Throughout the annals of human history there have been many epic battles that have captivated and enthralled the human mind. Sampson versus Goliath; Sparta versus Persia; Blur versus Oasis; Darth Vader versus Captain Kirk; the list goes on.
But these – even the famous battle of Thermopylae which set Leonidas against Xerxes – all pale into mere insignificance when we pit Medtronic’s QuickSet against the Mio infusion set in one final blockbuster battle for supremacy!
I may have mentioned that I’ve just upgraded to Medtronic’s 640G insulin pump, more of which later. In my pack I was sent a bunch of Mios which, as a long-standing user of QuickSets, I thought I would give a go.
I refuse – point blank – to post pictures of my infusion sites on the Internet (this is more for your benefit than mine) and so I’ll have to describe the differences to you through the medium of wooooords.
The reservoirs on both sets are exactly the same, so I won’t waste time talking about those; so the most immediate difference is that while the QuickSet comes with a separate firey-thing (“Quick-serter” is the technical term, I think; this article is littered with terms that I don’t know the correct name for) the Mio’s insertion set is built into the plastic box it comes in.
As a brief intermission here, I think that both sets are wonderful examples of industrial design. Whichever you prefer, they are both elegantly designed to solve the problem of how to attach a tube filled with liquid into your subcutaneous goo in a manner that is easy to use, reliable, hygienic, comfortable and relatively cheap to produce. When you stop and think about them for a moment they are both undeniably brilliant.
Anyway, I think that both ways of firing a bit of metal into you work just as well as each other. The QuickSet’s ‘serter’ is perhaps a little more robust; but the Mio’s built-in firey-thing means you have once less bit of junk to carry around.
Speaking of carrying stuff around, I always carry a spare set in my manbag. I’ve ripped sets out at inopportune moments – at dinner parties; in nightclubs; out foxhunting and so on – and it’s always helpful to have a replacement set. I’ve found that the QuickSet’s relatively flimsy packaging means that after a few months of being bashed about, the QuickSet is a bit knackered. The Mio has a much more robust packaging which will survive the slings and arrows of daily life but, as a downside, is slightly bulkier.
Coming then to the business end of the skin-set interface; the Mio has a slightly smaller ‘disk of sticky’ to attach it yourself. It seems just as robust as the QuickSet and, like me, people with hairy tummies will appreciate slightly less agony when removing an old set. I haven’t yet tested the set under very active, sweaty conditions yet and will report back if I notice any problems.
It might just be me but I think that the Mio’s slightly smaller footprint makes it a touch more comfortable and perhaps a little less noticeable (it’s as discrete as having a cannula sticking out you can be; I suppose).
Disconnecting the tubing is, in my view, improved from the QuickSet. Instead of turning the round ‘tube-ending’ and hearing a click; the Mio has a U-shaped ‘tube-ending’ which pushes straight into the ‘bit that sticks out of you’ with a very positive click. I think it’s much clearer with the Mio that you’re plugged in again and is slightly less fiddly.
In terms of performance, it’s early days yet, but I haven’t seen much difference in how long sets last and infusion in general. Which is as you would expect it, both sets should perform just as well as each other.
Finally, it comes in different colours – blue, pink and clear – if you give a damn about such things.
So there we have it; I have little to complain about either set really – they both work well. As always, your preferences will vary. If you’re a dedicated user of either set, you might like to give the other one a go – it might suit you better. Or it might not. I don’t know.