I too am seriously considering getting the Omnipod. I don't currently use a pump, but this one really has my interest for the obvious reasons. I've been researching this for some time and have had discussions with my local rep from Insulet. He is very proactive and we also have a group of 50+ users in my metro area (Raleigh, NC) who are Omnipod users and their experiences pretty much mirror what's been said in replies to your post here. These users have an active group on Facebook. You can find them by going to Facebook and searching for "Omnipod Network - Triangle, NC". I've communicated with a few of these users and they have been very helpful.
As to the question about carrying extra pods, it seems that's perfectly permissible. I travel extensively in my work including overseas, so it was a major consideration for me. I asked my Insulet rep about this and he consulted with the Insulet clinical nurse in our area and I've posted the question and their answer below.
I travel frequently for work. Are there issues I must consider when storing and transporting additional Pods other than Insulin vial storage and transport? I'm assuming I would need to take 2 additional Pods with me on all trips plus the Insulin required. My preference is to pre-fill the extra Pods before departure, but don't know if that's possible. Here is the response from my nurse…hence the tense change. “As far as travel, he should keep his supplies with him. I recommend that he should review the travel information at the ADA website which is diabetes.org for all details. The PDM and pods have been in my bag frequently as I go through security and I have never had a problem. I have even walked through mental detector without the pod being picked up. If they use a wand it does beep. He may want to carry a MD letter stating he must travel with supplies. Note: I also confirmed with their nurse that you can carry pre-filled pods with you when traveling.
One of the reps answers to my question about insertion problems was rather interesting. My question and his answer is below.
Are there any particular reasons for Pod failures? My limited research indicates this is a major issue with Users. I would say it’s probably one of the more common issues. Pod placement and insertion of the cannula into scar tissue seem to be the main cause. The same idea goes along with insulin infusion. Every site for a pump can have this same issue. This is why pumping standards require the patient to test their blood sugar 1.5 to 2 hours post a new site or pod start. It is also why we recommend that the person bunches up their skin while the automatic insertion occurs. This is similar to how injections are given. My partner (clinical nurse) is wonderful at troubleshooting and typically has patients back on track after one discussion or visit. I can tell you, we do not have a high incidence of this in my territory as we’ve been updating our teaching techniques and proactively solving these issues.
Insulet has an experienced clinical nurse in many metro areas and some remote ones and from my questions and answers received they are very proactive. I would suggest you check out their availability in your area before making a decision. The one good thing about Insulet is that they have worked hard to build a strong local customer support system wherever they can. They appear to be a leader in this activity.
A few side notes: Insulet expects to receive FDA approval very soon for the Omnipod to be integrated with the Dexcom CGM so you only need one control unit for both the pump and the CGM. I currently use a Dexcom CGM and love it, so that's also of great interest to me. They are also working diligently to release a new model of the Omnipod this spring that is supposed to be 42% smaller than the current one. Final FDA approval and clinical studies for the new model are almost complete. I've questioned Insulet on this, but they are pretty tight-lipped about it and I understand that. They are also supposed to soon get approval for using the Omnipod with small children, like as young as age 2 or something. I think that's tremendous and Insulet is apparently the closest in getting such a device approved for small children.
I've also been following the development of Medingo's Solo Micropump. Medingo is a leading medical device company from Israel's Silicon Valley area in case anyone does not know that. They are supposedly very close in getting this to market in the US. The device is ready, but they are developing their support system first and I commend them for that. I recently ordered a Demo kit from them, but haven't received it yet. I know one person who has it and he is very impressed and having a fit to get one. I think he emails Medingo about it every day! :) The Solo looks even more interesting than the Omnipod, but I'm not going to wait for it before making a decision regarding getting a pump. Besides, I don't know if I want to be a guinea pig with such a new device. From what I've recently uncovered about other similar devices in development from current device companies; e.g., MiniMed, Abbot, Animas, etc. and new companies I believe Medingo's Solo will become Omnipod's first real competitor, but it won't happen until the Solo has been in production for awhile. To my knowledge no other similar devices are planned for marketing and distribution before mid-2011 at the earliest, but there are many in various development stages.
I haven't made a final decision about the Omnipod, but probably will opt for it. It's now been on the market for well over two years, so they have had the time to work out bugs and build a strong support system, which I think is a key element.