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I am considering moving from Medtronic to Animas this May. Any positive or negative comments from people switching in either direction are welcome. I'm not interested in CGMS, so it's not a factor for me.
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From the IT perspective I can say that the Animas engineers know what they are doing. The XML format they are using for the export of data is the best in the market. In contrast the Medtronic folks are making one mistake after the other with their CSV files. Maybe you can wait for the new Animas pump that will integrate with the new and smaller Dexcom sensors. In Germany I have seen the first ads about it.
I cannot offer any advice regarding switching from Medtronic to Animas because I am on my first pump. I did choose Animas for exactly the same reasons that you state; the ease of reading, the direct communication with the meter, the extra button pushes seem to me to be a fail-safe feature , the software, etc. I have been, and continue to be, extremely happy customer service from Animas.
Medtronic has an excellent reputation and, I am sure, makes a good product. It just seems to me that Animas is technologically ahead in the game right now. True, the Tandem looks technologically better, but it isn't available as of this writing, and it cannot yet be considered. I had a less than desireable experience with the Medtronic representatives.
I think that once you learn how to use the Animas pump, it will be just as before. My Animas training was wonderful and, for me, the first day on the pump was life changing after MDI.
I switched in October of 2010 and it was an easy switch to make. I love my Animas Ping. I, personally, feel like Animas has better customer service than Medtronic and I've had way less (none) issues with Animas, whereas with Medtronic I had tons of issues with reservoirs, no delivery warnings, etc.
When my daughter and I first started using insulin pumps years ago we found that calling customer service was a good experience but as we reached the end of the warrantee period we found them both less helpful. Just before my warrantee ran out at animas i called about the crack in the battery compartment and they refused to replace it. I was put back on MDI till I found a new pump company to go with. My daughter had the same issue about a month before warrantee ran out she called with a problem and they didnt want to fix it. Starting them was easy with no issues, if you read through some of the other posts on here you will find some people have had experience more recently, for my daughter and I that was several years ago. I was thinking about switching back to animas till I read some of the posts from current users. now I am waiting for the new Tandem pump, I just read early this morning that they are hiring staff to start selling the new pump, no CGM at this time but they are integrating with Dexcom for future pumps. you can read more at www.tandemdiabetes.com, this pump is a touch screen and some people don't won't like it. when they get their staff going I plan on calling with more questions and the first question is: does it have a locking feature so that the settings won't be changed when I bump it on things and will it still function if my hands are cold. I have this problem with my cell phone, if my hands are cold it won't answer calls. I try to research all products and find feedback on them before I decide on any product that is out. Just giving an FYI on other pumps coming in the near future. No influence intended, right now I use the OmniPod and I am considering going back to a tubed pump due to other sight options when riding my motorcycle.
Good Luck choosing a new pump, please keep us posted on what you decide.
How do you find out when a new pump is due to hit the market?