Review of Animas Vibe > Continuous Glucose Monitoring

After 6 years+ with Medtronic insulin pump, I had the pleasure to try out Animas Vibe with CGM. A few years ago, I used Medtronic continious glucose monitoring (CGM). After around 1 year it felt disappointing with the problematic sensor insertion, all the problems and side effects and I decided to quit using Medtronics CGM. But there are other more forward looking companies that doesn’t stand still in their development. Animas, recently bought by Johnson & Johnson is one of them.

Would Animas Vibe be any better? What about the quality and accuracy of a smaller company like Animas? Here is my >>complete review of Animas Vibe, before giving a >>review of Medtronics latest CGM functionality and a >>comparison of both products (this might be launched in 2014, whenever I have time).

12 Factors to consider

Before going with Animas Vibe or any other insulin pump having CGM functionality, there are many factors to consider. I’ve had diabetes for over 25 years and here is my list of the 12 most important factors to consider before selecting an insulin pump.

1. Design: How Animas Vibe looks like?
The pump do look rather modern and comes in multiple colours. They even have various colours for the infusion set, if anyone care? I surely don’t..

2. Screen: The first insulin pump with colourful screen?
Animas Vibe comes with a colourful screen that feels more modern/up to date compared than many other brands. Still, it’s far from how an iPhone looks like if you know what I mean..

3. Size: Always too big?
Like all other pumps, Animas Vibe feels a bit too large. It’s the same size or smaller than most pumps, but I surely wish it was smaller. When taking off the [clip] it’s like having a wallet in your pocket. You get used to it. Hopefully, their engineers put more effort into thinking out of the box when it comes to insulin [cylinders], batteries and other parts making the pumps bulky. I’m actually surprised that no insulin pump manufacturer made them even cooler, even smaller – but I guess the lack of competition is part of the reason. At least Animas Vibs is in the forefront when it comes to size and design.

4. Ergonomics (pump): Not optimal
Animas are a bit behind when it comes to ergonomics and usability for insulin pumps. It feels like they are made for left-handed individuals and forces you to take up the entire pump when giving insulin. Medtronic is way better when it comes to insulin pump ergonomics .

5. Ergonomics (sensor)
Stable. Efficient. But 2 layers. A bit too chunky/big. The sensor is easy to insert and sits very stable. All with a simple device you can open and put on in less than 1 minute. No extra parts required – it’s an all in one solution. While I prefer re-usable/recyle products, I have to admit it’s very convenient.

6. How easy to use?
Fairly easy to get started.

7. Sensor: How likely to fall off?
More info soon.

8. Sensor: More info soon
More info soon.

9. Sensor itchiness
Medtronic’s device gives me itchy skin. Constant itching on the skin is no fun. Animas Vibe on the other hand doesn’t itch at all. But I guess this can be very individual..

10. Pump responsiveness
Animas CGM shows quick results. If your blod sugar swings heavily – which it can do for many diabetics – then Animas Vibe seems to be a great choice. The responsiveness seems to be quicker and at least more accurate at lower blood sugar readings compared to other CGM manufacturers.

11. Pump accuracy
Animas is way way better! More info soon.

12. Price: How much is it to use Dexcom G4 CGM system?
Using Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) from Animas Vibe cost about £50 for each sensor. When buying them in four pack instead they cost £46.50 each. The sensors are made by Dexcom and the latest version is called G4. Transmitters are bought separately and they cost £335 each. They have a warranty period of 6 months, but might last longer. All continuous glucose monitoring devices in UK are self funded, so you have to pay from your own pockets. Like always, there might be exceptions and if you are able to convince the hospital that your blod sugar is very unpredictable (or something else?) you might be able to get funding. If you spend some time to get funding, I’m sure it might be possible.

MORE INFO SOON. (This article is not complete. It will be improved when I have time)

Further information:
Animas Corp – http://www.animascorp.co.uk/
Lifescan – http://www.lifescan.co.uk/
Johnson & Johnson International (http://www.jnj.com/)
Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute (http://www.jjdi.com/)

Joslin announces Alliance with Jognson & Johnson

http://www.joslin.org/joslin-and-johnson-and-johnson-innovation-announce-alliance-to-identify-exercise-related-drug-targets-for-diabetes-management.html

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