Loopable pumps – a visual comparison

The options for loopable pumps in Australia are changing, so I thought it might be useful to offer up a quick visual comparison, as most people don’t get to see all these pumps in person. So here’s a collection of pumps stacked up beside each other.

These have been arranged vaguely in order of bulk. From left to right we have:

  • DANA-i.
  • Accu-Chek Spirit (it’s blue). It’s not loopable, but it’s the same size as the black Spirit Combo.
  • Medtronic Paradigm 722.
  • Medtronic Paradigm 522.
  • DANA RS.
  • YpsoPump OPN. The standard YpsoPump is not loopable. This version has been used in some clinical trials. Along with any future public updates to the YpsoPump they all share the same hardware and only differ in firmware features.

Running through them

The links below point into the relevant sections of my Insulin Pump Choices article.

The biggest pump on the left is the DANA-i. It takes the same reservoir and infusion sets as the DANA RS, but uses a standard AAA battery. It’s significantly bulkier than anything else in this photo. It may be supported by the upcoming AndroidAPS 3.

The Combo lasts over a month with a lithium AA battery. It’s supported by AndroidAPS.

The Medtronic 722 looks taller than the Combo, although that’s mainly due to the longer reservoir compartment that extends out the top. It and the 522 beside it usually last about 10 days on a lithium AAA. These are the only pumps here that don’t have Bluetooth and are thus dependent on Riley/EMA/OrangeLink radio bridges to be used in looping. These are supported by AndroidAPS, Loop, and the FreeAPS family.

The DANA RS depends on a specific lithium thionyl chloride battery which makes it smaller but adds complications in sourcing and carrying reliable batteries. It’s supported by AndroidAPS.

The YpsoPump on the right (the smallest pump here) lasts almost a month when looping, using a standard alkaline AAA (lithium is not supported). We use it in trials with software including a customised build of AndroidAPS. I’m looking forward to seeing what can be achieved with the next public firmware update.

The loopable pump not in that photo is the Omnipod DASH. It wasn’t available for the above photo, but here’s my last pod alongside a Combo and YpsoPump.

The DASH is expected to be supported by an upcoming AndroidAPS version, although at around $40/pod and currently without insurer support it presents a different financial challenge.

I hope this quick comparison is useful! Of course I haven’t covered pumps we’re not likely to see in Australia.

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