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Tandem Diabetes Care t:Slim Insulin Pump Review

By on June 29, 2013

tandem-diabetes-insulin-pumpTandem Diabetes Care began shipping the t:slim insulin pump in August 2012. This is a big deal. It has been quite a while since a new insulin pump has been brought to market. This pump is stylish, has a color touch screen and looks very similar to an iphone, which makes it much more discreet than other choices.

If you read the comments under other insulin pump reviews on this site, the emotions run the gamut. People are either upset with the customer service or some other aspect of any given insulin pump. Alternatively, other users understand that flaws exist for any product and are happy just to have a pump.

So, how does the t:slim insulin pump do by comparison? Well, feedback from users will trickle in below as more people adopt the pump. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at some of the really cool features this pump has to offer.

KEY ADVANTAGES

  • COLOR TOUCH SCREEN: This is one of the first thing you will notice on the t:slim. It is very cool. It makes many of the other pumps look rather boring and utilitarian. But, more importantly, the color touch screen is easy to navigate making it easy to use.
  • SMALL INSULIN DOSES:The meter draws from a chamber, not directly from the insulin vial. This means that it has greater control over the amount of insulin it injects. A dosage can go as low as 0.001 u/hr. I believe this is the lowest doasage increment on the market.
  • SMALL:This is the smallest insulin pump on the market. As my father always says: “Less is more.”
  • CGM PROGRAM: Tandem Dibetes offers a free OneTouch Verio IQ (our review) with the t:slim or you can also get the Dexcom 7. You will have to pay for the Dexcom or run it through your insurance.
  • RECHARGEABLE:The pump uses a rechargeable battery that can even be charged with a car adapter.
  • SOFTWARE:The software called t:connect is both MAC and PC compatible. This is a huge benefit for users with a MAC computer. The FDA approved the application in February 2013. The software is web based and I had an opportunity to participate in a conference call discussing its capabilities. I came away very impressed and you can read my review here.
  • USB CONNECTIVITY:Once the software is approved, you will be able to use a standard USB cable to download your data.
  • GLUCOSE METER COMPATIBLE: The t:connect software is also supposed to be compatible with most glucose meters. Thus, one piece of software can be used to track your insulin and glucose readings. Let’s keep our fingers crossed in hopes that the software works and gets FDA approval.
  • WATER TIGHT:The pump has an IPX7 rating. Meaning, the pump can remain under 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. This is the same as the Medtronic insulin pump. This rating is more for accidental submersion more so than taking it swimming with you.

KEY DISADVANTAGES

Okay, with all these advantages there must surely be some disadvantages, right? The pump seems to be a well thought out and designed pump. The biggest issue is the uncertainty of dealing with a start up company. For example, how is their customer service? This seems to be the number one complaint of most insulin pump users.

I will say that the collective industry experience of the Executive team is impressive and the Company is backed by some large Venture Capital firms. Thus, there appears to be a solid financial and experience footing.

Only time will tell. Initial users will have to trust that Tandem Diabetes and the FDA approval process got it right. However, this is no different when other new products, like the OmniPod, come out.

INFUSION SET

The t:slim uses a standard Luer lock connection infusion set. Recommended sets include the Cleo 90, Comfort, Contact and the t:set (from Tandem Diabetes).

BOTTOM LINE

As touched upon above, this insulin pump has some really great features. Hands down it is the slimmest on the market and has the best screen and navigation. It also has small dosage delivery options and is even waterproof! The key for this pump will be time. Does it stand the test of time in regard to reliability and customer service? With so many advantages over other insulin pumps, I surely hope so.

Please leave your review below!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Model
t:slim
Size (inches) 3.13 x 2 x 0.6
Weight (battery/insulin) 3.95 oz.
Battery Rechargeable
Infusion Set Connection Leur Lock
Reservoir Size 300u
Basal Profiles
6
Basal Rates 16
Basal Increment 0.01
Basal Range 0.001-15 U/hr
Bolus Increment 0.05-25U, 0.01U steps
Bolus Delivery 6 Options
Memory 90 Days, 11,000 Events
Meter Compatibility No
Waterproof Yes (3 feet for 30 min.)
Occlusion alarm Yes
Over Delivery Alarm Yes
Near Empty Alarm Yes
Backlit Display Color Touch Screen
Warranty 4 Years
Software Download Yes (end of 2012)
Colors NA