Musings on UK pump developments
I have a couple of friends who are in various stages of getting themselves insulin pumps (do I really go on about it that much??). Having had similar conversations with each of them about whatâ€™s currently on the market in the UK, I thought a quick overview of some interesting recent developments in the UK pump market might be useful.
Bear in mind Iâ€™ve only used a Medtronic Paradigm pump, my thoughts below are based on reading reviews and publicity material, playing with samples at conferences and talking to people. This isnâ€™t a scientific, double blind randomised control trial, itâ€™s just my musings.
The Omnipod is a step nearer to the UK
Our friends over the pond have had the tubeless Omnipod for a couple of years now. The overall impression from people who use it seems to be very positive (save for a few reliability problems early on that seem to have now died down).
Personally I like the idea but have reservations on two fronts â€“ firstly the pod is pretty large to have attached to you at all times. On a standard pump when you disconnect to shower or whatever youâ€™re left with an infusion set roughly the size of a 10p. As you donâ€™t remove the Omnipod pod for the entire 3 days until you replace it with the next pod youâ€™re permanently attached to something roughly the size of half a small apple. My other concern is the tubelessness. My pump is attached by a piece of string which does have the unexpected benefit of my not being able to forget it or lose it easily. I donâ€™t have to remember to pick it up before I run out the door as itâ€™s attached to me. As the Omnipod is tubeless, that means you have to remember to carry the remote to do any dosing. Not an insurmountable problem Iâ€™m sure, just something that concerns me.
Insulet Corp recently gained a CE mark for the Omnipod, meaning that they can now sell it throughout the European Union. News reports say â€śthe product will be available to a limited extent in selected markets in 2009 with broader availability in 2010“. Always good to see more choice on the market. One interesting issue for Omnipod entering the UK market may be their website â€“ their .co.uk address is currently owned by a company that â€śspecializes in mid-20th century designer furniture and distinctive accessoriesâ€ť!
The Paradigm Veo is already here!
Having had to wait impatiently for the Omnipod to hit the UK shores (and it’s still notÂ here yet), it was a nice surprise to see that we actually got the Medtronic Paradigm Veo in the UK before our American cousins.
The Veo is an upgrade to the existing Medtronic Paradigm Real TimeÂ â€“ it has some tweaks to the CGMS but itâ€™s big new feature is that if you fail to respond to the CGMS hypo alarms it will suspend insulin delivery for 2 hours to help reduce the risk of severe hypoglycaemia. Thankfully severe overnight hyposÂ havenâ€™t been an issue for me since I was a teenager struggling with ye olde insulins of Ultratard and Actrapid, but if this had been available back then it would have been life changing for me. For more detailed info try theÂ INPUT blog.
New combined approach from Accu-Chek
Pumps are very personal things, what suits you depends on what kind of life you lead, what you like, what you donâ€™t like etc. What’s really exciting at the moment is the diversity in the types of pumps and features that are available, we’re really starting to see a market where each supplier has a defining feature whether that’s the lack of a tube, integrated CGMS, Â great remote functionality or the ability to give really small doses of insulin like the Animas 2020Â . The next step has to beÂ to get all the good stuff into one pump. For what it’s worth my wish list includes:
- CGMS. ThisÂ is my â€śmust haveâ€ť pump feature. Iâ€™m not interested in having it as a separate device, thatâ€™s just too much stuff to carry. It has to be integrated.
- A remote with full functionality would be handy â€“ so I can hide my pump in my bra when Iâ€™m wearing a nice dress and not have to fish it out at the table to change my basal rates.
- If Iâ€™m carrying a remote, itâ€™d be nice for it to have built in glucose meter so thatâ€™s one less thing to carry.
- Iâ€™m surprisingly ambivalent about tubing. If I could get over the fear that Iâ€™m going to find myself on a train to London having left the only way of controlling my pump on my bedside table – and they could make the pod smaller – Iâ€™d certainly think about going tubeless. Itâ€™s not a big deal for me though; the tubing on my pump isnâ€™t something that really bothers me.
Here endeth my thoughts for the day. Comments?