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OmniPod DASH ® – Costs and Choice in Diabetes Tech

There are quite a few insulin pumps available already. So, why is Macintyre Health excited about OmniPod’s arrival in Australia? Well, it comes down to giving you a choice about the diabetes tech you use and the financial burden diabetes imposes on you.

By Laura Zimmerman

There are quite a few insulin pumps available already. So, why is Macintyre Health excited about the OmniPod DASH ® arrival in Australia?

Well, it comes down to giving you a choice about the diabetes tech you use and the financial burden diabetes imposes on you.

At Macintyre Health, we love seeing how advances in diabetes technology can make it easier to live with type 1 diabetes.

Devices like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) have been a game-changer for many people with diabetes. Removing the need for frequent injections or finger pricks just makes life easier.

Technology can also improve diabetes management, alerting you when your blood glucose is too high or too low and increasing your time in the optimal blood sugar range. Ultimately, that improves health outcomes for people with diabetes.

No two people with diabetes are alike. Some love their CGM, others prefer a flash sensor, some love their pump while others are happy to continue with injections.

At Macintyre Health, we want you to have as many choices as possible about how you manage your diabetes so you can find a system that suits your lifestyle.

That’s why we’re keen to give you the option of OmniPod DASH ®.

What is OmniPod DASH ®?

OmniPod DASH ® is a new type of insulin management system based around an insulin ‘pod’ and a personal diabetes manager (PDM).

The pod is a small, tubeless (goodbye cannula!) pump worn like a patch on your body, a bit like a flash sensor. It contains enough insulin for the average person’s needs over 3 days. Once those 3 days are up, you remove the pod and dispose of it.

The PDM is a wireless Bluetooth device that tells your pod how much insulin to administer. When you’ve measured your blood sugar and judged the carbohydrate content of a meal, you tell your pod that information and it’ll administer a bolus dose of insulin. And, of course, it’s always drip-feeding you a personally tailored basal dose throughout the day and night.

Is OmniPod DASH ® cheaper than an insulin pump?

It’s a different system and, as yet, we don’t know what its Australian costs will be since that depends on a number of corporate and government decisions.

When you get a pump, you (or your health insurance) may pay an initial cost for the device itself. Then you may pay regular, ongoing costs for the reservoirs and cannulae. Although these are subsidised through the NDSS, there still may be an out-of-pocket cost for you.

OmniPod DASH ® is considering a completely different design. The company may supply the PDM when you start (in much the same way that companies give you a free blood glucose monitor when they introduce a new model to the market).

However, you replace the OmniPod itself every 3 days.

Is that good or bad? Well, we think that’s your choice to make. If you’re happy with your existing diabetes technology, you might continue with what you’re already doing.

However, you might prefer OmniPod DASH ® if you enjoy spending time in the pool or at the beach (the OmniPod DASH ® is waterproof). You might also prefer it if you don’t like being connected to your pump by a tube, which can easily get caught on door handles or tugged on by toddlers. A patch pump might just seem easier.

We’re not here to tell you which system is right for you. We just want you to have the choice.

The financial burden of living with diabetes

You didn’t choose to have diabetes. Nor did you choose to spend a fair amount of your disposable income on managing it.

There’s no doubt that living with diabetes is costly. Those costs can be felt within yourself, resulting in higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Please reach out to us if you’re feeling like that, either for a face-to-face or telehealth appointment. We want to help you thrive with diabetes, not just survive.

The cost of living with diabetes can also impact your bank balance with the JDRF reporting that people with type 1 diabetes spend nearly $5,000 per year to cover health insurance, medical appointments and monitoring equipment.

That’s a significant amount of money, especially considering that it has to be spent year after year after year.

It’s no wonder that such costs prevent many people with type 1 diabetes from accessing life-changing diabetes technology. 

How can Macintyre Health help?

Macintyre Health and our allies in various Australian diabetes organisations will continue to lobby for easier access to diabetes technology for all people with type 1 diabetes. That includes making technology more affordable and making a wider range of technology available to increase choice.

It also includes providing you with the advice and support you need to use diabetes technology with confidence. If you’d like to start on an insulin pump, upgrade your tech or try out Omnipod DASH ®, please contact us.

Disclaimer

All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances.

Laura Zimmerman

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