OmniPod® Insulin Management System UST400 | User Review

OmniPod® UST400Please see our comprehensive review of the OmniPod UST200 system which still applies to the UST400 system.

Executive summary of our review of the UST400 system: lighter, more discreet, better performance, improved range, minor annoyances of new ID screen and multiple confirm screens. Negligible failure rate.

Digging Deeper:

The smaller Pod is the most noticeable change for us, as users for over six years. Caleb’s reaction was immediate and dramatic. It is lighter and more comfortable. For days he continued to comment about it – less noticeable under his clothes, could barely feel it, and it’s so light. Caleb never ever complained about the former Pod. He doesn’t complain about much when it comes to diabetes, and he’s also not easily impressed by diabetes developments. So for him to go on and on about how awesome the new Pod is, is noteworthy.

Other improvements I like:

  • The range. It is nothing like the increased range that the Dexcom G4 provides, but it is improved. I have found that at times I can be in the hallway while Caleb is in his room sleeping and change a basal rate. In a vehicle, I can deliver a bolus without having to reach back or pass the PDM. Little things like that are a nice plus. It’s not completely reliable though. Particularly if the Pod is on Caleb’s back and he’s facing me thereby creating a barrier between Pod and PDM, connection can be difficult.
  • IOB on the home screen. Easy peasy, always at the ready. I no longer need to continuously do math to figure out what’s left of delivered bolus’. Caleb is also much more aware of IOB since it’s in his face all the time.

That’s pretty much it. Other than that it’s business as usual for us.

Other Observations:

  • I was really looking forward to the new IOB calculation. I thought this would be a significant improvement for us. It’s not. After so many years of dealing with IOB, we’re so aware of it, that the calculation is nothing more than a verification for us.
  • Although the improvements from our perspective are few, the smaller Pod size is a substantial enhancement – much more than I expected. Not only does Caleb find it more comfortable, but we’re getting improved insulin delivery. Caleb is back to changing his Pods every three days rather than every other day. His blood sugars have also been much more consistent – this may or may not be to the new Pod. He’s on a new schedule at school which may have something to do with it, but I think the Pod is a contributing factor.
  • As far as error rate, for several months this was not an issue for us. Over about five months we maybe had two errors.This has changed since the temperature dropped and coats went back on. We seem to be having a static issue. We had this during the first winter of using Omnipod, but not since. After years of going into school for maybe one Pod error a year, I’ve been into school several times in just the past few weeks to change an errored Pod. It seems to be coincident with putting on or taking off a coat. I hope Insulet will figure this out soon like they did with the older Pods.
  • The ID screen is fun – I can change the name to something funny like “Foxy” after Caleb spent a week singing, “What Does The Fox Say”, to give him a chuckle the next time he turns it on. He can do the same – leave me little messages to make me smile. It’s also annoying – especially for night checks. I suppose the increased range increases the risk that the wrong person can get bolused when there are multiple Podders is the room. Since there are none in our proximity, it would be nice to turn it off.
  • The extra confirm screens are also a minor nuisance and even less so than the ID screen, so it’s really not even worth mentioning.

We are very happy with the system. We’ve spoken to Caleb about trying out other pumps. He is not interested. He values the tubelessness of OmniPod over anything else that is available for insulin pumpers today.

Tallygear for #DexCom #G4

Caleb’s been G4ing it since November. G4 Rocks. Period. Life will be even more exciting when DexCom Share is available. Like, soon, please, pretty please with sugar on top??

When Caleb used DexCom Seven Plus, he used a SPIbelt to carry the receiver. This served us well. Seven Plus needed to be on him to stay in range. He was young (started Dexcomming in first grade) so this was similar to taping it to his body to make sure it didn’t get lost. It was not overly intrusive on his expression of fashion at that age.

Caleb was a fourth grader when he started G4ing. The SPIbelt was becoming less appealing from a style perspective and Caleb was much more responsible with his diabetes devices. Also zipping and unzipping the belt to see the screen – less than ideal. And have I mentioned the range on this baby? The G4 receiver is often with me and sorry – but I wasn’t too keen on wearing the SPIbelt on a regular basis.

Enter Tallygear.

TallyGear G4

We started with Caleb’s favorite color, green, added blue for Blue Fridays, and got a couple others for fun – lightning blue and what we call lollipop – vibrant spirals. These are great – they provide an easy way for David and I to carry the receiver – we can use the strap, or the carabiner on a belt loop or attached to the strap of my bag. Caleb uses the carabiner to hang it from his baseball or dance bags. He otherwise will carry it in his pocket. Being able to see the screen through the clear case is molto bene.

Tallygear G4 FreedomYou see above David wearing it while coaching Caleb – Caleb can worry about stealing home while David plays coach and G4 moderator. What is notable in the middle picture is that there is NO receiver on Caleb (see the before photo) but G4 is still in use.

Tallygear Belt Clip

Donna from Tallygear also created a belt clip case. This clip is SOLID and it twists so the case can go horizontally or vertically. This is not Caleb’s preferred way to wear it – I see this as a great option for a more professional look for a more mature user. I like how it makes a nifty little stand to set at your desk. I can’t overemphasize the clip – it is really strong and secure; like I said: SOLID.

Donna has many other products including a new tote that includes a spot for G4 (or a phone) with the clear screen for visibility, and added space to carry other incidentals. If you have a need for a device case, I hope you will check it out. Donna has a great selection of patterns, her speed of delivery is second to none, and she is super accommodating. (Hey, I just noticed this bike case, which looks pretty nifty as well!)

If you have a Tallygear story or post, you are welcome to link it up in the comments.