Original Omnipod System or Omnipod DASH?

Hello all! I hope everyone is doing well in taking care of their diabetes and not having it effect their daily lives like I do sometimes (a lot). I am having difficulty deciding which Omnipod system is better for me to have, so I would appreciate the feedback from you all!

I am out of warranty with my current Omnipod PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager), which means the next thing I get, will be permanent for two to three years. I’m all about trying new things, but I like to know the pros and cons of it. I have heard much talk about the new Omnipod DASH system and did some research on it. I like that it Bluetooth’s with your meter to give you more accurate readings and even uploads it (when connected to WiFi) to an app where your endocrinologist can see your levels, but then again carrying a lot of stuff might become annoying. Not only would you carry the Bluetooth like cell phone that records all your blood sugars, bolus and basal rates, but you also have a separate Contour meter to check your blood sugars. With the original system, you have a PDM meter that checks your blood sugar, lets you bolus from it, etc. which seems more convenient and easier. However, I think trying something new would be beneficial for me.

The reason for my change and interest in hearing your thoughts is because I have been having problems lately that stress me out. This is the SECOND PDM, the past five years I’ve been using the Omnipod, that has been messing up. My internal battery only lasts so long and the past two months have been HECK when I have to change my batteries. Every time I change my batteries, it makes me reset the clock and deactivate my pod when it isn’t even time to. It’s so frustrating because THEN it won’t do the math to give me automatic correction, bolus, or basal rates for 4-6 hours. The longer I wait to invest in a new system, the worse it gets. It makes me mad and I have gotten to the point where I wanted to be completely done with Omnipod. I know I am able to bolus myself, but it scares me not being able to see the IOB and if my insulin is even working during the down time of my new batteries.

However, my insurance has not approved the new Omnipod DASH system, so if I were to invest in it, I would have to wait up to 45 days before I find out if I am able to get the new system or not. The FDA just approved it, so it’s definitely new on the market! That is too long to wait, but may be well worth it. I am fine with the PDM I use now, but down the road, I don’t want another internal screw-up to worry about, so this is why I’m here asking questions. Last but not least, do you also have to keep up with a charger for the Omnipod DASH? I don’t know how that works, but when I think about it, I assume I’ll have to charge it like a phone battery.

Thank you all for your feedback, whether positive or negative, and your advice that you may give me!! I appreciate it so much.

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Hi Hannah @hanstan, it is nice seeing you here again, I’ve missed your insightful posts; hope that you are well.

I haven’t used the OmniPod system but many with whom I’ve spoken really love it - and the area representative for OmniPod gave me really positive hopes for the DASH. I don’t know if you are “tied” solely to the OmniPod, but there are other options that might also fit your current and future needs. If you use the “search” magnifying glass at the top of this page you will find considerable reader review.

It is nice to be back!! I have missed it for sure. :slight_smile: I just got off the phone with Insulet and not only are they going to renew my warranty for the current PDM system I use now, but they are doing an appeal with my insurance company to approve the new OmniPod DASH system. I still enjoy not having tubes attached to me because just yesterday I ran into a doorknob and it about knocked my pod off. I can’t imagine what it would be like with tubing attached to me! Until I hear anything back for coverage on the new system, they are working with my endocrinologist now in getting a new PDM sent to me to replace my old and used one now. I definitely need something new right now, so I am not running into the same problems and wasting pods. @Dennis

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My 12 year old daughter has been using an Omnipod since February 2019. She uses it with the Dexcom G6. She started with the old system and moved to the DASH several weeks ago. Because she has a CGM, we have never used the Contour meter that came with the DASH.

The new PDM is much improved. It is touchscreen and more user friendly. It is thinner and sleeker and looks more like a phone. Many things that were frustrating with the old PDM have been corrected. For example, you no longer have to use the arrows to enter your BG (a real pain when you are in the 300s!), but can just enter the number. When you are bolusing, it gives a nice breakdown about the dose amount, correction amount, and adjustment for IOB. There is a more user friendly menu so it’s easier to get to each function. For example, in the old system, if you were editing a basal rate you would have to go back to the home page to suspend insulin first and then get back to the page for basal rate. Now you can edit your basal rate, suspend, save, and resume all in one area. You can also now enter a basal rate of zero.

Instead of using AAA batteries, the new PDM has a rechargeable lithium battery. It does need to be recharged quite often but easy enough to do, like you would with your phone. It could probably last 3 days without recharging but we usually charge it every 2 days to be on the safe side. One time, her PDM accidentally never turned off (perhaps it was hitting something in her bag) and it drained her PDM battery by 50% by the end of the school day. However, that experience only happened once. The PDM does automatically turn itself off or you can manually turn it off and you have to enter a 4 digit code every time you turn your PDM on.

I’m not a tech person but the Bluetooth seems to slightly increase the range of the PDM connecting to the pod. For example, I can now bolus, set a temp basal, etc. through my daughter’s bedroom door when she is sleeping. Before I would have to go into her room and be at a pretty close range.

The apps that will make the DASH even better have not come out yet. The target is supposed to be Summer 2019. The Display app will allow you to access your DASH information on your phone including a helpful “find my PDM” function. The View app will allow parents to access the DASH info on their phone.

Hope this helps your decision! Also, in case you didn’t know, the DASH system requires new pods that are not compatible with the old system. So if you are planning on switching to the DASH, make sure you coordinate stopping the refill of your old pods so you can get the new pods.

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One other thing - if you are locked in to your decision for the next few years, you should also consider that the DASH Horizon closed loop is supposed to be available in 2020 although probably more like 2021.

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That is very interesting! I will consider that when it comes time to decide if I want it after my insurance company does approve it. I would love to start the artificial pancreas when that comes out, but not sure on when it will be available! @nkim

Hi Hannah.
You mention control problems, and another response refers to a possible closed loop system in the future. There is current Omnipod hybrid closed loop support for Do-It-Yoursef-ers available through Loop. Loop is code that allows you to build an experimental, non-FDA approved IOS app that is interoperable with CGM such as Dexcom G5/6. Currently Loop only supports the older “Eros” version of Omnipod, Dash is not supported.
If that is something you’re interested in, you can start research at Omnipod FAQs - LoopDocs.

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We upgraded to the DASH system about a month ago and absolutely love it. The interface is so much more user friendly. We also use the Dexcom, so not having a built in meter was not an issue for us. In the summer they will be releasing phone apps so that the data from the DASH (such as IOB) can be viewable on your own phone without having to pull out the DASH itself. This will be super helpful for me as a parent of a T1D. The system itself works just the same as the old one, so you should have no worries there. Someone mentioned that if you want to do DIY looping you would need to use the old pods/pdm. But I also want to mention that Tidepool is working on the getting loop FDA approved for the DASH system, so that will be a possibility for the future. Good luck with your decision and I hope this helps!

Another thing to mention is that the DASH is provided under pharmacy benefits, not DME. This could be a hurdle if your insurance is not processing it correctly.

@delightfulgirl My insurance did approve for the DASH Omnipod System, so that was good news this week! I am waiting to get the authorization for it to go through my doctor and once that is settled, all I’ll have to do is call Insulent. From there, they’ll ship my dash and contour meter to me free of charge! All I’ll have to do every month is pay for the pods, which is not a bad deal at all. I think I’ll love the new Omnipod Dash system because having touchscreen and using bluetooth to get a connection or sync is so much better. My PDM is two years old and the buttons make a cringy sound when pressing them. Technology has become so much better and I’m excited for this new experience I’ll have!

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@mikefarley That’s interesting. I never knew people could actually do that! It is definitely not something for me. I’ll only use what’s approved by the FDA and my doctor, because I am already a worry wart. I can’t imagine doing something like that!

@hanstan HAHA, yes, I totally get that. DIY is definitely not for everyone. The DIY community, and #WeAreNotWaiting are helping drive a lot of the technology improvements we’re seeing moving through the FDA approval process. Insulet/Omnipod is working with Tidepool Loop and has a Horizon loop system coming. Best wishes for your decision!

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Hi Hannah,
I have been on the Omnipod system since it was introduced. I’ve been thru several of the original PDMS. For years have been frustrated with how lame the software was on the device but the fact that it was tubeless was great! I just upgraded to the Dash system and love it for many reasons.

  1. The size, finally I have a PDM I can slide into my pants pocket! the Old PDM was huge and Bulky I hated it.
  2. The user interface is so much better, the touch screen makes giving a Bolus, setting a temp basal or just checking info so much easier and quicker.
  3. The rechargeable internal battery is a big plus just put it on the charger at night and you are good to go! No more having to change the pod prematurely due to dying batteries in your PDM.
  4. It’s future proof, Its wifi connectivity means much easier software updates as new features become available.

as for having to carry around a BG meter, I have been using the Dario Meter(mydario.com) and its awesome everything is in one slim device stips,meter & lancet. the cost is also great $300 yr for unlimited strips and I love the app.

I can carry my new set up(the Dash & the Dario meter) in the front pocket of my jeans and it’s still smaller than just the old PDM alone! Hope this helps answer some of your questions


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@neverbeenbetter How exciting!! I think I will like it too. It seems to have much better advantages than this old PDM system. I should have the Omnipod Dash kit by next Wednesday or Thursday. I am so excited to have something new and improved! I will be receiving the Contour meter because that is what comes with it. I think I will have to get used to using a smaller glucose meter, but after working with it all a couple of times, I should get the hang of it!
When you received your Omnipod Dash, did someone help you set it up or did you just learn yourself? Like teach yourself by reading the directions and watching YouTube videos sort of thing. I would rather be taught and shown how to because I am a hands-on person! I know everyone is different, but I don’t like watching YouTube videos on how to do something.
When I got the FreeStyle Libra, I ended up just reading about it online and following the directions. The videos bored me and I got distracted easily. I would much rather have someone teach me or figure it out on my own, than have to watch videos on it and read an entire booklet I may not fully comprehend.

IF your insurance covers the Dash under Pharmacy Insulet will give you a FREE PDM.
They released the OmniPod Dash out under pharmacy benefits, and if you get the the pods under pharmacy they will give you a free PDM… so you would not be locked into a contract with a pump… as you would just be buying the pods, not the PDM.