• Michelle Law

Accu-chek Insight pump review



I'm coming to the end of four years with my Accu-chek Insight insulin pump and for anyone who needs to make a decision about which pump to choose, this is my experience with it. I don't think any pump is perfect though and we all have different priorities - what I liked might not be important to you and the things I didn't like might not bother you at all. That said, here's my round up of the good and the bad.


The good


Remote control


The pump comes with a separate handset which is a remote control for the pump as well as a BG monitor, so you don't have to carry around a separate monitor. I decided to give this pump a try because I was fed up with digging around in my clothes to get my Medtronic pump out and press buttons. If I was wearing a dress, in a work meeting or travelling this had become a pain. Being able to enter carbs, check my BGs and bolus from the handset without disturbing the pump itself was great.


Cartridges


The pump takes pre-filled Novorapid cartridges so refilling the pump is quick and easy. There's no faffing around with manually filling up the insulin reservoirs like on a Medtronic.


Insertion device


The insertion device is so much better than the Medtronic Quick-serter I used to use. It's more stable and completely pain free. I've never had the cannula adhesive get stuck in the insertion device with the Insight, but this used to happen regularly with my old Medtronic.


Cannulas and tubing


The cannulas are comfortable and really robust. I can't remember having any bent cannulas and they stay on really well. Again, I used to have quite a few issues with the Medtronic cannulas failing to insert properly. The tubing also comes in different lengths so you can choose whether you want 40cm or 70cm depending on how you're wearing the pump.


Customer service


The customer service people are super nice. Whenever I've had issues or questions or just needed to order supplies, they are helpful and efficient.


Size and comfort


The pump is quite small, rounded and comfortable to wear and sleep in. The buttons and menus on the pump are also easy to navigate.



The bad


Handset


The handset is really disappointing. It's prone to alarming REALLY LOUDLY with electronic errors when trying to do a remote bolus. When you're doing this discreetly under the table during a meeting this is super embarrassing and means you end up having to press the buttons on the pump to work it. The remote bolus function became so unreliable that I stopped using it. Not an issue while I've been working from home but it would have been really annoying if I was in my normal routine.


Other things that are annoying about the handset: it's not easy to navigate to change settings, everything takes lots of button pushes and the handset is slow to react to the buttons.


Incompatibility


A big flaw of this pump is that it doesn't accept blood sugar information from other devices. I used to use the Freestyle Lite meter to do BG checks as it was tiny and needed hardly any blood but I had to retire that when I started on this pump. I've been using the Freestyle Libre for the last couple of years and I can't enter any of that information into the pump for bolus wizard calculations either which has been frustrating.


BG meter


I was surprised at how much blood this meter needs for a finger prick compared with the Freestyle Lite. I've wasted so many test strips from "not enough blood on the strip" errors. I've never been able to get much blood from my fingers so this is an annoying downside of this meter.


Limited pump functionality


Since I stopped bothering with the handset I've been bolusing by pushing buttons on the pump, but for some reason you can't enter your carbs you just have to dial up the insulin units. That means if you don't use the handset, you can't get the bolus wizard functionality. I'm back to working out how many units in my head like I used to with injections which is nuts considering the amount of tech I'm holding in my hand dialling them up.


Clips not good enough


The clips that came with the pump are disappointing. There's a big, black, bulky belt clip that isn't suitable for attaching to the sort of clothing I wear at all. There was also a smaller clip that I assume was meant to be more suitable for women but it snapped almost immediately and I was told it had been discontinued. I paid extra to get a bra clip from Roche so I could wear the pump under my clothing. It's not ideal that women have to pay extra to be able to wear the pump comfortably! To give myself more options I also ordered some body bands from Hid-In which are excellent and super comfortable.


Would I choose this pump again?


On balance, no. It's been good to experience a new pump after 8 years using Medtronic but the negatives and limitations of this model for me mean that I won't be choosing another one as my next pump.