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The New OmniPod PDM200: My Personal Review

June 5, 2009

Hi all!
I just received my new PDM upgrade recently and am completely excited. After playing with it for a few days now, I thought I may post a blog that would explain from my point of view the different upgrades, good and bad, between the first PDM and the new PDM.

The new PDM is a dark, almost navy blue color and is shaped more like a standard PDA. As far as size, it seems slightly thinner, but it is slightly longer as well. Not too bad though. It’s about the same size as my blackberry curve, just a tad bit thinner. In my opinion, it has been redesigned that way to follow their slogan "Making diabetes a smaller part of life" so that other people think it really is a PDA, not an insulin pump controller and you’re just planning your agenda, not your insulin intake. The screen is now larger than the old PDM’s screen, making more room for menu items on the much easier to nagivate Home screen and new Status screen, which now has all the needed information about the pod on one screen, not two as the old PDM had. Besides the increased screen size, I do believe the best upgrade was making it in color. The resolution makes the words clearer and the white background makes the screen brighter and easier to read than the prior PDM’s black-on-grey screen.

However, since the screen is bigger, the buttons are smaller. Instead of the seven buttons, there is now only an oval with 4 buttons below the standard three control buttons. On this oval, there is the up button on top, down button on bottom, home/power button to the left side and the (?) help button on the right side. These buttons are slightly harder to press, but I attribute this to the smaller size of the button and also safty reasons as to prevent an accidental bolus. The food database no longer has it’s own button, but has been moved to the home screen, as well as the glucose history. They have also added a little port light at the bottom of the PDM where the strip is placed for glucose checks. This helps to make sure you put the blood sample in the right spot if you happen to be in a low-lighted area. This can only be activated after inserting the strip and pressing the middle control button when prompted. The port is easy to find on the bottom of the PDM, so it shouldn’t be a problem putting it in, but if you’re like me and do several midnight glucose checks some weeks, you really need that port light to be sure you’re getting your sample where it’s needed.

Now, as for setting up the PDM, it’s very similar to the old PDM, with one exception. After you get it set up with your basal rates and you activate your new pod with it, you cannot use bolus calculations until your insulin duration time has passed. i.e., if you have an insulin duration of 2 hours, and you activate your pdm at 12pm, you cannot use the bolus calculations until after 2pm. Likewise, if you have a duration of 4 hours, you cannot use it until 4pm. This is to prevent a possible low from insulin on board that the pdm is not aware of. This is only for the first time you use the pdm, not every time you change the pod.

I really like the case they have provided with it. Everything fits right inside and is easily accessible.It has a guide inside as to where to put everything, but it has slots for the PDM, pricker, insulin, strips, 2 extra batteries, alcohol wipes, spare meter, and the back has a pocket for an extra pod. I usually hate cases, but this one I like. I may stick with it for a while.The front is plain with the OmniPod logo at the bottom right hand corner, kinda like the case that came with the first PDM.

They are going to be sending out the clear gel case too for the pdm since mine wasn’t included in my shipment (they said a few slipped through without the links for the software online and the gel cases, hence the delay if you haven’t gotten yours yet.)I heard through the internet grapevine that it will be a clip style skin/case, but we’ll see when I get it. I’ll post pictures when I receive it.

Since they have gone together with Abbott to make the extension for Abbott’s CoPilot system, you can download a copy of the CoPilot software from Abbott and download the extension (or Plug in) from OmniPod. I had trouble downloading it, but I found out it was my virus scan that was causing it. Just go to www.myomnipod.com and go to the Customer Care section. To the left hand side, there will be a Downloads section that you can download the programs from it. Download and install CoPilot first, then the Omnipod Extension. One problem I did run into is that I kept getting an error while the program was running (stating I did not have any virtual memory available, which I know was not true), so I had to close the program and run it in Windows XP compatibility mode. (I have Windows Vista). All you have to do is right click the program, go to properties, click on the compatibility tab, check the box for Windows XP SP2, apply and close. Reopen the program and you shouldn’t have those errors pop up. Getting readings is VERY easy. I have uploaded my new PDM several times since receiving it and it literally takes one minute. Just open the CoPilot software, plug in the pdm, go back to your Copilot software, click on the data entry tab, and click read from Omnipod. It should import everything, but word of caution, it only downloads up to the day before. This is what I had when I first got the PDM:

The software also lets you get a settings report from the PDM by going to the Omnipod tab and choosing Omnipod PDM Settings Report. Click it, give it a second, and this is what you get… Great thing to have in hand when you’re at the doctors office so you don’t have to look through the PDM each time they ask.

As of now, I am completely and utterly in LOVE with their new system. It is a great improvement over what they had before, which was hard to imagine because I thought the old PDM was great
too and didn’t think they could improve much more… BOY was I proven wrong! The only thing that I can say I don’t like is how loud they have made the beeps. It is much louder than the first PDM. If I could have my way, they would have made it with different volume levels or an option for sound or vibrate so that you could avoid embarrasing situations like sitting in a meeting or in church and your PDM alarming really loud.

In conclusion, the new and improved PDM is a wonderful upgrade and would certainly, without a doubt, recommend it to anyone that either has the old PDM or would like to upgrade from their traditional tubbed insulin pump. If you are currently with OmniPod and have the first PDM, you may want to consider upgrading. The offer to upgrade for $149 ends in September, so do try to order before then to avoid paying the standard upgrade price. Not only that, you also get to keep your first PDM as your "backup" if something were to happen to the new one. Thanks for reading my review of the OmniPod PDM200.

Happy podding!!!

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