Omnipod: Pros/Cons

If you use an Omnipod, can you tell me what you think it's pros and cons are, especially compared to the Minimed Medtronic pumps? DH has used Minimed pumps for years, and is just now thinking of switching. 

Pros - no disconnecting...for swimming, changing clothes etc.  No tubes, so completely invisible to the outside world, and you never have to figure out where to put the pump.  Can hold 200 units of insulin, so more than enough (for me anyway) for the 3 day timeframe.  Easy to use PDM.

Cons - larger than regular tubed pumps (but no tubes, so it's a tradeoff really).  Buttons on the (brand new) PDM are on the small side.

Never used the Minimed because, during the trial, I decided I couldn't stand having to deal with tubes.

I have used both minimed medtronic paradigm pump and the omnipod.  I used the minimed for 2 years, then was off for about 8 months or so, and 2 years on it again.  I switched after a friend of mine told me about someone who is on a pump and loves it.  I was very, very apprehensive about trying something new.  I called anyway, tried it, and couldn't wait to get started.  I love it.  It is so much easier, people don't even know that I have a pump.  Like the person before me said, the buttons are small, but I need the backlight on all the time.  There is a setting for that so I am fine when the backlight is illuminated.  It feels like a ton was lifted from my back, no strings attatched.  Call a rep - they will let you wear one with water in it for 3 days.  Also - for me the insertion felt so much better than the medtronic insertion.  

I was on a Minimed for 11 years (the latest one is the 522 model) before I switched to the OmniPod back in March of this year. The bottom line is I just switched back to the Minimed.  The Omnipod's main pluses are the obvious ones: no tubing, placement on upper arms, automatic insertion, and things like that. But, the cons are what got me. They are:

The OmniPod has a big footprint compared to the infusion sets.

You've got to keep track of the PDM. If you're using an Abbot Freestyle CGM like I was, now you have two PDMs and two sizable devices attached to you. The CGM for the Minimed is also tiny. The result is much less hardware.

The OmniPod fails often. For me it was probably one out of every 10 or so. OmniPod will replace them, but not the insulin you throw away.

You need to have the insulin at or near room temperature when you fill it. Otherwise, you risk a failure. No problem with this and the Minimed.

The OmniPod PDM does have hard buttons to use and the interface is not terribly user friendly. It takes a few more button pushes to do what you need with the OmniPod over the MiniMed.

The alarms are annoying, especially the high-pitched failure one. If the OmniPod gets a "no delivery" signal or if there is a failure while setting a new Pod up, it just eminates this squeal until you can turn it off with your PDM. I was in a store one time when this happened and had left the PDM in the car. I basically had to leave and return to get the thing to stop. One time, I couldn't even get it to stop with the PDM and ended up cracking it open to remove the internal batteries to get it to stop. I guess a hammer would have worked too.

That's about it. The Minimed is, for me, the one.

I've never been on any other pump than the OmniPod so I can't compare it to anything else, however I can tell you that I just recently decided to take a break from the pump for a while. I always wore the pump on the backs of my arms because that was the most comfortable spot. I loved the fact that once it was on, that was could shower without having to disconnect and you could swim with it on (up to 9 feet, I believe?). But there are several cons that I have experienced.

They're extremely easy to knock off. I've walked around numerous corners and hit it against a wall and knocked it off because it sticks out a couple inches or so, and even though you can swim or shower in it, sometimes the adhesive doesn't hold up. When I'd work out, sometimes the pod would become loose and therefore wouldn't last the whole 3 days. I felt as though I was wasting a bunch of insulin since you can't take it out once you've put the insulin into the pod. 

There were also many times that for whatever reason, there was a faulty when putting it on or soon after, and it would make that high-pitched squeal everyone's talking about that you have to have the PDM to get it to stop. I was in class last semester when it went off and of course the class was like "what is that?" and I apologized, got into my purse for the PDM and the PDM wouldn't stop it! So I had to leave class, went into the hallway, and a bunch of kids were studying so I actually had to go outside the building, rip it off, and throw it in the trash can where it continued to squeal because I couldn't get the PDM to turn it off.

I would still be using the OmniPod if I didn't feel like I was wasting so much insulin. So for the moment I'm back to Humalog and Lantus pens. Hope this helps. 

Pro: You can say Nick Jonas has one :D

Con: way more expensive then the med pump ( on a long term status)

I've never used a pump other than omnipod, so I can't compare.  But, I think it's great that sometimes I forget I even have a pump attached to me.  And I can do just about anything I want in terms of physical activities without having to worry about it.  I've never had a problem with ripping a pod off, but from what I understand the adhesive works better for some people than others.


It is very annoying when a pod fails though.  It doesn't happen often, but it does suck.