I'm a very satisfied Omnipod user for two and a half years, the system is great. Two months ago I was in a serious accident and ended up as an inpatient in both a hospital and then a rehab center. During that time, I must have met at least 20 different nurses, haf a dozen doctors, and a whole bunch of PTs and Ots. Not one of these professionals had ever seen or heard about the Omnipod system. Most, particularly the nurses, were amazed and would bring in other nurses to show them the system. They couldn't understand why more people with type 1 diabetes were still using the tube system.
So, what's going on here. Is Insulet just not very good at marketing its product? Or are the bigger comanies with more resources able to lock in medical facilities and doctors with lots of freebees (training, samples, clinical studies, etc.) I know my endo was never in favor of the Omnipod when I was ready to go from daily injections to a pump. He kept pushing Medtronic and gave me a huge package of their brochures and a demo.
I sort of feel bad for new pump users who aren't being given a fair presentation of all the different options available to them. Nevertheless, I'm very pleased with the system and look forward to future improvements.
Even though the upfront costs of the Omnipod are less than a durable pump, he longterm costs are more. I think the break-even point is around 3-4 years. So i'm guessing that insurance companies are just avoiding those costs.
I justify use of the Omnipod in that it gives me access to more sites (back of arms) which gives me better control after 35 years of scarring buildup. Also more sites lets used sites rest more during the rotation schedule.
I've also run into nurses who have never heard of the Omnipod. It's isn't nearly as widely used as the others (especially the medtronic which has a monopoly on the industry, It was as of everyone just ASSUMED I would go on a medtronic including Medtronic!) Costs are higher and Medtronic has been in the industry much longer plus not a lot of insurance companies will approve the pod so...
It's a shame because it really is wonderful and I believe eventually they will all be tubeless.
That's why "we" have to do our research!
I feel the same way Bob. Everyone is amazed at it.
My endo is a Type 1 who uses a Medtronic pump and CGM. He has tried all of the available pumps over the last 12 years. I asked him why he didn't like the Omnipod, and he said he felt like he was "wasting a lot of resources".
Also when the Omnipod was introduced I think there were a lot of percieved quality issues, but in my experience they have made great progress to date.
The omnipod is newer than a lot of the other pumps out there, maybe that makes some endos hesitant? My endo pushed the omnipod on me so I am on it now. I am in the process of switching to minimed revel, too many pod failures and unexplainable highs. Want to have tighter control(CGM). I was always surprised too how omni was so "unpopular". I would think it being newer could be to blame and maybe the marketing like you said. I'm sure omni will keep improving and appeal to more people as time goes on. I will consider switching back once they have a comminicating CGM,smaller pods, and less pod errors.
Great question, Bob. I just started with OmniPod recently after 25 years of MDI and absolutely love it! My endo didn't push any particular pump with me; he just told me what was available and gave me the information to do my own research.
I just find the OmniPod so easy to use and so user-friendly. If I had to add tubing and insertion sets to the mix, along with having to carry a pump on my belt, I think I'd go back to MDI.
I've often wondered why so many people speak so negatively about the OmniPod but, honestly, I think most of them have never tried it. Just look at the discussions in the general forums here and most of the naysayers are advocating the pump that they personally use and perpetuating a distrust of OmniPod, which really isn't fair.
Even if I run into pod failures later on with OmniPod, it won't make me want to deal with tubing and insertion sets. I've talked to people who have to use numbing cream to use their insertion sets. I would never opt for that when the OmniPod insertion is automated and painless to me.
I also use a Dexcom and have found that not many medical professionals have seen those either. I was having blood drawn and the nurses thought it was the coolest thing ever.
I wholeheartedly agree with you - the Omnipod deserves more visibility in the insulin-dependent diabetes world! I used a Minimed from 1999-2009. Because of a dexterity issue - I began using the Omnipod. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!
My Endo (awesome doc!) suggested the Omnipod. However, he tells me that doctors likely prefer the Medtronic because it's a lot easier for docs to download the info. But I will say, hands-down, that the Omnipod is like having an on-call electronic nurse at your side 24/7!!
The marketing/promotions budget for the Omnipod from Insulet is just not adequate. It pales in comparison to the coin Medtronic throws for their system. Like I said - I've used both and strongly endorse the Omnipod.
I've seen a few medical professionals, especially in the last 3 years, and they look at the Omnipod like it's pure genius :) Insulet needs to ramp-up their advertising budget for the Omnipod. The proof is in the pudding. Once the word gets out to the right people there will be no contest for Insulet to capture the lion's share of the insulin pump market.
MDT (Medtronic) has a $41 billion market cap. PODD (Insulet) is about $900 million. Clearly MDT has a few more weapons in their arsenal but PODD has a lot to gain by doing what they do better than any other manufacturer in the industry.
PODD: Grow your marketing budget. Trim (simplify) the software diabetes health professionals need to use. You'll see pods sprouting everywhere :)
Agree Bob...so few actaully no about it but I'm starting to learn that the medical field does not move at the same speed as the rest of the world in terms of technology. Think the big companies have made a long time effort of perks and freebies to lock up control of thier products. When my endo urged me to go onto a pump for more control I then came back with the info. I had gotten on the OmniPod when I researched different pumps. She had heard about it but did know anything about it, til this day she knows very little about it and they cannot even download the data from my pdm like they can from other units. Unfortunately now she has had a few users but some with lesser results than I am getting and she doesn't seen to want to learn about it from my opionion. I did however sit thru a presentation by a person that has worked a lot with young children and he stated that a few years ago he would see the Ommipod a few times but now he said that he sees most of the younger patients wanting or getting the omnipod...Think this new technlogy and advantages of tubeless will take more notice from the younger generation....Almost 2 years on the POD and Love It!! Good Post Bob!
She wears the pod too!