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Accu-Chek Spirit Combo Insulin Pump Review

By on June 29, 2013

spirit combo insulin pumpThe Accu-Chek Spirit Combo was introduced in 2012 as a replacement to the Spirit model. The key differentiating factor for the new pump is that is uses wireless blue tooth technology to communicate with the included Accu-Chek glucose meter.

Not only are glucose results transferred to the insulin pump, but you can also control your pump with the glucose meter. This is a pretty big change.

What else is different? Let’s dig into it below.

KEY ADVANTAGES

  • WIRELESS CONTROL: As mentioned in the introduction, you can control the pump from the glucose meter. This is good for a number of reasons. First, there is no cord to pull or get tangled. Second, controlling the pump is more discreet. It almost looks like you are playing with your phone. Not obvious at all nowadays! Third, if you are a parent, you only have to be within about 6.5 feet of your child to control their pump.
  • AVIVA METER: This is not the standard Accu-Chek Aviva meter. Besides the wireless connectivity and insulin pump remote control features, the screen is full color. The menus are easy to read and use. The only other pump with this type of technology is the OneTouch Ping. The Aviva meter is much better than the more utilitarian meter included with the Ping.
  • LARGE RESERVOIR:The Accu-Chek Spirit Combo still has the largest insulin reservoir on the market, 315u.
  • WATER TIGHTNESS: The pump is rated water tight for up to 60 minutes in eight feet of water.
  • SMALLER BASAL INCREMENT: The Spirit Combo can deliver a smaller basal increment of 0.05. The old Spirit could only go down to 0.1. The change was made to appeal more to child users, as they often need smaller delivery increments.
  • BOLUS ADVICE FUNCTION: This is a new feature on the pump. It allows you to use a current glucose reading from the meter to calculate and deliver a bolus. The lack of an integrated bolus calculator was a big drawback on the original Spirit pump.

KEY DISADVANTAGES

Interestingly enough, all of the key disadvantages of the older Spirit pump have been corrected in the new Accu-Chek Spirit Combo.

For many pumps on the market I could list the customer service as poor. However, I have not received any complaints from readers about Accu-Chek’s customer service. Additionally, I had to call the service department for some information about this article and they were friendly and responsive.

So, for the time being, I am not going to list any disadvantages, Accu-Chek has one a good job with the redesign of this pump. If you discover some disadvantages, please email me or leave them in the comments below and I will take a look at them.

INFUSION SET

The Accu-Chek Spirit Combo infusion set uses a luer lock. However, they have many different choices depending upon your personal preferences, such as angle of insertion, tubing and cannula lengths, body mass, etc.

BOTTOM LINE

Bottom line is that the old Spirit pump had some problems. The new Spirit Combo has eliminated most if not all of those problems. Additionally, the company has added wireless control and integrated glucose testing. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I like that in 2012, there were several updated or newer insulin pumps released on the market. Accu-Chek didn’t just rest on its laurels, it listened to user feedback and made positive changes. I think this pump is a good addition to the competitive marketplace.

Please leave your comments for other readers below the technical information.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Model
Accu-Chek Spirit Combo
Size 3.2 x 2.2 x 0.8
Weight (battery/insulin) 3.9 oz.
Battery Varies
Infusion Set Connection Leur Lock
Reservoir Size 315u
Basal Profiles 5
Basal Rates 24
Basal Increment 0.01, 0.05, 0.1
Basal Range 0.0 to 25 U/hr
Bolus Increment 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0
Bolus Delivery 3 options
Memory 4,500 Events (90 days approx.)
Meter Compatibility Yes
Waterproof Yes
Occlusion alarm Yes
Over Delivery Alarm No
Near Empty Alarm Yes
Backlit Display Yes
Warranty 4 Years
Software Download Yes
Colors 8 (skins)