I’m not getting a t:slim
Update 1/11/2013: If you are reading this for the first time, please also read my January 11, 2013 post, in which I express a change-of-heart on many of the sentiments expressed here.
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Have you heard? There’s a slick new gadget in town — an insulin pump called the t:slim. It’s all the rage these days, and it seems all the cool kids are getting one. But my thirty-eight-year old bald-headed, glasses-wearing self is anything but cool. (Actually, glasses and insulin pumps really are cool, just not on me). I don’t plan on getting one. In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, let me explain what the t:slim is. It’s the newest addition to the insulin pump market. They’ve shattered the mold when it comes to insulin pumps, and re-cast it into something sleek and shiny,resembling a touch-screen cell phone. It’s flat and has a large, vibrant color touch-screen. One look, and anybody would instantly be WOW’ed by it. I sure was.
(Worth noting: I’ve never actually held, or even seen it. I’ve read about it and looked at pictures and videos of it, but that’s all. Allison put together a great video recap on DiabetesMine of the new pump, which was quite influential in what you’re about to read here. So while you may think this makes my review meaningless, I like to think it is objective – and not seduced by the t:slim’s irrefutable sexiness.)
As you probably know, I’ve been using Medtronic pumps for years. The MedT is the complete opposite of sexy. It’s boxy, has five ginormous buttons, and a tiny lo-res black-and-white LCD display. It resembles a pager. Pagers were sexy in 1984, but not today. Sadly, many sexy people also lose that appeal after twenty-eight years, but at the same time, we learn to value compatibility, intuition, and it’s-nice-having-you-around qualities over the pure carnal qualities. I’m getting waaaay off track here, but you see where I’m going.
There are a few reasons why the t:slim just won’t cut it for me… why I think it will make my life more difficult rather than easier. Now, to the folks from Tandem Diabetes Care who may be reading this, I hope you take what I have to say as constructive criticism. We’ve been waiting a long time for someone to shatter the mold that seems to encapsulate our diabetes equipment, and Tandem has come along and done just that. But there is room for improvement, and here are the real biggies for me.
First, the home screen. We’ve seen it in pictures, and it’s beautiful (you can see it by clicking the first link in this article). The problem is, it takes too long to get to it. Unlike my Medtronic which always shows the time and the amount of insulin and battery-power I have left (albeit crudely), you need to slide a doohickey along the top to light up the screen. I’ve turned to using my pump as a clock when I’ve misplaced my watch, because unlike my cell phone, the only thing I need to do is look at it.
Plus, in order to do anything, you’ve got to tap out 1-2-3 on the touch screen. That’s four gestures before even thinking about a bolus or a set change. I want devices that make my life more convenient, even if they’re less flashy.
Second, the t:slim seems to require two-handed operation. I can do almost* everything I want with my current pump with one hand (except change the battery or reservoir; that’s a given). My hands aren’t that big, but I can reach the five buttons easily, and can easily bolus with my right hand, which is a good thing since a finger on my left likely still has some blood on it from a just-completed blood sugar test. If the t:slim screen worked in portrait (vertical) mode rather than landscape (horizontal), maybe I’d be able to do it. Not that I’m suggesting it automatically flip between the two; having virtual buttons move on you while lying on your side in bed can be extremely frustrating. Just ask any Android or iPhone user.
And speaking of buttons, one of the nice things about buttons is that you can tell where they are without looking. Usually, after testing my blood sugar (and having it wirelessly beamed to my pump), I’ll hit ACT, and if I am having a small snack, press the Up-Arrow four or five times to dial-in the carbs without looking (if I’m just correcting, I skip this step entirely). Then I’ll glance down to make sure I’ve got it right, then press ACT three more times to deliver the recommended bolus. Those ginormous buttons are not only easy to see, but they’re easy to feel if my pump is at my waist, below table-height, or underneath the bedsheets. Some may call it dangerous, but the ability to “blind-bolus” is a huge convenience for me. On a touch-screen, the buttons move around and are not tactile, and I wouldn’t trust my memory to find and press the right one.
I love the USA. I hate the USB. Oh lord, how I hate those things. In concept, they’re great: one universal connector that can deliver power as well as data, but physically they are about as brittle and annoying as they come. After repeated plugging/unplugging, they become loose, and the cords become useless rather quickly (Trust me, I’m on my fifth cell-phone car-charger because of the USB’s poor mechanical design).
But besides my disgust for the USB itself, the mere presence of a port – a port of any kind – means an entry-point for water, and that can be deadly. You can’t even claim to be “water-resistant” when you’ve got a big hulkin’ hole on the side of the pump with some metal electrical contacts exposed (if there’s a way to do that, I’d love to know). A tip to Tandem, there are better ways. Use Bluetooth or some other wireless means for data transfer. For charging the battery (more on that later), this new PowerMat technology might do the job. You set the device on a pad, and through the magic of electrical induction, the battery charges. No wires, no physical connections. I’m not sure how practical that technology will prove to be in the long run, but I see a potential for it in water-resistant/waterproof devices.
A couple of other things:
- Back in 1984 (when pagers were sexy), Colgate introduced a new, modern toothpaste-delivery system called the Colgate Pump. Most modern insulin pumps work kind of like that, where the insulin is pushed through a chamber and out a portal at the top. The t:slim uses something different, which more resembles an old-fashioned squeezable tube of Crest. Is it better? Worse? I don’t know for sure, but the insulin is stored in an opaque container, so we have no way of knowing if there are any air bubbles until they make it into the tubing.
- That whole rechargeable battery thing. Well, that’s been a big point of opposition for awhile, and I’m not sure where I stand on the issue. Obviously, you can’t carry a spare around with you. The lifespan of rechargeable batteries tends to decrease over time. Having one’s body plugged into the wall may seem a bit awkward (though the thought of plugging myself into a pager seemed awkward too, at first). I’ll reserve judgment on this one, let’s give it some time and see how people like it. I just hope there’s an ability to do a “hard-reset” (or even a “power-0ff”, if need be).
- A lot has been said about the return-policy. At first there was none, now apparently there is. Whatever the policy is, written or implied, it still makes me a bit uneasy. Tandem is a start-up company that’s learning how to work with technology, regulatory environments, and customers. It seems they’ve done a good job on the first two, but I need a bit more convincing on the third. Give it time and I’m sure they’ll come around. And when they do, maybe I’ll call.
- It doesn’t talk to any sort of Continuous Glucose Monitor, and to my knowledge, not even a blood glucose meter. This is functionality I have now and am not willing to give up.
If this sounds like a scathing review of this new pump, remember this article is about reasons I won’t be getting one. There are plenty of things I do like about the new t:slim, and you can find the great aspects of the device all over the internet. I just haven’t seen a post like this one, and I think it may be beneficial to those who may be so overwhelmed by its beauty that they do not see what lurks within.
And besides, Brian asked me to write it.
* The one thing I can’t do one-handed: turn on the backlight while in one of the other menus. That requires pressing the “B” and down-arrow keys simultaneously, generally with the thumbs of each hand.
Posted on August 14, 2012, in Diabetes, Insulin pump and tagged review, tslim. Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.
Great review! I totally agree with all of your points above! Convenience over sexy, for sure! Plus, I’d be worried that a sexy gadget would be more likely to be stolen. Who wants to pick-pocket a pager these days?
That crossed my mind, but if someone were to rip off a t:slim, they’d likely get a hunk of flesh with it… (oh, and by the time I sat down to write this, I’d forgotten all about it. But it’s a valid point!)
Oh sure if someone goes all hate on you, you can say Brian made me do it. Thanks. But seriously logic, common sense, and practicality need to be expressed which you have done nicely. Thanks for your two cents.
Thank you for encouraging me to finish a post which I had already started. (See what I did there? I admitted to have starting it earlier… that means you’re off-the-hook).
I saw the pump and got to hold it at a conference in Maryland. Is is pretty cool. My biggest thing with the pump is the charging. I’m all for charging devices – one of the things I love about the Verio IQ meter. However having to charge something that is attached to you? Not loving it.
I wouldn’t be as bothered with the charging part as I would be with the no-backup-charge thing. And as for the USB, well – coincidentally – a coworker of mine was moping around today because the USB charger on his cell-phone had broken loose from the circuit board inside and he couldn’t charge his battery. 🙂
Omg! I never knew how to turn the back light on or off while I was on any screen other than home! Thank you so much! Hehe your review is wonderful. I was infatuated with tslim immediately after seeing it. I started reaearching and decided ill hold on to my paradigm a little longer. I feel this pump, and company for that matter, needs more time to develop before I’ll trust it.
Excellent review! Great post 🙂
I love how you write, with enthusiasm and sarcasm!
Thank you so much for this! I’m glad my writing can entertain as well as inform. I try not to be boring, ’cause boring stuff puts me to sleep immediately.
I’m so happy you have (Apparently) Good eyesight. When I need to access anything on the Revel pump I now have, I have to either use a jeweler’s loupe or bring the pump up to my iPad’s camera to see the print on the screen.
To start off with the ‘All the cool kids are getting…’ Well, I’m glad to be ‘cool’ but at 56, I’m not a ‘Kid’ -Chronologically, anyway-! But since I had a cataract operation on one and only working eye in my head, I cannot see tiny 1980’s style text on my MM. When I held a t:slim and ‘played with it’, I found my iPad Adonit stylus worked well on the screen too. As far as touching a “1, 2, 3” to unlock the screen, maybe you’ve considered someone’s youngster using a pump? Maybe this is something the FDA demanded. I know I most certainly have a few seconds to unlock a screen 🙂
I do like the recharging feature. My bg meters all do this now and I love the lack of trouble in trying to place those awful ‘coin’ batteries in the meters. I think with the pump, I’ll be happy to not have to go searching for a AAA battery.
We are all different, and while you have valid points, Recognize too some folks may have different needs/wants. I know a lot of PWD’s who don’t even want a pump. They’re just fine on their 2 shots a day regime. I think we would go a bit crazy on that.
I’m so glad you replied and brought up a dissenting point of view. I know that Tandem put in a lot of time, effort, and money into designing this product and bringing it to market, and it would be a real shame if nobody bought it. I’m glad that this provides you with certain abilities and functionality that the Medtronic does not. And yes, for some, there is no right pump and MDI works better. As for this post, however, it’s all about my own personal reasons for choosing not to pursue this piece of equipment. Much of my job is spent on my feet, and my two young kids always keep me on my toes, so for me, every second is precious. As they say, YDMV.
I totally agree with you on this, my Medtronic Pump’s battery lock area is broken, has broken on all of them. AND get this, I’m running for JDRF, Beat the Bridge, and my pump just decides to turn off. No one has a battery, no one has a penny, and no one has needles. I believe we need something new. For all the sexiness it holds, sex sells. And for a diabetic something new is pretty exciting. After 30 years I’m ready for change. I also know that they are pairing with a CGM soon.
Medtronic’s CGM doesn’t have the best outcomes, so if you have that one, well in my opinion and others, it’s a waste of money as it’s reliability and accuracy have not proven to be worthy of other CGM’s.
This pump can not be refilled, you have to change the reservoir every time it is empty. I wonder what the reservoirs are going to cost.
I love the honest, real-life feedback you offer here! And, FWIW, I don’t think you sounded as if you were bashing the pump — or the people who may choose to try it. I think you were offering an educated opinion after doing your homework, and I genuinely appreciate it!
I saw the t:slim at FFL, and thought it was beautiful!!! Then I went to answer a text message, and my freaking Android screen was frozen — wouldn’t slide to unlock!! Seriously?!?!?! I had to turn the phone off to reboot…and I couldn’t help but to wonder how that would work if it had been my daughter’s insulin pump.
Anyway, for those who choose to give Tandem a try, I hope it turns out to be everything they need and more! For those who aren’t interested, I hope they find what works! And for all of us…I hope this is only the beginning of more awesome things yet to come!
This is an extremely useful review. Very happy to learn this stuff, as I was looking forward to checking out this new pump. Hmm, no refilling the reservoirs, that is a shame. And worse, it sounds like there is no option for a touch bolus, am I reading that right? That is not remotely OK with me. I do all my diabetes math in my head and use my touch bolus for my pump, hidden in my clothes, almost exclusively for corrections and meals. Also, I don’t need to swim with my pump, but I appreciate it being able to survive a rainstorm or a quick unexpected dunking and that USB port seems to ensure that it won’t.
Well, I hope my Deltec Cozmo is immortal…
Thank you Laura. Just as a matter of fairness, I should clarify that it’s not actually a review since I’ve never actually used the device. Also, Tandem posted the following on their Facebook page last Thursday:
“Did you know t:slim can also deliver a “quick bolus?” Just follow the beep or vibration commands. When on the go, you can quickly deliver units of insulin without navigating through menus or having to even see the pump screen.”
I’m not quite sure how (or how well) that works, I’m just trying to be factually accurate. But to me, the USB port is perhaps my most serious concern for the very reasons you state. Still, they “broke the mold” when they created this device which is admirable. There are just a few quirks that should be addressed for Rev. B.
I began using the t:slim on Thursday. Just an FYI you don’t have to slide anything or hit 1-2-3 in order to see important information (this may have been changed from a previous demo model). If you want to get to the options to bolus you do need to do the 1-2-3 sequence, but if you just hit the button on the top of the pump it will light up with that 1-2-3 screen, which also shows the full date and time, how many units of insulin you have left in your pump, your battery charge, and your IOB/time left on that IOB. So one button press and all that info is available!
Also you can bolus using just that one button on the top of the pump. The Quick Bolus option allows you to give insulin in increments that you pre-determine. You use an audible signal to know if you’ve hit the button the right number of times. So again, you don’t have to go through the main screen to bolus.
I am finding that the screen is very responsive and the unit is so small that I am able to hold the pump in my hand and use one thumb to do everything, so one-handed use is something I’m learning to do with this pump as well.
One thing to note that I am having difficulty with, which is important for everyone to know, is that the way the pump calculates corrections is different from my Animas Ping. With my Ping, if I have a 100 mg/dL goal range and I input that I am going to eat (for example) 10g of carbs and I have a current BG of 80, my Ping would calculate (using my 1:10 carb ratio and 1:40 ISF) a 0.5 unit bolus (ie it would subtract half a unit from the insulin needed for the carbs to account for the BG that is lower than my goal.). The t:slim doesn’t do that. It will tell me to take 1.0 unit of insulin. It may indicate that ‘You may go low. Correct with a snack’ or some such message, but won’t subtract a correction from the carb units……..it will only ADD a correction to the carb units, if I’m above my goal BG. This is something I have to be cognizant of if I’m bolusing for carbs but my BG is slightly below my goal of 100 mg/dL.
Thank you, Kari, for your feedback and for your corrections. I suppose the one slide action may be relatively minimal to get this information (more so than on other pump home-screens) and that it’s really a “what works best for you” scenario.
But personally, I’m not a fan of Quick Boluses. I have the option (called Easy Bolus on the Medtronic) turned off. The whole point of a pump, to me, is that it can calculate precise bolus amounts based on BG, carbs, and IOB, and the Quick Bolus disregards all of that. That said, I know a lot of people use and like the feature, so for some it can be a real perk. Again, a matter of personal preference.
As for Bolus calculations/wizards, they all work slightly different. Some will subtract IOB from a carb bolus, others from only a correction bolus. Some will only increase a carb-bolus to accommodate a correction, others will not. It’s definitely a good thing to know just how your pump works (and is another reason I’m hesitant to switch) because these are very important differences. I’m glad you brought this up.
I am in the middle of either upgrading our 722 pump or going to the T-slim. I am not yet settled on either, but thanks for the info. The most critical of issues for us are:
1) What does the T-slim use for infusion sets (right now we use the Mio 25mm, short, perpendicular to the skin site). We find the angled sites come out more during athletics and have caused more scar tissue.
2) Integration with the BG meter (cgms too). We would like to look at the screen and see the trend on one device. We use the Dexcom CGMS right now, so not like it was when we used to have the medtronic cgms (bulky and caused scaring, so won’t go back to it). It would be great since the T-slim doesn’t have a conflict of sales by having its own CGMS (yet), to see if there is any compatibility of software.
3) Site/tubing/device durability. what happens if you don’t hold the device and the tubing and site are supporting the weight? Does the site come out or the pump pull against the site with pain? What if the pump falls and hits the floor?
4) Emergency action: What if the pump fails/breaks? How fast/easy is it to get another one? What are the costs associated with that?
You can see my full comment below and Scott answered a lot of your questions.
I’ll tell you that I have dropped my t:slim once already (poor thing) and it tugged at the infusion site; however, it didn’t pull it out. Felt a little heavier than the Medtronic pump, but not much at all.
I know someone who had to receive a 2 replacement t:slims (her and her daughter – long story short they were ‘originals’ and the cartridge load malfunctioned, but this has sense been fixed. I can provide more details if you want. She posted all this information on Facebook) and she had the first replacement within 48 hours (shipping was weird) and the 2nd within 24 hours. She also received several calls from the VP of Tandem Diabetes because of the issues (It’s the longer part to the short story… Again I can relay more of what I know if you want.)
I did a review on my blog of the t:slim and a video of the cartridge change. If you have any questions, let me know!
As I said in my comment below as well I will be doing a side-by-side comparison of the t:slim and my Medtronic by the end of the week.
In the end, you just gotta choose the pump that’s best for you and fits your needs!
Bryon, these are all valid points. Keep in mind that I wrote this post before the device was even available, and most of what we learned was through glitzy marketing. Now that people are out there using it, I’m sure you’ll find a wealth of new information.
To try and answer your questions, the t:slim, I believe, uses a standard Luer-lock connector. Most of the Medtronic infusion sets are also available with a luer-lock but under a different name. In fact, Unomedical makes pretty much ALL sets on the market, including the ones for Medtronic. Looking at their web site (infusion-set.com), it appears the Inset II is the same as the Mio and it should work with the t:slim.
There is no meter or CGM integration that I know of. It should be available “in the future” (I believe with the Dexcom G4), but I wouldn’t hold my breath. FDA-approved devices usually can’t support “firmware upgrades” to get new functionality as it could open up a portal for a safety breach, so you’d probably need a new pump anyway to get the ability to talk to other devices. Of course, this is just my own speculation. I’m not even sure, when the Medtronic Enlite eventually becomes available in the US, if it will talk to the Revel pumps or if they’ll need new ones.
As I mentioned, the infusion sets for all pumps are made by the same company. Personally, I used to tape a “loop” of tubing to my body so that would need to unravel before there is tension on the actual site (I say “used-to” because the Sure-T I have now already has a second sticky-part which provides this protection). So the only part of your question is what happens if the pump drops and smashes into a tile floor. I honestly haven’t heard of any third-party durability tests done on any of the pumps. I’d tend to think that the cartridge-mechanism on the t:slim might be more durable than the reservoir on the Medtronic (with the thin plastic that surrounds it), but overall it might be more delicate. I just don’t know.
Most companies will replace a pump pretty quickly. I’ve called in the afternoon and had a new Medtronic in my hands the next morning (by “new”, I really mean “factory refurbished”). I don’t know how many t:slims are sitting around on standby, or how many returns/refurbished ones are sitting in their warehouse right now. I’d suspect waiting for them to get out of the “filling orders as fast as they can process them” mode just to make sure they can accommodate an emergency, but that’s generally a good idea with anything, just to give time to work out the kinks on a new product.
I hope this helps. Thanks for reading!
I had an hour conversation with Tandem and all of what I needed was answered. We are getting both the Dexcom 4 and Medtronic’s Revel. My son made the final decision. We will wait for the second generation…
Are you still saying you won’t get a t:slim or since you wrote this before the t:slim came and they have changed it a little and then put it on marketing are you thinking on maybe getting one? I feel like any and all reviews of this and any product before it comes out can’t be what someone goes by. With anything at the last moment the people making/creating can change it before putting it on the market. As for as the issue with the charging the battery and be scared it will miss up, like with anything if you take good care of it will last. I have had items for years that never messed on me but my brother’s broke in a matter of months. He was a lot harder on his stuff then I was. If you drop a cell phone over and over again and again something is going to mess up same for your pump. Do you not get a laptop because you are scared it’s not going to work one day because you dropped it out of your bag? Back a few years ago we didn’t have the hard drive protection in laptops like we do today and lots of people got a laptop and still have and use them. It’s all about your life and how you run your life. Some people just need something that is high tech and other are still low tech and some are still living in the 80’s. Trying something new isn’t bad. A lot of doctors now have it to where you can “test drive” different pumps before deciding on one. That would be what I would say do before getting any insulin pump. “Test drive” them. You don’t want to get one and then find out months later it wasn’t for you. Give the t:slim a try. It’s new and has to be given a change to get better. MM didn’t start one and be the best. They had there problems too. It took time to go places. At least t:slim is trying to get us somewhere and not keeping basically with the same thing over and over again. They are trying to give us more.
I was happy to read this post! It’s definitely important for people to understand why something may not be practical for them. I am a firm believer in not everything is right for everyone. Otherwise, why would we ever have options?
I have been using the t:slim for almost a month now (previously a Medtronic) and I love it. I’m all for new technology and giving new companies and new innovation a chance.
Just going to highlight a few things. Only my opinions, but could be useful info for anyone reading.
On not looking: I used to do this ALL the time with my Medtronic. I keep my insulin pump in my pocket. I’d feel the buttons through my pocket and escape any notification. I had the older version of the pump that wouldn’t allow both CGM and meter “integration” so the CGM won that. Meaning – I had to manually enter my blood glucose so I’m used to that. Anyway… I got so used to escaping notifications that I never used the CGM or the notification to check blood sugar to my benefit. So for me, I needed this change. I needed to almost be forced to look at the pump. Which leads me to…
CGM integration: Currently, I have no problem having the Dexcom separate. I feel I utilize the technology more by looking at my trends more often. That being said, because the pump is touch screen, if there ever was integration, I would be “forced” to look at the pump when any alert (high, low, etc.) came up. So either way, I’m happy.
Rechargeable battery: I thought this would be strange at first. However, the battery lasts a lot longer than one would except (I can go four days and not reach 50%). I will say it’s been an adjustment; however, I have finally figured out that if I charge the battery while I shower (it’s off anyway…), it works GREAT! So every few days, I charge it while I shower. Today I charged it from 65% to 100% while I showered & got ready. (1% = 1 min charge – which is pretty fast). And the usb port on the pump is covered. I’m not worried about water damage. I remember vaguely reading someone putting a t:slim in a cup of water for 30 minutes with no problems. Can’t remember where that post was though… Oh and I do love the graphic, because it’s so true with any USB!
The cartridge: Haven’t seen any air bubbles and I’m not too worried. The way the insulin is delivered, I feel like air bubbles are “popped” before even getting to the tubing. To me this is just not a huge overall concern. I do want to pry open a cartridge now and see the inside… could be interesting.
Home screen: I can see everything I need to (including insulin on board which is awesome) by clicking the top button. This in no way bothers me. The 123 doesn’t bother me either because it’s something so simple and the time I save from not scrolling and not going into all sorts of menus is a lot more than the time it takes to press the 123.
Things I do wish it could do:
Remote bolus: I would love. It would be convenient and I would love it. However, I hope one day (far in the future since it’s up to FDA) that I could do this via my smartphone. Why? Because I don’t want to be tied to a certain meter. Which also means I would love to have my CGM on my smartphone versus pump, but that’s a whole other story. (Sorry off topic…)
Alarm clock: There is none. I miss this from my Medtronic. Something simple, yet so very useful.
Cartridge change could be faster. It’s minor though.
I have written a review of the pump on my blog. I am now inspired to write a more “what should it have or what I miss” post. I have been asked to directly compare my Medtronic to the t:slim and I am hoping to get that post up by the end of the week.
Sorry for the long comment! But thanks for letting me express my opinions!
Found the water thing! It was bugging me so I had to find it! http://www.dlife.com/diabetes/insulin/insulin_pumps/kelly_close/pump.page03
Read under ‘water resistance’
Thanks so much for your feedback Melissa! It’s important for people trying to make a decision to have thorough information, from those who have used the pump, not just my own thoughts based on what I’ve read. I appreciate your feedback, and hope others do as well. You make a good point in that when something becomes too simple, it also becomes simple to ignore.
I’m off to go read your review on your blog now, and look forward to the next installment!
My Dr. gave me the information to look at today because I will replace my Animas pump soon. It is sexy small and cool looking but you have it the nail on the head. Too many issues for me, one of the biggest is the charging. I want a battery period! I can get an AA battery anywhere in the world quickly. Forget the green stuff, my health is at steak. I would accept a pump they could use both recharge and regular batteries. AA or Eq. The biggest issue and one of the reasons I may go back to Medtronic is support world wide. I spent 8 months in Asia last year and I can buy supplies/and pump itself from medtronic directly in Asia. I don’t need DR. to do it for me there. The cost of course is much less too. We have seen a few pump companies disappear over the years so it is important to buy from established company.
However everyone has their price, If this pump were selling for much less (is does less as mentioned because of the glucose monitoring) And I were staying only in US all the time I might give it a try. Does anyone know retail price of it?
The best pump I ever owned “disappeared” because Medtronic forced them out of business over a carb bolus calculator. My Coreg had a site change reminder was waterproof integrated with my computer easily acted as a meter with a small attachment I’ll stop there. If this industry was concerned about the end user we would be much further than we are now.
Replying to your own message to correct putting a med rather than the name of the pump shows the thinking. It was a Cosmo pump not a beta blocker drug.
I saw one Tuesday. Played with it for an hour. I absolutely LOVE this t:slim!! Two things that I love most: the iob on the main screen. Most important. Also, the touch bolus by your choice of either carbs (I will use this exclusively) or units. That’s why I loved my cozmo and I’ve come to expect that from a pump. So happy. There is a bluetooth device in the pump, but as of yet, no integration with a meter or CMG. But the potential is there…. can’t wait to get this!! 🙂 oh yes… AND when you enter values, you get a number pad. SO much better than holding down arrow keys and trying to get the right number. This touch keypad makes it usable, I’ve never used the correction feature in my Ping because the arrows are very annoying. The software was just FDA approved last week and should be available soon, and the patient and doc will use the SAME software. Amazing. No more taking off your pump at appointments and letting WHO KNOWS touch your pump. Eew. 😉 Just upload your info before you go in. Or whenever you want to analyze.
Thanks for all the constructive criticism, I appreciate it.
It is definitely a nice pump. I just don’t like the battery part of it. It would be OK if they offered a wall charger so you could get a spare battery and swap it out when needed.
All pumps have there + and -. I actually don’t use the carb, counter for bolus, I don’t eat many carbs I know how many units I need and I follow up in an hr. or so if i need to correct.
I need overseas support too. If I live in Thailand or Taiwan for a while, I will need to buy supplies locally. So far only Medtronic has that. Otherwise this unit would be on my short list.
such a good point about the USB! maybe it will be perfected by 2015 when we are eligible for a new pager.
you crack me up: “many sexy people also lose that appeal after twenty-eight years”
Now, is this your view or is it actuality? The last couple of
posts I read through about this were intensely opinionated and not much in the way of facts.
I am in the process of replacing my older Cosmo pump and would like anyones comments on the T:Slim. The things that bother me a little are as follows: The rechargeable battery vs. just popping in a AAAA every few weeks. I really like the screen, colors, clarity, etc., but do not want to make my decision on those features. I want a good solid, trouble free pump and if anyone has recently changed to the T:Slim, or other pumps, I would like your comments.
If you are still looking at getting a t:slim please let me know. I just got one.
is it me or does this article seems to be written by a medtronic employee? I have a minimed paradigm, bought it because they claimed it was waterproof. NOPE! Follow up from minimed… ummm the pump turns out to not be waterproof. Mine failed on a vacation to Florida after a dip in the pool. How many recalls has minmed had on infusion sites and reservoirs? Handled pretty terribly if you ask my opinion. I like how the author of the article questions the waterproof rating on the t slim. You cannot even buy a waterproof minimed case for a paradigm. Only a after market $$ bag that fits like a lunch box in a school bus. Ask me about the billing problems with minimed and my insurance.. Ask about the $50.00 loner cost from minimed to take a spare pump on vacation. T slim has a free loner program. FREE I do not own a t slim but I am going to try it as soon as my 4 year minimed time frame runs out. You should really ask about the minimed CGM, and the autoship they put you on for the supplies that go out of date in 6 months.
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Insulin — I can assure you that I am not, nor have I ever been, an employee of Medtronic. For what it’s worth, I have used their pumps since 2006 and I am quite familiar with it (and its CGM) – moreso than with any other device.
It’s too bad that you’ve had such difficulties with Medtronic – I’ve had some issues myself at times, but at this time it appears I’ll stick with them when it comes time for a new one. Perhaps some of the issues you’ve had were with some misconceptions before you ordered yours — for instance, Medtronic does NOT claim that their pumps are waterproof, though they are “splash-resistant” (my term, not theirs). That’s the point I tried to make with this post — to look beyond the bright flashy lights and get to what I saw life like if I were to use this pump. Remember it was written before the t:slim was even released to the public — it’s all about conducting thorough research and trying to figure out what works best for you.
I do hope you have more success with your next pump. Just be absolutely sure of what you’re getting yourself into beforehand — whatever choice you make.
I had a t:slim for a few months and had to return it. My A1C shot up nearly a point in the first 3 months, I had constant occlusions, it won’t pass through a TSA checkpoint due to it’s metal casing, it’s not compatible with the Apidra insulin I use, there is no way for your doctor to download your pump without giving them your login information, support was rude … the list goes on and on. Avoid this pump at all costs. I’m back on an out-of-warranty Ping until I can get the return details sorted out.
You forgot one thing! It is expensive too.
That is an absolutely fair comment. I was a bit lucky that I was able to use the same infusion sets as the Ping that I had previously, and am using again now. The cartridges are more expensive than the cartridges I was buying from Animas though.
Last year I looked at it, and decided on a ping. I must admit I don’t like the ping as much as the 2020. It is bigger eats batteries faster for a feature I will never use.
But sometimes cool is not really useful it is just cool.
Sorry for the above. My so has had a tslim for about 7 mos. I would not recommend it or get it again. Unfortunately we are stuck with it for a new 4 yr. insurance cycle. We had a minimed paradigm for 5 yrs. The tslim is cool, sexy, I think I like the usb charging but, for a product five years newer than his last, itt offers very minor upgrades while losing really useful features. No alarm clock and it doesn’t communicate with anything. (That being said I don’t think the FDA should allow these exclusivity agreements between meter companies and pump makers. It harms the patient. But, every other technology seems to be moving away from proprietary ports and connections. All of these pumps should communicate with whatever meter a patient finds works for then via bluetooth.) Never-the-less, Tandem is not providing value by making a pump that does not wirelessly communicate with a meter. Teenagers can sometimes be forgetful or lazy, not go through the extra steps required to manually enter blood sugars esp. when they are not high or low and thus are often improperly dosing. Our 5 year old pump could do this. Why can’t a pump in late 2013? Additionally we have had “exceptional” control with the Tslim: either exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. Strings of uncontrollable highs we cannot make sense of. I am beginning to wonder about the reliability of the cartrige delivery system. They already recalled several boxes that we had. The rep asked if we had had any unusual numbers and, in fact, our son had been nearly in ket acidosis. If not for supplemental shots (which we are still having to resort to more and more frequently) he would have been hospitalized.
I can’t explain the problems you’re having, but I’d strongly suggest you work with your doctor and insurance company (and maybe Tandem) and get a ruling that the pump just doesn’t work for your son. These symptoms you describe seem pretty serious, and you shouldn’t have to wait another four years. Give it a try…
I’ve had the Tslim for 6 months now and I’m still very happy with it. Your review brings up great practical points, and it’s definitely an individual decision. I really love love love the usb. Its a connector that I can find nearly everwhere…my phone has the same one, as does my dexcom, as do many of my friends since their phones all use the same thing. So charging and uploading data are a snap.
I’d rather plug into my computer…wall..or car charger than make a run to the drugstore for batteries, it’s handy for me.
I prefer the accuracy of dexcom CGM. Although I do wish it communicated with the Tslim (supposedly in the works).
There is a one button option to enter a quick bolus. Hit the same button multipl times. Overall though the The tslim IS more involved when entering insulin and accessing the screen…however, thats been ok, I like the tech and I dont find it a bother. Plus I tend to go on auto pilot when things get really easy…testing blood sugar and not even rememebring the resulting number. So, though this irked me at first, I think the extra steps actually force me to think about my bolusing a bit more critically. That’s just a personal thing for me though…and is a huge difference from the medtronic user interface.
The insulin delivery system of the Tslim has been excellent. It alerts me to minor oclusions that my medtronic most definitely was missing, so I have generally better control, and I’ve learned where my poor absorption sites are–thats been a huge benefit. Customer service has been much better through tandem than my experiece with medtronic in the last few years as well.
There are definitely advantages and disadvantages unique to each person for every pump. I liked your review Brian!
Almost everything you said in this review was wrong. The tslim is extremely simple and convenient to use. As youmsaid earlier, it is a nice, flashy pump, and design is a huge improvement. However, it is not hard to access the home screen. There is no doohickey at the top that needs to be switched. Rather, there is a small, easy to press button. And you don’t need to unlock the pump to see information. Your iob, time, battery levels, and insulin levels can all be seen by pressing the button on the top. But as you said, you press three buttons on the screen to bolus or access options, which is obviously so difficult. For me, this pump is in no way a two handed process. It is like using your phone. And, the tslim is even smaller than the Medtronic pumps, so it should be even easier to use one hand. The battery port isn’t too bad. It doesn’t take batteries, and the battery lasts a long time. The pump is still waterproof with the port. Otherwise they would not claim that it is waterproof. And, if you are still uncomfortable, their is a cover to the port. As far as being chargin with itmconnected to you, you can take off your pump. I charge mynpump while showering.Air bubbles should only be in your pump if you put them there. The cartridge contains a pouchlike container which has all air remoced before the insertion lf insulin. Even though you can’t see the insulin, the pump has plenty of safety features that help you pumpmsafely. One last thing is that Tandem has a bright future. They now have 480 unit pumps and are soon to release a cgm integrated pump. Plans also include a pump that contains both insjlin and glucagon. I can barely imagine using a different pump. Tandem is an innovative company with a great, simple, and reliable pump. The tslim is much more tjan a pretty face.
Ok so I am a 15 year old girl who has been looking for a new pump. I really do not want anything that will draw attention to me. I have an Animas pump currently, and I hate it. Everyones always asking what it is and why I have it. So, I was thinking if I could get a T-slim, that would’nt happen anymore because it looks so modern. What kind of pump should I get???
Wow, Hannah, that’s a tough call. Part of the reason I first chose a Medtronic is because it was smaller and more inconspicuous than the Animas, but it still gets noticed (just yesterday, someone remarked to me about my “pager”). But no matter which device you choose – unless it’s the Omnipod, you still have a device with a tube.
With that said, I don’t have an answer for you. The “idealistic” answer would be to be proud and not try to hide it. But while that works for me at age 41, I can see how it may not work for you. So I would just suggest looking for whatever makes your life easiest — whether it’s a built-in CGM of an Animas Vibe or Medtronic, or a remote bolus of a Ping, AccuChek, or Omnipod, or the “coolness factor” of a t:slim. Though the t:slim is not for me (remember I wrote this before it was commercially available), there are lots of people who use it and are very happy with it.
Good luck! If you would like me to try to put you in touch with others in your same age-group so you can talk amongst peers, please don’t hesitate to ask.
so T-slim user here for many years already and I must say how sub-par this article is. you start the article by saying that you have never held or used one before, yet write a 3 page article about the product after “looking at it online and pictures.” if you have ever used it or seen it in person you would understand how helpful it is compared to other pumps. the USB port is very stable and the pump is nigh unbreakable by ordinary means. The reservoir and filling syringe come packed as one in the kit so you don’t have to make separate orders. While some companies do use refillable cartridges, the t-slim has special technology built into its reservoirs to prevent air from getting in the tubing, as well as a safety feature that prevents the user from ever being directly in line with the insulin in the cartridge in the even of a pump malfunction….
Please do real research and use a product before you give a review on it.
I am currently a Tslim user but for 11 years, I was using a minimed pump. There are pros and cons to both pumps. Tslim takes forever and a day to prime and I get many messages saying saying the insulin couldn’t be delivered. Other than those 2 complaints about the pump itself, I really like the Tslim better. As far as Hannah’s comment goes, I carry my pump without a case on it, inside my pocket. It helps show my figure without a lumping pager looking device attached to it. It isn’t noticeable at all but I did that with both of my pumps. Now for the bad news….When Minimed came out with new products or upgraded devices, they offered an upgrade to their current pumpers for a minimal fee. Tandem is not doing that with their pump. Before purchasing tslim, I was interested in the pump integration with Dexcom. Dexcom is more comfortable to wear than Minimed’s CGMS. I was told it would be a software update or they would offer an upgrade. Now that integration has occurred, they aren’t standing by what they promised me. I was told that since I have had my pump for 6 months when the integration occurred, I would have to wait until my insurance allowed me an upgrade…which is in FOUR more years! I am very unhappy at how this was handled! So, if you like the pump and won’t need anything more, go for it. If you expect a company to stand behind their product…be wary!
Good call on not going with Tandem. It’s been nothing but a nightmare for me. Thankfully I have a working Medtronic Pump and will continue to keep it working as long as I can to get out from underneath a weird and fussy interface and nearly non-existent customer support.
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