Medtronic Minimed vs t:slim Insulin Pumps

I have been an insulin pump wearer for over 10 years now, and have tried out two different pumps in that time. There are a lot of insulin pump options out there (more than just the two I’m talking about today), but wanted to share my experiences. These are not in-depth reviews of all the tech, FYI.

Medtronic Insulin Pumps

When I first got a pump in high school (2007), I chose a Medtronic Minimed pump. It’s been so long that I don’t really remember why I chose that one, other than the few diabetic friends that I had, also had that brand of insulin pump.

One of the things I most appreciated about Medtronic pumps was the different length of tubing. While I was finishing up high school, I really liked having the extra length of tubing during sports. They also have two different inserters than you can use – one is a quickset, but is not recommended for people who are super active (which I am).

I’ve always loved Medtronic pumps – maybe because it was the only one I ever knew! But, I have had some hiccups with the Medtronic pump. Every time there’s been an issue, it was very sudden – like I went to give a bolus, and it froze on me. And then it just…. won’t do anything.

Luckily, it’s a very simple process to get a new pump.

  • Call the company and tell them what happened

  • They’ll review your warranty and/or insurance policy

  • They usually overnight or 2-day ship you a new pump, and you send the old one back

Luckily (knock on wood), I’ve still been in warranty whenever my pump went on the fritz.

So, I used the Medtronic pump for about 7-8 years, until I decided to try out the t:slim pump.

t:slim Insulin Pumps

I loved the t:slim! It felt newer (a.k.a. fancier) with a touch screen…. which was really one of the only things that stood out to me.

One big disadvantage with the t:slim (at least when I tried it out) was that there was SO much more packaging involved when you had a pump site change. The whole process felt a lot more tedious than when I changed sites on my Medtronic pump. I also felt like the menu of options inside the pump was harder to navigate.

But, the real reason I changed back to Medtronic was due to insurance and the companies. A lot of insurance companies don’t let you order supplies directly from the pump company, so you have to use a third party supplier. There was a lot of confusion and miscommunication, and rather than dealing with all of that hassle…. when I ran out t:slim supplies, I just switched back to Medtronic.

(Luckily, I still had a stockpile of leftover Medtronic supplies!)

Insulin Pump Training

If you’re considering getting your child on an insulin pump, or switching, you will also have insulin pump training! I’ll be honest – when I switched to t:slim, I didn’t even take any training. The company said to call my doctor’s office to schedule it, and I didn’t. I was 25, and tech-savvy enough to navigate an insulin pump without training.

Medtronic also has a rep (or multiple, sometimes) in each state, to help answer questions or train you. I don’t think t:slim is the same way, at least not that I knew of when I was on that pump for a few months.

If you have any questions about my insulin pump experience, feel free to contact me!