Hi there, I am in New Zealand and have just gotten my approval for insulin pump funding. I can choose between the following pumps: Animas Vibe, Medtronic 522, 722. The CGM components are not funded, but my family is prepared to pay for the CGM which is so sweet of them. I also have the option of the Medtronic VEO, but it is only partially funded and I think it would be out of my price range.
So some questions for all you lovely pumpers:
1) I am pretty certain I will select the Animas Vibe. Would you recommend getting the stand-alone Dexcom receiver as well? It wouldn't be necessary since the pump acts as a receiver, but I quite like the way the graph is displayed on the Dex receiver. Your thoughts? Have you used both together anyone?
2) From the pump + CGM choices above, what would you pick and why?
3) I have been quoted *hold your breath* NZD $12000 for the Medtronic VEO. I would need to pony up $2000 and the remainder would be funded. This is the pump with low-glucose-suspend where the pump shuts off all insulin delivery if you go low and fail to respond. I know it's expensive, and there is another $2000-ish to get the CGM necessary to make it work, but wow, this technology is amazing. Am I being stupid setting this one aside because of all the cash needed?
My background: T1 since 1988 (25 yrs) MDI currently Lantus and Humalog. Test between 8 - 14 times per day using a crappy, crappy Caresens blood glucose meter that is only brand funded in NZ. Latest HbA1c = 5.9%
Yep, so I would love to hear your thoughts on this one - I have to make a decision by Tuesday 27th Aug!!! Thanks everyone! :D
I honestly don't see much value in having the insulin delivery automatically suspended. It's a cool whiz-bang feature, but the affect of suspending basal insulin would not be fast enough to do much for you if you were so low that you are incapacitated. Usually takes an hour to see much rise after shutting off basal, right? I don't think it's worth the extra cash.
True, when you put it that way, it makes sense that the insulin suspend is not such a big contender. I usually wake for hypos at night already so that is not such an issue for me.
I prefer the Dexcom G4 CGMS to MM CGMS, but in US we don't yet have the latest MM Elite Sensor, which I hear may be more accurate.
With Dexcom G4, I can get 10-14+ days of accurate sensor readings, some have reported up to 21+ days. When I used MM CGMS, each sensor lasted 3-6 days. So if you are self funding the CGMS/sensors, that might be a savings. Not sure how long users get from the MM Elite sensors.
I currently use MM 523 pump with Dexcom G4, and I think there is an advantage to using 2 devices, especially at night time. When I used MM CGMS, with the pump under the covers, I often missed the alarms. With Dexcom, I keep the receiver near or under my pillow and never miss alarms. I may eventually get Animas Vibe (once FDA approved in US), and will likely also keep a Dexcom receiver for that reason.
The low glucose suspend feature is not a significant feature for me. If the CGMS works as it's supposed to, and you hear the alarms, you shouldn't ever need it !
Good point! I hadn't thought about the pump being tucked under the covers. Thanks for your feedback :)
1)I´ve used both together. If you can afford it and otherwise think it´s worth it I would go for both, I use only the Vibe today and I gave the Dexcom G4 back to the hospital so they can lend it to people who like to try a CGM. You can read my Quick first impressions.
Dexcom ve Vibe: Screen is much, much better on the Dexcom. Alarms is loud enough to be heard at night, the Vibe often is not.
2) I like the Veo better than the Vibe when it comes to software, but to me Vibe wins because it has the best CGM and because its waterproof. Dexcom/Vibe is painless, accurate and you can get a sensor to last way longer than a week. I get best results with Freestyle meters. More on that here.
3) To me the Dexcom/Vibe is so much more accurate than the Veo and if it´s cheaper for you I wouldn´t hesitate to go with the Dexcom/Vibe either only the Vibe or both.
Thanks for your feedback, it's most helpful. Yes I have briefly used the software of both the Vibe and the Veo, and the Veo does seem easier to use, but I like the features and CGM offered with Vibe better.
My experience is limited to the Dex G4 and the Animas Ping. I've written many times here that combining the CGM receiver function into the pump display has one serious drawback: it may not wake you up when you really need to wake up and treat a low. I've lived with insulin pumps for 26 years, Medtronic (Mini-Med), Animas, and Omnipod. I've slept through many pump alarms over the years. The separate Dex CGM receiver is capable of dependably waking me up, an invaluable benefit.
The biggest complaint I have about the Animas pump is the poor belt clip. As best I can tell from the Animas UK website, it looks like Animas still uses this substandard belt clip on the Vibe. While this shortcoming irritates, I don't consider it a deal-breaker.
I agree with the others here, that the low glucose suspend feature of the Veo is redundant if you have a dependable CGM alarm. I would look at this issue differently if I was the parent of a T1D child.
You've done very well (A1c=5.9%) on MDIs. If you fully exploit the capabilities of the pump, you will enjoy more flexibility at no loss of control. Getting the right basal rates and learning how to adjust them is a key skill to using the pump well.
Perhaps you could bargain for the Dex receiver as part of your deal with animas for the Vibe. Maybe they could give you a discount on the stand alone receiver.
In summary, I would go with the Vibe + the Dex receiver. Good luck with your selection!
Thanks for the feedback Terry, yes I have read about the belt clip being a bit dodgy, however I often wear dresses so the whole "where to put the insulin pump??" dilemma is a whole other issue for me lol. As with others, the general consensus seems to be that the insulin suspend feature is not worth it. I hadn't considered asking the pump rep for a discount on the Dex receiver - I will have to try that! :) Thanks
One other thought. In addition to the ongoing cost of the Dex CGM sensors, you will need to replace the Dex transmitter every 6 to 9 month. The transmitter is only warranteed for 6 months, my first one lasted 9 months. You'll need to also factor this cost into your decision. I love my Dex G4. It definitely earns its keep and adds greatly to my quality of life.
BTW, my average sensor life is 14 days.
Yes I found this out about the Dex transmitters - the battery eventually runs out. I asked the Animas/Dex rep about it and she told me they routinely last 6+ months, more like 12+ months. Be interested to see how that works. The ongoing cost of sensors is exorbitant, so I would not be able to afford to use it fulltime. Probably I would just end up using it for a couple of weeks per month. Sensor time does seem to be dramatically longer for Dex compared to MM though. We have Enlite sensors here, but I can't find much about their accuracy yet.
Thanks for your feedback everyone! You have raised some interesting points and I will discuss them with my endo tomorrow. Currently I am deciding on the Vibe + Dex, and will try and get the Dex receiver too. The rep said I could do a 1 month trial of the Dexcom system, so I guess I will find out just how good they are soon! :) Very exciting. Thank you all for your help. I am sure you will hear more from me once I get one in my hot little hands. :)