Thursday, April 11, 2013

Animas Update

Monday night, I had a date with Animas.

In order to decide which pump I want to go with I've set up an appointment with Animas and one with Omnipod (on April 16th). I also spoke with the local Medtronic rep over the phone to ask about new features that I should be aware of.

On Monday night I got to play with my first Animas pump.

I won't lie - I was impressed. And intrigued.

The most appealing point of Animas has always been the waterproof factor. I spend too much time in the water every week for it not to be appealing. I asked all my questions about how waterproof is waterproof and was convinced that I could indeed wear it during swim sessions as well as races without a worry. The only thing I would need to do is replace a tiny yellow rubber ring that makes the battery compartment waterproof - probably every 6 months. They cost $30.

I didn't think I would care much about the ability to remote bolus (since my pump is always accessible on my belt) and it seemed pretty gimmicky to me...until I tried it. It was pretty neat to see how I could check my blood sugar and then dial up my carbs into the glucometer. Hit go and the pump vibrates and delivers the insulin. I can see doing that just to save a few seconds of having to enter my blood sugar into the pump.

That being said, the glucometer is pretty bulky compared to the Verio IQ I use every day and it's several times the size of my One Touch Mini that I take on races and long runs.

The menus on the pump are different than Medtronic's but they are pretty intuitive and I was whipping through them in no time. The language Animas uses is different but all the features that I use now are available with Animas too.

The biggest difference in the every day use of the pump was the extra step when bolusing. On my Medtronic, I enter my BG and the carbs. A screen appears that tells me the recommended bolus and it breaks it down into the bolus for the food I'm about to eat plus any correction bolus to deal with high or low blood sugar. It also shows insulin on board from any recent boluses. Animas does that too. The difference is that Medtronic shows their recommended bolus and, if I agree, I hit one button and the bolus begins. With Animas, it shows the recommended bolus amount and then I have to manually enter that amount and then hit a button to confirm. An extra few seconds but, after getting used to the speedy Medtronic way, it seems a little cumbersome. Not a deal breaker to be sure but a little annoying.

The infusion sets are pretty much identical. The size of the pump is pretty comparable. The only other issue I have is that the size of the reservoir is 200ml. My Medtronic reservoir is 300ml. I use between 45-55 units most days so I go from 5-6 days between set changes. With Animas, I would only be able to go 4-5 days between set changes. Not a huge difference but, at $20 a set change, it adds up over time.

- remote bolus

- extra step before each bolus
- smaller reservoir

Problem: I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. I was expecting to think "well, it's fine and all but I really want to stick with my Medtronic". Now I'm not so sure.

Omnipod is next. Let's see what they have to say shall we?


  1. Glad that you liked it and such a great idea to check everything out. I also was not sure if I would use or like the remote bolusing, but I actually use it about 95% of the time. I do agree that the extra step before a bolus can be a pain, however the positive side that I find with this is I can enter my carbs etc and see what they recommend. If I am going to doing any activity I can just decrease it myself however still have the amount of carbs I consumed recorded. I have found it helpful when tracking trends. I look forward to hearing how the Omnipod is!

  2. We've been pumping with Medtronic for 6 years and have never really looked at others. Thanks for all the animas info and I look forward to hearing about omnipod too!