my smooth, slim seashell transmitter with a 9-volt battery helps to remind me. Every day, though, I inch a little closer to calling Dexcom. I wonder if they have some sort of “trial” opportunity.

    I’m curious why you went to the t:slim though, on the promise that there will eventually be integration. Animas is most certainly closer to that happening in the United States, and I have a gut feeling that we’ll see the Vibe before the 530g here in the States. Maybe it’s just the allure-factor – and there sure is a lot of that going around.

    I do like the Bayer NextLink meter, and even if I do switch pumps someday, I’ll probably stick with it.

  13. Doug
    Doug September 25, 2013 at 7:59 am | | Reply

    Thanks for the reviews. I think that the bubbles issue and capacity issue is overblown with the Tslim. Yes, they should tell you to suck air out of the cartridge while you load it. But after that Ive seen no issues with bubbles. As far as the capacity goes, I use about 45-50 units a day and with the Cozmo I could get 6 days from one cartridge if I over filled it so that the tubing was primed before the cartdridge was seated. With the Tslim I get about 20 units shy of 6 days use from a cartridge. To me thats = to the tubing fill. There is no “missing” insulin. What is missing is the Cozmos willingness to pump the cartridge dry, When it said zero there was always 5 or more units left and the basal would continue to run and use that 5+ units. With the Tslim when its says ZERO it STOPS – even though there is some insulin left in the bag. I know this because I broke open the cartridge and looked. So there is some more “slop” in the units count there as well.

    http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/tandem-t-slim/forum/topics/tslim-cartridge-picture-of-inside

    Comparing the Tslim to any of the other pumps on the market is unfair. Medtronic has had 20 years to get to the version they have. I’m personally not impressed with thier pump seeing that is is the result of 20 years of R&D and improvements, by the 8000 lb gorilla in the market. If they spent as much attention and $$ on customer focused R&D as they do in marketing and the training of the sales force we would all be better off. ( the lies the Medtronic sales people feed to parents of new type 1′s is another rant for another day )

    This is Tandems first attempt, they likely wanted to get a product on the market. And as you stated they now own many of the Cozmo patents. I think that we will see some very interesting stuff in the future from this company.

    I also am impatiently waiting for an accurate integrated cgms and pump. I just want to see the readings on the same screen and then be able to see the pump info and CGMS info on the same reports.

    Thanks for letting me share…

  14. Kay
    Kay September 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm | | Reply

    Thanks for this great comprehensive review. I’ve thought about switching from my MM system for years to Dexcom (because of insurance and ravers about Dexcom) but decided to try CGM with MM first and have been frustrated and disappointed with all kinds of malfunctions.

    I’d love to hear your follow up review on software platforms (including the Dexcom one you didn’t get to look into yet). I never get around to uploading my BGs and really looking at them because I think Carelink is total junk in the interface department. This is so important to me I thought about trying the iphone software with BG testing meter and forgoing all my linked devices with MM.

    What do you think?

  15. Trish
    Trish September 27, 2013 at 5:01 am | | Reply

    I had a very different experience with the Contour meter. It has been up to 200 points different than my One Touch meter. After spending an hour on the phone with someone who did not understand, let alone, speak English, the meter was replaced, twice.

    Also had a problem with the whole Contour Next vs. Contour strips. My doctor prescribed 90 of the wrong strips which necessitated me having to buy an older Contour meter just so I could use up the strips.

  16. Don Weinraub
    Don Weinraub September 27, 2013 at 9:55 am | | Reply

    Thanks for the informative article.
    Hat’s off to you if you have the patience for all those button presses with the t:slim. I agree the Medtronic pumps are incredibly antiquated, but being able to give a 0.5 unit bolus with only two presses still wins out in my book.
    I saw that the Medtronic Enlite was finally approved by the FDA – it will be interesting to see how it is received in the U.S. One thing for sure, they’ve got a great inserter…

  17. Samantha A.
    Samantha A. September 30, 2013 at 10:05 am | | Reply

    My 2 yr old is on Dexcom G4, contour next meter, and the ping from Animas. Love the G4, my husband freaks not knowing what my DD’s bg is doing at all times. She is hypo-unaware so although its not perfect, it has literally saved her life at least 1-2x when she dropped unexpectedly. Their CS is outstanding, they literally replace the sensors if it fails even hours before its due to be changed.
    Contour next usb is good, have tried others but like the usb on this, as well as the bright screen and small size. I do like the small blood sample size for the strips. We used the contour next ez before but the meter kept failing to download properly so we went with usb to not hv to change the strips.

    The ping is good. I would’ve preferred the omnipod but her bedtime basals are too low for omni capabilities. I am not a fan of tubes due to getting caught andinsulin waste (about 11u). Air bubbles are frequent and sites can get cligged. But program options are good and CS is also good. I’ve heard they are trying for FDA approval for new model that pairs with G4, and Johnson & Johnson has trials going for Artificial pancreas gizmo.

  18. Brent Kleinheksel
    Brent Kleinheksel October 22, 2013 at 5:27 am | | Reply

    You all were one week too early. My medtronic 530g just shipped. My first insulin pump, hope it’s worth it!

  19. Lisa
    Lisa November 21, 2013 at 10:48 am | | Reply

    Thanks so much for this review (and all the comments). I am also in the process of making device changes. Have been Minimed/Medtronic pumper for 13 years. Sick to death of the malfunctions and corporate lies, so am switching. Even though you are leaning toward the t-slim, I am leaning toward the Ping. I have a friend who’s doc is on a university research faculty and swears by the greater accuracy and reliability of the Dex-Com and the Ping. And the combined unit is already available in Europe, so I’m hoping I will be able to upgrade when it is approved here.

    I like the Bayer meter, though I find that my fingers are not responding well to their lancets–lots of scarring that I’ve never had before. So I am gong back to an old lancing device while continuing to use the Bayer meter. However, I am thinking of switching back to Accu-check of some sort, as my insurance covers them at a higher rate. I do, however, really like the back lighting on the Bayer.

    I have not yet tried CGM because had heard that Minimed’s was so inaccurate as to make it not all that useful. But I intend to get the Dex Com once I get the pump issue settled.

    Honestly, your post made me feel that I can manage this change, which had been intimidating me. I have to change–Medtronic is dangerous as far as I’m concerned–but it’s hard to take the time to research and then to go through the hassles, especially because my current pump is still under warranty and my insurance may be resistant to funding a change. Either way, though, I have to change, and I thank you for making it seem like fun.

  20. Gary Krauch
    Gary Krauch January 9, 2014 at 7:24 am | | Reply

    I’ve been a pump user for about 14 years- 2 Medtronic pumps followed by 2 animas pumps. I’ve used both DexCom and Navigator CGMs since they were released. Love the latest DexCom, it has a come a long way since gen 1- very accurate and reliable, but I’ve been waiting so long for the Animas integrated product to be released in the US, that I’m considering switching to the Tslim. I’m really a big fan of the Animas Ping- I can eliminate all bubbles and do a complete set change and resevoir refill in only a couple of minutes. What’s holding me back:

    Details on the durability and cost of the Tslim cartridges as compared to the Animas resevoirs, which last me 3, 4, or more insulin refills, and the time it would take to do a complete set changeout. I knew an NP who switched, and that was her complaint- the time to change sets.

    It’s a difficult decision- wait until Ping is integrated with CGM (vibe), or move to Tslim with no integrated CGM for 2 years or who knows how long, and deal with the longer time required for set changes.

    How much time do you spend doing a set change out?

  21. Gary Krauch
    Gary Krauch January 9, 2014 at 7:30 am | | Reply

    Forgot to comment on the Contour NEXT Link. I’ve switched to that meter as well after using almost every meter on the market. Nice review. One of the things I really like is the fact that it re-charges through a USB port, no wasting batteries! It holds a charge for a very long time in my experience.

  22. Thayne Edwards
    Thayne Edwards January 20, 2014 at 11:18 am | | Reply

    I’ve been a pump user for 12 years now, all Medtronic pumps. They are robust, simple to use, well tested, and archaic. I was quite disappointed in their decision to not move to a touch screen. This disappointment came after a two week trial of the tSlim. I LOVED IT!

    Yes, it takes more button pushes as everyone has commented but I feel that is a good thing. I felt more connected with my diabetes care than I ever have. Typing numbers in, instead of pushing a button that scrolls up to a number, is more real to me. I don’t know why, but it is.

    Things I like/love: 1) Touch screen! Awesome! 2) I love the calculator feature too. I hate trying to do simple addition and fractions when my mind doesn’t feel like (and I’m an engineer). 3) Future integration with Dexcom!!!! [Sidebar: The FDA needs to give better attention to these smaller companies with awesome technology.]

    Things I didn’t like about it: 1) time required and volume of insulin to load the pump. They also need better infusion sets. Medtronic wins that one hands down. 2) rechargable battery!!! Ug! I hate having to plug that thing in wherever I go. I want to be more connected to my diabetes care but not connected to my wall outlet or the car cigarette lighter!

    DEXCOM users read this! If you have a Dexcom without the case you will find that the screen scratches way too easily. I don’t know what those engineers were thinking putting an easily scratched, flimsy, plastic cover on it. What a shame! But I have a fix. Buy a pack of Tech Armor HD Clear Screen protectors for the Samsung Galaxy S IV (or some other phone that has a large enough screen. Take the screen protectors and Dexcom to a local company that laser engraves trophies and have them cut out the screen protector to fit your Dexcom. If you buy a pack of screen protectors have them cut all of them out at the same time. The screen protectors are only about $5 on Amazon. I don’t know what the trophy company will charge you. If you need the vector drawing file email me (thayne.edwards@gmail.com) and I’ll send it to you. If you want to make it yourself just scan your Dexcom device into a drawing (put a ruler next to it so you can scale your drawing properly. Import it into a drawing program and copy the outline and cutout the center circle. The shape is pretty simple.

  23. Sarah
    Sarah March 12, 2014 at 8:29 am | | Reply

    Great review. So much info. Been with MM for too long, it’s time for a change. Hoping the Tandem/Dex integration happens soon.

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