So having had the recent issues with knocks – and the Pod shutting down but screaming - today was another day of errors ! so at 15.15 hrs today I had to change my Pod – I have moved the active vial of humalog out of the fridge as suggested (Working well – no bubbles) - I had a meeting that finished at 16.30 – leaving me 30 mins to change and get to my client for 17.30. But no – last Pod in my box at work – I kinda knew in my heart it wasn’t going to initialise !! No beeps to way the PDA was going to see it – No pod ! Rather than being hacked I switched to syringe and vial for 3 hours. It just makes me feel vulnerable rather than angry.

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Steve - I started on injections about 1995 – I was told by the diabetic to just “deal with it” - that drove me very quickly to pens. But then I experienced pens from the manufactures of my Insulin. I soon learnt to source my own pens. Pre Pod I was injecting 4 to 6 times a day dependant on exercise. you ?

In my (limited) experience the pod fails to give the double beep maybe 10% of the time. I inject 120units. I suspect the 120 units is close to the pod limit for the minimum amount of fluid before it beeps. (I use a KwikPen to inject into the Insulet syringe, so I'm pretty certain that I really do inject 120 units!)

Nevertheless I've never (in my limited experience) have a pod fail at *this* point, regardless of the double beep or not I've always had the pods go into priming. What I have seen, once in 50-60 pods, is that the pod failed 3/4 of the way through priming.

Hacked? As a word to mean sitting on a dead pod for 3 hours until the mounting BS and the fact that you've just thrown your boss out the window means that something is wrong? If my interpretation is right I like it ;-) (The word, not, never, the feeling.)

John Bowler

I only have 1 or 2 failures every 4 or 5 months. I still believe it is because I tape the pods down so as to avoid getting them snagged on clothing or bouncing about too much while exercising. I also have managed to avoid sleeping on my pod 95% of the time. You just need to figure out how they work best for you as an individual.

I'm rotating between four rear facing sites (upper arm, towards the back, midriff, towards the back) to avoid the sleeping problem. However I do find I can sleep on the pod ok if it's on a part of me that is soft enough to avoid discomfort.

I abandoned areas below the belt-line because of the one occasion when I pulled my trousers down too fast, or with too little care, in the bathroom.

In about 5 months I've had maybe three failures due to forcible disconnection; the trousers, one wear-and-tear where I caught an upper-arm placement a few times and eventually worked it loose, and one wife, where another upper-arm placement got disconnected in bed.

I haven't had problems with vigorous movement yet; I've felt the pod moving while using a mattock vigourously to dig a trench, but there was no problem later.

John Bowler

So sorry to hear. I've had a couple of those but I've also had more good days that bad.
Wow Steve, 50% failures?! I would make some inquiries into that! Without a doubt I've had more good days than bad, not even close to 50/50. I always carry two extras with me, And if I'm far from home I carry more. And I always carry a pen of novolog with me. When it gets to the end of the expiration period I use it in my Pod. Good luck! Sorry but it does happen but not enough to send me to tubing! :)

Barbraann - I agree.My issue is that its been a large percentage of faults – I spoke to Ypsomed on Friday. But sadly it was all about placating rather than solving the issues. I was told that they had never come across the pumps being sensitive to a “tap” !!

barbraann -

I have asked about the number of "bad" pods I have been getting MANY times and the response is ALWAYS a defensive "That is impossible, sir" from Insulet, so I have just decided I need to do something else.

One thing I've noticed that may be relevant is that the pod seems to need to be much closer to the PDM while activating. It may be because I always leave removal of the old pod until I've stuck the new one on - so there are two operational pods in communications range. Sometimes I have to put the new pod physically on top of the PDM. A distance of more than 30cm is too great.

All the same, the only problem I've seen with this is that the PDM complains it is unable to communicate with the pod; when I press 'ok' and put the pod on top of the PDM the problem is always solved.

I've never got into the situation where neither the double beep nor the initial communication worked. If I remember I'll try this next time I get a pod with no double beep; move the pod away to cause a comm failure, then move it back to make sure it's ok afterward.

The pod is a high frequency (HF) radio device:

It operates at 13.56MHz (I just verified this with a scanner), which is the frequency used by RFID tags for conactless Smart Cards:

I don't know about the distribution of contactless smart cards. Of course the variety with contacts are de rigeur across the planet, with the exception of the United States. I assume the underground cards used in the UK and France (IRC), though, use them. I guess it's maybe possible that if you have a tube ticket in your wallet your omnipod may have to be closer to the PDM to work, but the omnipod is powered whereas the card has no power so it's just going to cast a shadow in the radio waves.

There are, however, reports of things as remote in frequency as a microwave oven causing problems:

The Dexcom CGM is said (on this site) to be susceptible to the nosiy environment around a computer system. I suspect the Omnipid is a lot more resistant, but some environments, particularly work or city envirionments, with a lot of HF radio radiation maybe interfere with it.

I just did some experiments. The Omnipod *must* be within 1m of the PDM to pick up signals from the PDM. My scanner has no problem at greater distances, but the pod just won't respond until the PDM gets that close. (This is a pod that is already activated and working.)

If the PDM stays in range the communication is completed within about 3 seconds. If I interupt the communication by moving the PDM away (hold it at arms length) the pod keeps on transmitting for a little over 20 seconds. That, presumably, is a bit of a drain on the battery. I suspect the pod doesn't initiate communication on its own, but I don't know - it would only happen when it beeps.

John Bowler

Eww, I don't know if it is the "shake the dead chicken over the pod effect" or not but I always work on one pod at a time, wayyyyyyyy out of the range of any other pods. I will literally walk into one room, deactivate my old pod, leave it there, walk into the next room where I keep my new pods, grab one, then go to a third room to activate, fill, and start the new pod.

Ever since I started doing that, my pod failure rate has gone from around 20%, very quickly down to between 5 and 10%.

Toooooootally related...I'm sure.

That's much safer than what I do; I have the whole box on the table, the old one stuck to some part of my anatomy and the new one sitting next to the PDM, but that means there may be 8 unactivated pods within range of the PDM in addition to the one I want to activate.

Hum, maybe I'll move that box to more than 1m away ;-)

John Bowler

My son has now had 10 failures in our last shipment of 4 boxes - one whole box. Most in the same lot number.

After complaints about the insulin lost, Insulet did tell me the process to get reimbursed for the insulin loss (2 vials). They reimburse only your out of pocket costs (copay) not the whole amount, so I'm not sure it is worth the hassle to write the letter detailing each pod failure and copying receipts, etc. to receive that amount of money back.

It might be worth it for others that have larger copays, pay for insulin out of pocket or work on a high deductible. This seems to be only for those that have lost considerable amounts of insulin due to repeated failures not the isolated pod failure here and there every few months.

Thought some of you might need to know. Ask!

Here's another piece of data.

I just changed my pod; this one was a beautiful healthy double-beeper. However I carefully put it about 30cm from the PDM and whopped down the box of unactivated pods right next to the PDM.

The PDM would not communicate with the pod, or, for that matter, anything ("communication error"; hey, I know how you feel ;-). I moved the DB pod closer to the PDM, slowly. The PDM kept on trying to communicate (I didn't have my scanner on, so I don't know what it was doing exactly). After I'd moved the pod to about 20cm, however, the communication started and everything went fine.

So... When there is a DB pod close buy the pods in the box don't have any effect. During activation the PDM has to be within 20cm, but after activation communication happens up to about 1m - so that's five times further.

I find I'm getting into the habit of tapping the PDM onto the pod though any time I want them to communicate. 1m is way to easy to achieve with my arm length. Personally I'm fine with this, I'd much rather be in control of when they talk than having them chatting away behind my back, I guess that's a little humanist, but it's my pancreas they're replacing.

John Bowler




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