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Comparison of Pumps
Looking for a simple yet comprehensive comparison of the insulin pumps currently available in Canada? We’ve cut to the chase here, highlighting the features that are most important to real pump users and their families (like us!). And with 3 new pump models recently coming (or about to come) into the Canadian market, there’s never been more choice for us, and never more of a need for a concise and comprehensive comparison of all the options.
The following insulin pumps are currently approved by Health Canada as of January, 2019 (in alphabetical order):
- Medtronic Minimed™ 630G Insulin Pump System
- Medtronic Minimed™ 670G Insulin Pump System (hybrid closed-loop insulin pump)
- Omnipod® Insulin Management System (by Insulet)
- Tandem® t:slim X2™ Insulin Pump
- YpsoPump (by YpsoMed)
The Accu-Chek Spirit Combo insulin pump previously available in Canada has not been distributed since 2016; however, Accu-Chek infusion sets are still available (and still represent a great choice for some users) , so that information is included in the chart.
Insulin Pump Comparison Chart
©2019 Waltzing the Dragon, Inc.
Look HERE for a printable pdf chart, with side-by-side comparisons of the insulin pumps currently available in Canada…
…including answers the following FAQ’s about choosing an insulin pump:
The system is approved by Health Canada for which populations? (Can my child use it?)
Is the pump tubing-free?
Size & Weight
Screen Size, Type and Options
Water-Resistance: Can I swim and bathe while wearing the pump?
Warranty: For how long after purchase will the company provide support, and replace the pump if necessary?
Vacation Loaner Program: Can I borrow a back-up pump as a safety net for when I’m away from home?
Does the pump have an integrated Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) available?
Will the pump stop insulin delivery when my glucose is low?
Will the pump stop insulin delivery when it predicts my glucose is headed for a low?
Will the pump automatically adjust insulin delivery based on my current BG?
How big or small can the basal rates be?
How many different basal rates can I set throughout the day (24-hour period)?
Can I create and switch between alternate basal profiles? (for weekends, exercise, illness, school days…)
Can I set a temporary basal rate? (for illness, exercise, couch potato days, to cover hi-fat foods…)
Is there a temporary glucose target feature? (for exercise, overnight after a high-activity day, or for sleepovers)
Bolus Size & Range: How small or large of a bolus can the pump deliver?
Bolus Delivery Speed: Can the pump deliver bolus insulin at different rates of speed? (for time efficiency, for comfort)
Does the pump have a bolus calculator, using my programmed rates and ratios to do the math for me or my child?
Can I program varied carb ratios across the day?
Can I program varied Insulin Sensitivity Factors (ISF) across the day?
Does the pump calculate active insulin remaining, to avoid insulin stacking and reduce the risk of lows?
Duration of Insulin Action (DIA): Can I set my own individualized length of time for which insulin continues to act?
Extended Bolus: Can I split or extend a bolus to cover slower-digesting or hi-fat foods?
Is there a Quick Bolus function (to deliver a bolus without looking or opening the pump screen)?
Is there a Bolus Pre-set option, for my “usual” snacks / meals?
What types of infusion sets are available?
Will the pump remind me when it’s time to change my infusion set?
LINKED BG METER or REMOTE:
Is there a linked BG meter (that communicates blood glucose results wirelessly to the insulin pump)?
Can I deliver an insulin bolus wirelessly from a meter remote or smart phone app?
Is the insulin pump fully operational on its own (if I misplace/my child leaves behind at school the remote or smart phone)?
Reservoir size: How much insulin does the insulin reservoir hold?
Low Insulin Warning: Does the pump alert me when insulin is beginning to run out?
If the insulin runs out, do I have to replace the infusion set?
In addition to automatic safety alarms, what kind of alerts or reminders will prompt me to do diabetes tasks?
What type of batteries can I use? How long do they last?
Can I lock the keypad to prevent accidental button-presses?
How can I download the Pump History, Glucose Results (if applic) and analyze the data?
We suggest that if you are considering a transition to a insulin pump, or if your child’s current insulin pump warranty is ending soon, consider the different features outlined above as a starting point to your research; then check out the websites for the different manufacturers and speak directly to company representatives, so that you and your child have all the information (concrete and intuitive) needed to choose the insulin pump that best fits your family.
Need to do more research?
Details on what distinguishes the systems from each other (so you can figure out which is the best fit for you):
The above information was reviewed for content accuracy by representatives of the pump companies.
This material has been developed from sources that we believe are accurate, however, as the field of medicine (in particular as it applies to diabetes) is rapidly evolving, the information should not be relied upon, as it is designed for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional.
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