My warranty just expired this week on my Medtronic Paradigm 530G and I have been evaluating my options and am unhappy with what I see. I also am a Dexcom G6 user. I’ve been T1 for 32 years, and a pumper for about 20 years. I started with a Disetronic H-TronPlus V100, followed by the DIsetronic D-TronPlus, and my last 3 pumps have been Medtronic Minimed Paradigms (722/723/751).
What I like about my current Medtronic Paradigm pump: Size…it’s perfect. Robust build quality. AAA battery; keeps things small and the pump’s basic screen keeps battery life around 2 weeks. Easy bolus…how awesome it is to covertly bolus without having to take your pump out of your pocket. Only Con: Enlite sensors were always horrible. Wish it could integrate with Dexcom.
Omnipod: I don’t like the separate PDA requirement, but most importantly I need a 300 unit reservoir, so not really an option for me.
Pros: Seems like a decent interface. Dexcom G6 integration. Generally positive anecdotal reports from users about current Basal IQ algorithm. Slim profile. First pump manufacturer to receive FDA approval in the new device category called ACE (Alternate Controller Enabled); I think this qualifies it as the technology leader. Bluetooth upgrades, in theory at least, “through 2020”.
Cons: The draconian cartridge that is difficult to fill, is time consuming to fill, wastes insulin, and has a pigtail which makes the sleek looking pump feel too clinical. The Tandem also forces you to stock and travel with extra parts since the refilling syringe and cartridge are separate and not integrated like the Medtronic Paradigm reservoir system. Integrated battery that is sure to degrade over time as the batteries in our cell phones do so. Power outages are a real thing outside of the cities, and there’s something disconcerting knowing that I better have power banks charged up and ready for the next time the grid goes down. Financial stability of Tandem in question somewhat.
Pros: Brilliantly executed reservoir system carried over from the Paradigm. Financial Backing from Medtronic (deep pockets). My Paradigm supplies will still work with this new pump. Field support and doctor office support. Ubiquitous AA battery (wish they could have stayed with smaller AAA).
Cons: Size…somewhat bulkier than outgoing Paradigm pumps. CGM inferiority to Dexcom (It’s not even close for multiple reasons). Medtronic’s refusal or inability to innovate except in tiny, purposeful baby steps. Negative anecdotal feedback on the pump user interface. No real benefit in upgrading if I want to keep using Dexcom G6 except for warranty. Larger color LCD screen now needs a AA battery to power it instead of a AAA.
The Paradigm pumps have been around for more than 15 years and are market proven. I love their robust build quality, ease of use, and simplicity for travel. The design is essentially a copycat of the Disetronic H-TRONplus V100 in my opinion. Back in 1999, I chose the Disetronic because I thought it was superior to the MInimed 507c both in design and interface. I thought maybe Medtronic thought the same and eventually adopted a "if you cant beat them, then join them " mentality…at least on major design elements.
I think absent some major new developments in the market, I’m likely to just keep using my 530G pump out of warranty + Dexcom G6. Another option is to take my old Paradigm 722/723 pumps out of storage to experiment with Looping.