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My perfect pump

Richard Oppenheimer looks at what he wants from a perfect pump

Can you remember the days when computers were about as user friendly as a tank full of piranhas, or when mobile phones needed you to spend a week reading the manual before you could even make a call? Well sometimes looking at today's insulin pumps it all comes flooding back.

Let's face it - insulin pumps aren't cheap. So having spent a day drawing out a flowchart just to try and work out all the commands on a MiniMed 507, and realising that most of the other pumps were no better, I decided to write down what I expect to see in a well designed pump - and why I hate some of the ones on offer now.

Seriously though, your insulin pump is the most intimate purchase you're likely to make. It's your little friend that keeps you alive. It's going to live with you 24 hours a day for the rest of your life. And there's a few pumps around I wouldn't want to go to bed with!

Meanwhile, here's what I think is the very least you should expect from a decent pump. When I find one that measures up I'll let you know.

If you're a pump user I'd love to hear from you what you hate - or love - about your pump. If you're a pump manufacturer - I'm waiting for your call!


Let's face it: your life depends on your pump. So this has got to be the number one priority.

User interface

Probably sooner rather than later you're going to have to use your pump in the middle of a hypo and there's nobody else to do it for you. So:


This is the absolute minimum you need:

Ease of use



Styling and comfort


Out of the box


See our other page where members of the Insulin Pumpers UK discussion group say what they don't like about their own pump.

Author: Richard Oppenheimer <r.oppenheimer@btinternet.com>. Richard Oppenheimer is not a medical professional. He has Type 1 diabetes and uses an insulin pump. The information given here is based on his own personal experience. More about Richard Oppenheimer...

Created: April 2001; Last updated: Monday 8 May 2006

Other pages about pumps

[ Funding issues | Pros and cons of pumping | Diabetes UK on pump therapy | Pumps in the Republic of Ireland | What is an insulin pump? | Just like wearing a yoyo | Not controlled, but in control! | Rewriting the diabetes rulebook | To pump or not to pump? | Pumps in pregnancy | Using the insulin pump during pregnancy | Life on a pump | UK pump news | Which pump? | MiniMed | Disetronic | Animas | Books to help with diabetes | Other pump websites | My pump ]

Insulin Pumpers and Insulin Pumpers UK are supported financially by voluntary contributions from members of its discussion groups and from all the principal insulin pump manufacturers.

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