Choosing the Best Insulin Pump for You
The insulin pumps that are available today are well-built and well-supported by their manufacturers. They all have the same set of central features, plus distinct features setting them apart from one another.
It is the unique advantages and disadvantages that make spending time and effort on comparison shopping worth your while – and there are several ways to do this.
Comparison Pump Shopping
You might begin comparing pumps by visiting pump manufacturer websites with an awareness that the material presented will be heavily biased in that company’s favor. To do hands-on research, consider stopping by diabetes conferences or trade shows and speaking with the representatives at each booth. This gives you the opportunity to collect data and play around with each pump.
A great way to pick up first-hand user information is by attending support group meetings, visiting online forums and chat rooms unassociated with a pump manufacturer, and checking out the blogs of insulin pump users. Most people are happy to share what they like and dislike about their pump.
Talking to a diabetes educator who has knowledge and experience working with different pumps is naturally an excellent source of information, although healthcare teams may associate themselves with a particular pump company – leaving you to do your own investigating.
Making a Choice
According to Gary Scheiner, a diabetes specialist, the best way to choose a pump is to identify which features are the most desirable and/or necessary for you, and then narrow your selection feature by feature. For instance, if you are a frequent boater or swimmer, it makes sense to eliminate pumps that are not waterproof. If your copay is big and your budget is not so big, you might forget the pumps with the highest initial price.
Some people consider it important to go with a company that has been in business for many years and has a proven track record. Others may want a pump with a remote, or one that is extremely easy to program. Maybe you need a long battery life, the clearest or largest display, or a pump that can generate insulin, carbohydrate and blood-sugar statistics. Lifestyle, medical needs and personality will guide your choice.
Certain manufacturers let people borrow pumps for a trial run using saline – an ideal way to get a feel for using a particular pump. Also, most companies have a 30 day money-back policy. If worried about making the wrong pump choice, this guarantee should be a pump feature on your must have list.
To begin comparison shopping, you might peruse the information at Integrated Diabetes Services (integrateddiabetes.com) on their insulin pump comparisons page.
Photo credit: Vic / flickr