For me, getting a new insulin pump is like celebrating the holidays, except it only happens once every five years… and instead of time with the family and bad sweaters, you get to deal with the statement of medical necessity, faxing of medical information, and co-pays.
Choosing a new pump can be a hard, personal, and important medical decision. There are thousands of forums asking which insulin pump is the best. The information overload can be confusing and overwhelming. However, with something as important as delivering insulin 24/7, I welcome as much input as I can get.
There are many factors that go into choosing the right pump. For me, there were 5 top factors that helped to drive my decision:
- How I carry my pump
- Ease of use
- Confidence in insulin delivery
- Future or current integration with my CGM
- Appearance (yes, it does make a difference)
After considering all of the factors, I settled on the Tandem Diabetes Care’s t:slim Insulin Pump to be my diabetes “partner in crime” for the next 5 years.
The smaller size of the overall pump design drew me in since I carry the pump in my pocket. I also liked how the infusion set connects to the reservoir. As it doesn’t connect directly to the pump/reservoir like most tubed pumps; instead it has a short piece of tubing that sticks out from the reservoir with a connection point to the actual infusion set (check it out below!). This gives the pump more range of motion and a compact feel.
After researching the t:slim pump I was confident in the overall “delivery of insulin” provided. I never underestimate the value of a how pump calculates insulin on board (IOB), meal boluses, and combined meal boluses with correction boluses. I’m sure some people with diabetes don’t realize that each pump delivers insulin in a different way, with the formulas to calculate the dosage differing between manufacturers. Here’s a great presentation by John Walsh that helps to explain it. (Slides 20-22) (http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_presentations/Pump-CGM-BGControlWorkshop-Toronto-0612-Part3.htm )
The touch screen on the new t:slim insulin pump will be a welcome change for me. With my past pumps, I had become accustomed to giving my pump buttons a “firm press” to confirm actions. But as I’m already familiar with using a touch screen on smartphones, tablets, touch pads, and more, now the usability of my pump will be more in line with the technologies I use on an everyday basis.
Though this might sound silly, I often used my old pump as a guiding light in the dark, a diabetic flashlight if you will. Now the even brighter touch screen on the new t:slim will continue to light my way.
Another interesting piece to the “pump choice puzzle” is how current insulin pumps communicate (or do not communicate) with continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). Even though this new t:slim insulin pump doesn’t currently communicate with my Dexcom Seven Plus, I am confident in the public working relationship Tandem Diabetes Care has with Dexcom, moving forward this will be changing.
Did I mention how cool this pump looks? I won’t pretend that the look and feel to this pump didn’t sway me. If I can make my diabetes device look cool, I am all for it. The problem I am now having is that I keep trying to check Twitter (follow me @GluBill) Facebook with it!
So what do you think of the new t:slim insulin pump from Tandem Diabetes Care? What features are important to you when choosing an insulin pump?