Tube-Free Insulin Pumps
Written by Polly Antees (APD, CDE)
Over the last few years micro pumps have been approved for use in Australia. These pumps do not have tubing as part of the infusion set. They attach to the skin so there is no need for your clients to worry about how to carry their pump. The two pumps on the market for people with Type 1 diabetes in Australia are Accu-Chek Solo and Ominpod DASH. Both pumps are very small and both weigh less than 30g.
The pumps do not have a screen so they use a personal delivery manager (PDM) or receiver to send information to the pump for insulin delivery. The PDM is similar to a smart phone. Unfortunately, to date there is not an app to control these pumps so the user needs to have a smart phone for their continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and a transmitter (PDM) for the pump.
As the CGM and micro pumps do not communicate with each other, the option of auto-stop or auto-basal adjustment is not available.
One advantage of these pumps can be worn on the back of the arms, stomach, thighs or buttocks, providing more flexibility in regards to placement sites of traditional tubing pumps.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two:
How to choose a pump
There are now five different insulin pump brands available in Australia. Each pump has different capabilities and suits different individuals. When discussing pumping as an option with your client talk to them about what they want from the pump and which options would suit their lifestyle.