Tech Update: Tandem

By March 27, 2018Fresh Air Blog, Tech Update

Are you an Animas user trying to figure out what your next year(s) might look like? Or just exploring options for your next pump? We’ve compiled some information about the (soon-to-be) newest kid on the block.

I’M JUST GETTING TO KNOW TANDEM. CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY?

 

You might have heard the rumours that there is (/will soon-we-think be) a new kid on the block in the Canadian Insulin Pump world, Tandem Diabetes.  CIM has been working with Tandem in the US for several years and are excited to share some of what we’ve learned from our experiences here with our community. Tandem focuses on innovative and a user-centric approach when it comes to the design, development and sale of their insulin pumps. They sell the t:slim X2™ Insulin Pump. You might have heard about it! It’s the touch-screen 300 unit pump that is capable of remote feature updates using a personal computer. (You might remember the blog we wrote about it!) Tandem also makes a larger, 480-unit pump for users with greater insulin needs, including our T2 friends! 

Tandem, a San Diego-based company, really puts design and user-experience at the centre of their innovation. When they developed their first pump, they conducted thousands of interviews with people living with diabetes and their healthcare providers, and have continued using this design approach in the development of all of their products. 

Another cool thing to know about Tandem is that Diabetes is all they do. Insulin pumps are not a division of a larger company. Their insulin pump has been used in artificial pancreas studies around the world.

GIVE ME THE BASICS. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LATEST TANDEM PRODUCTS?

 

The first thing you should know is that Tandem is awaiting Health Canada approval to begin sales in Canada. Applications were submitted in February 2018. Now, all of the important stuff: If you’re living with Type 1, the pump you’re likely most interested in is the t:slim X2. It’s the smallest pump available (yet it still holds 300 units!) and allows users to remotely update its software (hence their slogan: The pump that gets updated, not outdated.) For example, upon FDA approval of Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM compatibility, thousands of existing t:slim X2 Insulin Pump users were able to add CGM integration to their pump from home using their personal computer, without waiting for their insurance to cover a new device.

WHAT HAVE YOU GUYS HEARD OF AS BEING ON THE HORIZON FROM TANDEM? WHAT MIGHT WE HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO?

 

Disclaimer time. Not even the team at Tandem have the inside scoop on FDA and Health Canada timelines. We still wanted to let you know about a few things we’ve heard rumblings about:

Tandem has two Automated Insulin Delivery products in development, one using a predictive low glucose suspend (PLGS) algorithm and the other using TypeZero’s hybrid closed-loop technology. In February, they announced reduced time in hypoglycemia demonstrated by their PLGS product during their pivotal trial

THE DETAILS – t:slim X2

  • Reservoir Size: Can hold 300 units of Rapid-Acting Insulin
  • Site Specifics: Autosoft 90, Autosoft XC (formerly branded Inset), Autosoft 30, Varisoft (formerly branded Comfort), TruSteel (formerly branded Contact Detach). Read more.
  • Watertight: Tested at 3 feet for 30 minutes, so their pumps are protected in the event of accidental dunks, sweat, rain, etc.
  • Rechargeable Battery: The pump uses a micro-USB port to recharge. No battery changes or costs required.
  • Colour Touch Screen: The touchscreen gives them the power to move buttons around through a software update to make room for new features like an interactive CGM screen like they did following approval of G5 integration earlier this year.
  • Dexcom G5 Integration: The t:slim X2 pump comes with built in Dexcom G5 integration. You can see your CGM readings right on the screen of the pump!

THE DETAILS – DEXCOM G5 INTEGRATION

If you’re a current Dexcom G5 user (our next tech update will feature Dexcom and updates from their team), you’ll be happy to hear that Dexcom G5 is integrated with the Tandem t:slim X2. That means that you’ll be able to have your CGM readings head straight to your pump, no receiver needed (although you can also carry your phone to get your readings, too, if you’d like!) For the tech-savvy out there, the Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM can be paired with one medical device and one non-medical device at the same time (e.g. A t:slim X2 Pump and a mobile device running the Dexcom share app or a Dexcom G5 receiver and a mobile device running the Dexcom share app.) Now, here are the basics:

  • Alarm Settings: The t:slim X2, when used with the Dexcom G5, has programmable high and low alert settings to notify you when your glucose is above or below your personal target range.
  • Trending: Similar to the G5 receiver, the t:slim X2 has colour-coded trend lines make it easy to spot trends at a glance. You’ll also see trend arrows and your current BG right on the home screen of your pump.

I’M AN ANIMAS PUMP USER AND MY PUMP IS STILL UNDER WARRANTY. WHAT NEXT STEPS SHOULD I CONSIDER WITH TANDEM?

 

That answer depends on where you’re living. If you’re in the US, read on below! If you’re in Canada, it’s too early to know what options may be available. Those answers will become clearer once the t:slim X2 receives Health Canada approval and sales begin in Canada.

USA Programs: The details of the Tandem offer to Animas pump users are listed here: https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/products/animas-special-offer

The $999 payment for the Touch Simplicity Program can be credited to the purchase of a new Tandem pump and/or supplies at the end of the current Animas or Roche pump warranty period, or refunded in full or in part depending on how long the pump is used. If insurance provides 100% coverage of a new Tandem pump and supplies, the program fee will be refunded to the customer. 

I’M AN ANIMAS PUMP USER AND MY PUMP IS NOT UNDER WARRANTY ANYMORE. WHAT DO I DO NEXT?

 

If your Animas Insulin Pump is NOT under warranty, it’s time to start looking for another option. This process is similar to what you would have done even if Animas was an option for pumping today. Check in to find out if you can access any government support program (for example, the Assistive Devices Program in Ontario) or if your private insurance will cover your new pump. You can also contact pump companies directly to get their help with this.

CANADA: If you’re considering a t:slim X2 pump from Tandem, you’ll need to wait to on Health Canada approval. Submission to Health Canada was made in February 2018.

USA: The best way to start the process is to submit their online form (http://ow.ly/vS5B30g1Smq) which gives their Insurance Verification Specialists what they need to check your insurance coverage, or you can give them a call at 1-877-801-6901 to get the process started. 

I REALLY VALUE THE EXPERIENCES OF THE COMMUNITY. ARE THERE ANY REVIEWS OF THE t:slim X2 OUT THERE YOU COULD SUGGEST READING?

 

You bet! We’ve included some of our favourites below!

Review: @TandemDiabetes t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Dexcom G5 integration by Manny Hernandez

A 5-Month Review of the Tandem t:slim X2 by Laddie Lindahl

First Week with my Tandem t:slim X2 Insulin Pump by Sarah K @ Diabetes Daily

The Future of Diabetes Care: Tandem T-Slim X2 by 

Want to learn more about some of the people who use Tandem pumps? See some of their stories here: https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/blog/-in-category/categories/featured-users

HOW IS TANDEM ENGAGING WITH THE TYPE 1 DIABETES COMMUNITY?

 

Tandem was Connected in Motion’s very first partner in the United States, helping us to bring the very first SoCal Slipstream to life 3 years ago. This year, we’re excited to welcome Tandem on board again to be working with CIM in both the US AND Canada!

We’re thrilled to have Tandem as a Founding Partner of the Friends for Life Canada conference, coming to Orlando in November as well as a Lead Sponsor of the upcoming Beyond Type 1 x Connected in Motion Ontario Slipstream!

The Tandem team also hosts or attends over 350 community events each year. If you’re in the US, check out their community calendar to find one near you:  https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/community/events

The team at Tandem also sends a newsletter out with community events that they are supporting (just like CIM’s Slipstream – Check out the video they put together for CIM last year!): https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/stay-connected

Finally, Tandem’s Advocacy Launch Pad is a simple tool to help the community find opportunities to get involved in diabetes advocacy: https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/community/advocacy-launchpad

Disclaimer: Although this is not paid content, Medtronic, Omnipod, Tandem and Dexcom are national partners of Connected in Motion. Our views may be biased because of these partnerships, but we still thought this information was helpful for the community.