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Insulin Pumps

What They Do: Insulin pumps are devices that deliver insulin without the need for manual injections. They are able to administer rapid-acting insulin in both basal (slow, baseline) and bolus (mealtime) capacities, once users program their dose into the device. Many pumps come with built-in bolus-calculators, which can reduce the hassle of manual insulin dose calculations. 

Some Medtronic and Tandem systems combine data from a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) with an insulin pump to automatically adjust insulin based on your blood glucose levels. Click to learn more about automated insulin delivery systems

What Supplies Do I Need?

In addition to the insulin itself, most insulin pumps require three main components, all worn close to the body:

  • Pump

  • Inserted sub-cutaneous (beneath the skin) cannula, which delivers insulin (also called an infusion set)

  • Tubing – moves insulin from the pump to the cannula


  • The Insulet OmniPod consists of a patch worn on the skin that administers insulin, plus a device that the user controls to manage insulin dosing.

  • Roche’s Accu-Chek patch pump is used with a disposable insulin reservoir and a handheld controller. This device is currently only available in Europe and Australia

  • The Valeritas V-Go is a 24-hour, disposable patch pump for people with type 2 diabetes. The spring-driven patch pump is worn on the skin with a preset basal rate and can bolus at any given time.

Choosing a Pump:

With multiple pumps available, it raises the question: "What pump to choose?" There is NO perfect pump, since all devices have benefits and drawbacks depending on your preferences. The table below summarizes our team's experiences with a number of pumps common in the US.


Key Features

Key Draw-backs 

Most Ideal For...

Insulet OmniPod

Tubeless, discreet, and relatively painless insertion

Easy setup and pod changes


Wireless controller 

Lower upfront cost

Must be thrown away every three days, or more frequently for people with high daily doses

No integrated meter with OmniPod Dash

Currently no AID availability

Those who are new to pumps, very young people, highly active people

Those who prefer a discrete pump without tubing


Medtronic MiniMed 630G System

Makes use of SmartGuard technology to stop insulin delivery for two hours if glucose levels reach a low 


Sensor must be calibrated 3-4 times per day

Only approved for children 14 and older

People who struggle with nighttime hypoglycemia 


Medtronic MiniMed 670G System

Hybrid closed-loop pump


Auto Mode automatically adjusts basal-insulin based CGM readings

Makes use of SmartGuard technology to stop insulin delivery for two hours if glucose levels reach a low

Sensor must be calibrated 3-4 times per day

Frequent system alerts are given while in Auto Mode

The pump requires users to confirm mealtime and correct bolus recommendations

People who struggle with nighttime hypoglycemia 


People who need help stabilizing glucose levels


Tandem t:slimX2

Compatible with Basal-IQ and Control-IQ AID systems

Utilizes a touchscreen, highly-intuitive interface

Has a rechargeable battery

Highly customizable “personal profiles” for insulin delivery

Infusion set changes take a long time

Control-IQ AID system shows excellent nighttime glucose numbers

Those who desire a pump that doesn’t look like a medical device

Those who are new to pumps

Medtronic MiniMed 770G System

Auto-mode can automatically adjust basal insulin rates every five minutes based on CGM readings

Bluetooth-enabled to connect to smartphone and update software when available

Share feature allows direct sharing of data from smartphone to healthcare providers and other caregivers

FDA approved for children ages 2 and up

Requires finger stick calibration twice each day to inform insulin dosing decisions

System alerts in auto-mode can be frequent and bothersome

Basic programming and initial setup can be complicated

Young children ages 2 and up

Sharing data remotely between user, caregiver, and healthcare providers

Useful Links:

Understanding Insulin Pump Settings – Learn about insulin pump terms like basal rates, carb ratios, insulin sensitivity, and more.

Tandem’s Control-IQ Cleared in United States – Control-IQ is the first AID system with automatic correction boluses and no fingersticks CGM (Dexcom G6); cleared for those ages 14 and older; launch in January 2020.

MiniMed 770G Automated Insulin Delivery Cleared for Children-MiniMed 770G hybrid closed-loop system receives FDA approval for children ages 2 and up

MiniMed 780G Receives CE-Mark Approval in Europe-MiniMed 780G closed-loop system approved in Europe for people with diabetes ages 7-80

The FDA Approves Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G Hybrid Closed Loop System – MiniMed 670G is the first hybrid closed loop system officially approved for people with type 1 diabetes seven years and older.

Insulet’s Omnipod Dash – A new and improved touchscreen handheld personal diabetes manager and a Bluetooth-enabled tubeless pod.

TEST DRIVE: Insulet's Second Generation Omnipod – Adam and Kelly report on the advantages of the newest Omnipod.

Accu-Chek Solo Tubeless Patch Pump Approved in Europe – This pump from Roche launched in four European countries in 2018; it has a wireless handheld controller with Bluetooth and a 200-unit insulin reservoir.

Insulet’s Omnipod Now Eligible for Medicare Coverage – Omnipod is available in pharmacies and covered under Medicare Part D. 

New Pumps Coming to Canada, Europe: Medtronic MiniMed 670G and Tandem t:slim X2 – The MiniMed 670G hybrid closed loop system and t:slim X2 pump with G5 CGM integration will soon be available for people with type 1 diabetes living in Canada, complementing recent availability in Europe.

FDA Approves Medtronic’s MiniMed 630G System – The MiniMed 630G is the same pump platform as the 640G and 670G (the same overall pump body design, waterproofing, screen, buttons, etc), but has the simplest control algorithm: suspending basal insulin delivery when the low threshold is crossed.

Valeritas V-Go – This wearable insulin delivery device provides basal-bolus insulin therapy for adults with type 2 diabetes.

Please note, this page is not a comprehensive list of all of the available resources or products available. All links are organized chronologically within their respective sections.