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[IP] Future Pump Features (VERY, VERY LONG!)

Lately I have been thinking about what features I
would like my future pumps to have.  Basically I have
been thinking about what I like about the pump I
currently have and some features that are available
with one of the other two company's pumps, as well as
some features that would be completely new.  

Here's a listing of what I came up with and a brief
description/explanation of each item.  Please note
that I am trying not to argue about one pump over
another; rather, I am saying the features *I* feel are
important, regardless of which company is doing that
particular feature.  

Also, note that some of the ideas for the new features
are repetitive of each other and I am not expecting
any or all of these ideas to "come to the surface,"
but instead I am just listing them to see if anyone
else in this group thinks any of these ideas might be
worth trying.  Please let me know what you think!

-Backup Pump
I like Disetronic's idea of this because it gives me
peace of mind every day/night.  If something were to
go wrong, then I wouldn't have to prick myself every 2
hours until a loner arrives or go back to using NPH or
UltraLente.  I don't care about features with the
backup pump.  To me, all that is necessary is the
basics: setting the clock, priming, basal rates and
the ability to give a bolus.  This feature is that
important to me!

-Amount of Insulin
It makes sense (at least to me) that many people's
lives would be made easier if the pump knew exactly
how much insulin was in the cartridge/reservoir.  I'm
glad to see the Animas and D-TRON supposedly have this
feature.  Hopefully all future pumps will do the same.

What can I say?  I love being in/around water!  :-)

-Swivel clip
I like the idea of being able to change the position
of the pump from vertical to horizontal, etc. without
having to change clips or belts.  This one was
recently mentioned on the list.

-Temporary Basal
I like this feature, but think it could be improved
with us being able to have more flexibility in
choosing the length of it on a daily basis.  (For
example, today I might want to decrease my basal for 4
hours, but tomorrow I might want to decrease it for 6
hours - WITHOUT having to watch the time.)

-3 Min. Basals
I don't know if this really makes a huge difference
(with clogging the tubing, etc.), but I like the idea
of constantly getting insulin.  It seems more natural
that way.

-Adjustable Volume for All Commands
I am hard of hearing.  I would like to be able to turn
the sound up really loud so I can hear it.  Also, if I
am in a really quiet area, or just want to make that
insistently annoying beeping sound softer, I would
like to be able to turn the sound down if I want to. 
What also would be neat is if we could make some
commands louder than others.

-Some Sound (more like "insistent beeping") for All
What I like about my pump is that it makes more verbal
feedback for me with most (not all) commands.  It was
a major consideration which helped me to choose the
pump I wanted because I am legally blind.  I feel more
safer and secure by getting such feedback.

-Vibrating Mode for More Commands
I like MiniMed's idea of a vibrating mode, but think
it should somehow be used with more, if not all,
commands. (It kind-of goes with my point about sound
with feedback.  I think one or both of those options
would be nice.)

-Adding Another Battery Slot
Adding another battery slot (like the H-TRONplus) has
two advantages:  1) All the extra stuff I am
"improving" or adding requires some source of power. 
If there was a second battery, the new battery could
take care of the extras and the original can handle
everything else.  2) I like the idea of a second
battery because it can take over the basics of the
pump if one battery would suddenly die.  For example,
if one of my batteries would die and I wouldn't hear
the alarm (something that could happen right now if I
was asleep), the other battery could take over until I
was able to put a new one in.

-More Color Choices
Not much to add to this one.  (I especially want to
emphasize making a purple color pump!)  So far, I
think the best company doing this is Animas.  What
would be neat is if all the pump companies could make
a the pump in the color we want, but translucent so we
could see all the wires, etc!

-Square Wave/Dual Wave
I don't know much about either one of these two
features, but I think MiniMed thought of a good idea
with this one - getting your boluses over a period of
time is probably very helpful if you have problems
with digesting food or if your meal is extended over a
period of time.  (Restaurants come to mind…….)

When I was comparing the MiniMed and Disetronic pumps,
I was interested in the backlight in case I was in a
dark theater or similar place.  Unfortunately, when I
tested the MiniMed (the only one to have this feature
at the time) in a completely dark room I couldn't see
very much.  I haven't seen the Animas pump yet, but
have heard this feature has been improved.

-Medic Alert On Pump
This one was mentioned on this list around April/May
of this year.  Seems like a good idea since it is a
medical device and it is possible one of us could be
in an emergency.  I'd probably still wear my current
medic alert tags, but it would probably be helpful if
used in addition to what I already have.

-Distinction Between Alarms (through alarm switch on
remote or slightly different feel for alarms in
vibrate mode)
I liked MiniMed's idea of a remote, but the more I
thought about it, I had some doubts.  To me, if an
alarm went off, I would have to pull out my pump to
see what was wrong - which is against the purpose of
it in the first place.  In my opinion, some alarms
aren't as important, so I would like to see a
distinction between the alarms that aren't as
important (low cartridge/reservoir warning or
temporary basal end) and those that to me, are "more
serious" (low battery, system failure, empty
cartridge/reservoir).  I think this can be done with
one (or both) of these two ways: first, have a teeny
light switch on the remote for the "more serious"
alarms.  Or secondly, have a slightly different feel
in the vibrations.  That way, you can cancel the alarm
without looking at the pump and not worry.

***And now, my final idea (other than wanting a CURE):
A "closed-loop" pump.  Wouldn't that be neat?  Never
again having to prick my finger because the pump
checks my sugars for me…Never again having to measure
my food…Never again having to worry about lows…Never
again to sit in a restaurant and wonder, "Now how many
carbs IS this???"…Never again having to double-check
to make sure I gave myself my insulin....  The list
goes on, and on, and on and on!!!!!  (Better yet, make
that an INTERNAL pump....!)***

Melissa Collins
email @ redacted
Happily Pumping since being Assimilated February 22, 2000!
To pump or not to pump, that is the question..............

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