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[IP] Comparing D-Tron to MiniMed 508

The following is Dr. Joe's e-news for 5/24/01 written by Steve Deal - an RN
and T-1 pump wearer.  I'll make some comments in parentheses:

Disetronic D-TRON vs. MiniMed 508 Insulin Pump
(I don't like *vs.* - sounds like a combat - good way to start pump wars) ;)

After wearing the MiniMed for the past five years I was given the
opportunity to try the new Disetronic D-TRON. Below is my comparison of the
D-TRON with the MiniMed 508.

Visually the biggest difference is the shape. While the 508 is only slightly
larger than a pager, the D-TRON is longer and resembles something closer to
a cell phone. I found the size and shape of the 508 to be a better fit for

The D-TRON tubing comes out of the pump case at a 90-degree angle as apposed
to the 508 coming straight up like an antenna. The 90-degree angle seemed to
help keep the tubing out of my way and from being so noticeable when I wore
the pump on my belt.

The D-TRON slips into a plastic "holder" that attaches to your belt or
clothes and allows the pump to be rotated 360 degree. Due to the shape of
the pump the ability to rotate it is helpful.  The 508 can be worn straight
up or sideways which suits me fine due to its almost square shape.

Filling D-TRON's reservoir is similar to the 508, but the D-TRON also
accepts pre-filled Humalog pen cartridges (this is not yet approved by the
FDA), which is a big time saver when changing sets.

The D-TRON motor is very quiet and delivers a bolus very quickly almost
mimicking an injection.  The MiniMed delivers much more slowly and gives an
audible "click" with each tenth of a unit delivered.
(This is a MAJOR YMMV - some like the quick delivery - I *demand* the slow
delivery. I also love the reassuring clicks which are virtually unnoticeable
except when bolusing.)

The D-TRON allows you to set temporary basal rates based on a percentage of
your current basal rates. This is very useful when you have many different
basal rates during the time the temporary rate is working. (MiniMed's can be
set for 30 min. increments of 0.0u or more p/h - allowing 48 different basals
if reset, as well as the temporary basal may be set from 30 min. to 24 hrs.)
Let me clarify this important point.
Let's say you want a temporary basal rate from 9 am to
12 pm because you will be active in your yard and during that time your pump
has the following basal rates.
9am to 10am    0.8
10am to 11am  0.5
11 am to 12pm 0.5
Now with the 508 you would have to give the pump a specific rate for the
temporary basal rate of say 0.4. As you can see this 0.4 basal rate would
give you 50% less insulin from 9 to 10am, but only a 20% reduction from 10
to 12pm.  With the D-TRON you can set a 50% reduction and all of the basal
rates will be decreased by 50%.

Another time-saving benefit of the D-TRON is that the reservoir amount does
not have to be manually entered.  The pump motor figures that out for you.
The 508 reservoir volume must be visually checked and entered.  This
determines when the low reservoir volume alarm will sound.

The D-TRON is waterproof whereas the 508 is not. (508 is water resistant)

The D-TRON screen icons, in my opinion, are very confusing. These icons tell
you the functions of the individual screens. On the 508, words such as
"Cartridge Low", "Profile A" and "Bolus" are used. Even though I memorized
the screens after a few days, I still like the words over the symbols.

Now before you go out and request a prescription for the Disetronic D-TRON
pump, you may want to wait and read my upcoming reviews on the Animas pump.
MiniMed currently has an automatic upgrade program to their new Paradigm
Pump for people who purchase a 508 after March 1st, 2001. The Paradigm looks
like it may be worth the wait.  I recommend reviewing all pumps before you
make a decision. (The Paradigm may NOT be worth the wait from the specs we've
been given by MM. The question remains: will the 508 remain a choice to those
not wishing to own a Paradigm?)

Steve Deal, RN, Type 1

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