I have had an Animas pump for 3.5 years. Currently on a 2020. I just started the DexCom Seven + CGM two weeks ago and look forward to an integrated solution, hopefully in the next year.
I was diagnosed with DM T1 at age 42 (no diabetes history prior), so it was a radical change of lifestyle for me. Was on MDI for about a yr before going to pump.
I am an engineer so research everything before I make a decision. When looking at pumps, I scoured the internet, talked to sales reps, went to seminars, etc. I went with Animas for several reasons and have not regretted my decision. The pumps I considered were OmniPod, MM, Cozmo (glad I did not go that route!), and Animas. It really came down to MM vs Animas. MM dominates the market and I sensed a herd mentality to it being selected by most users and also being recommended by most physicians. I will warn you that in my area, there are few endos and patients familiar with Animas, but bucking the trend was fine with me. Depending on what you find in your area, you may have to self-educate.
One of the pros of talking to several vendors and making them aware that you are doing so, they may throw in some freebie accessories to sweeten the deal and win you over.
Pros of Animas
Luer-lock on cartridges so you are not stuck with proprietary infusion sets. You can use sets from a variety of manufacturers. Animas has a wide variety of infusions sets. My local sales rep has gotten me samples free of charge to try options.
- Can order supplies online directly from Animas, if your insurance allows that approach. There is an online estore.
- It's waterproof. I shower, swim, snorkel with mine. You must replace the battery cap every 6 months however, to keep it waterproof. In fact, I only disconnect when changing clothes or changing cartridge/infusion sets.
- It uses AA batteries, either alkaline or lithium. Long battery life with the lithium option.
- Warranty service (from experience). I have had my pump replaced twice, free of charge, for failure. It was not so much that the pump was faulty, but the case cracked when the battery cap was tightened (to tight), and the pump leaked (possibly because the battery cap was not replaced after 6 months). Very generous warranty support, in other words. The last replacement included a free upgrade to the 2020. The replacement and old unit shipping is covered by Animas.
Free loaners (Medtronic charges). I travel out of country and prior to leaving, I call Animas and request a loaner pump. One is sent free of charge. If I don't break the seal and use, I return after my trip and Animas covers shipping both ways. Should your pump fail, call for authorization to use the loaner and then return your old pump.
- Lots of accessories. I daily use the hard case holster to clip the pump to the shower curtain, my PJs at night, etc.
- Lots of options for adjusting the bolus and basal rates.
- CalorieKing Carb database on the pump. I don't use it much, but it is there and customizable (you can add your own favorites) if you so desire to use it.
- Ping communicates with a OneTouch Ultra meter -- I have not tried this model.
- Customization alarm tunes (I don't use)
- Don't remember the details, but I believe Animas dispenses more frequently and can be at smaller dosage increments than the MM.
Cons of Animas
- Fewer users and fewer physicians with experience. My endo and her staff are not familiar with the Animas pumps like they are the MM, this is because Medtronic has an aggressive salesforce.
- EZManager Max software is full-featured (pro) and prints lots of graphs/plots. However, I have had problems with it on MS Windows Vista to recognize both my OneTouch UltraMini and the Pump to download and integrate all the data. I am guessing it is more full-featured than the MM software (but don't know for sure) since my endo is surprised at how much data is displayed and she is most familiar with MM.
When you buy an Animas pump, you will get a D.N.E. to give you an orientation. Since you are a seasoned pumper, the transition will be easy. Different terminology (e.g., square bolus vs. combo bolus).
Although my endo is not that familiar with Animas (most of her pumper patients use MM), she has been impressed my control and stated I was the best of all her patients. Not sure if that is attributed to the brand of pump or the user.
The Dexcom 7+, although it does not perfectly match my finger prick readings, I have been pleasantly surprised that it is usually within 5 - 10%. Sometimes it is spot on. 2009 was the first time that my insurance authorized CGM, so I jumped on it and I am glad that I did. Looking at other forums, it appears that others prefer the Dexcom over the MM CGM for accuracy. Having the separate Dexcom receiver from the pump is a hassle since I constantly carry the pump, a meter, and the Dexcom receiver. Add in a cell phone and you get lots a devices to carry. Look forward to an integrated solution in the devices, but also software to integrate all the data for analysis (the engineer in me talking).
As for price out of pocket, that is solely dependent on insurance. I am guessing my insurance will be in the "cadillac" category under the new health plan changes being dictated by Congress, since my coverage has been extremely generous. Hopefully your insurance will cover CGM soon. It took awhile with my plan, so be patient.
I would never go back to MDI and I think I will like CGM as much as pumping as I get more experience with it. Animas is a great choice. You may be more on your own locally, depending on the market that you live in.
Hope that helps.