User reviews of OmniPod DASH

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Thanks so much for paying this link, @CatLady!

There seems to be a contradiction in the article. One part indicates it is possible to get replacement lithium batteries, the other does not.

To be honest, I am horrified by the 24 hour autonomy of the DASH, that is truly awful.

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The [PDM] battery lasts approximately a day.

What? Really? What a downer. I would hate to have a power outage. Even the old Dexcom G4 receiver could last about 3-days without a recharge of the Li-Ion battery. I guess I need to buy some solar panels to carry around with me and never go to the north in the winter.

  • With the DASH it takes seven gestures to get to the bolus button – more if you don’t realize the PDM is upside-down: 1 button to light the screen, 1 swipe, and a 4-digit passcode then enter. The old system was four gestures.

And with the old system you can do the do the 4 gestures blindfolded and possibly upside down.

Seems like a step-backwards to me :frowning: Hopefully these issues will be worked out.

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Oops, sounds like a lead balloon.

They emailed me a month ago that a “specialty pharmacy” would be in touch about supplying the new pods, my doctor received paperwork, but nothing has happened.

I think I’m going to give it a miss at this point and go back to trying to get the rileylink stuff up and running with the old pods.

The idea of a battery that doesn’t last more than 24 hours weirds me out, big time. I use a cellphone that simply doesn’t work in the US (i.e. doesn’t have any cellular connectivity; I’ve got a wifi hotspot when I’m out of the house) simply because it just runs for 3+ days.

Oh well. Plus ça change plus la Medtronic.

John Bowler

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I got to “test drive” the Dash before it was released and thought it was just clunky. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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@CatLady I read the review and it said the PDM was the same size as the old one. I did not think that was possible… but I guess anything is possible.

@jbowler plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose :joy:

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The logical next step from here would be to just let the PDM be another app on a regular smartphone. I understand that there are security concerns, but it still seems really unnecessary to carry around a separate device. It would make so much more sense to just use the one that everyone already uses anyway.

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For those people trying to get the Dash (or, indeed, still using the old pods) it is now available as a “pharmacy” benefit, subject to approval by your insurance company. I just talked to Insulet to try to find out why the “specialty pharmacy” that was going to “reach out to me in a few days” hadn’t contacted me in a month. Simple - Insulet no longer does business with that pharmacy (ADS), so I got Insulet to swap my records to record Walmart as my pharmacy and am getting a prescription.

I didn’t have any problem before when I swapped my G6 supply to Walmart (from EdgePark) so I’m assuming that Walmart will be able to order from Insulet, though I’m also pretty sure it will be the first time the local Walmart did it (I was their first G6 customer.)

One strange thing about the Dash pharmacy benefit is that it is a 5-pack; a 15 day supply. I also have to ring up Insulet when the prescription is going through to have them send me the new “Android Things” PDM.

For those who want the numbers, the National Drug Code:

“Omnipod Dash 5-pack pod” (or, sometimes, “cartridge”): 08508200005

And the OLD UST400 PDM pods (a ten pack): 08508112005

My insurance company (moda) covers both of these as a pharmacy benefit, although apparently the old pods can also be done as a medical device. I had a check run and I’m approved for the new pods as well as the old, nothing to pay (until next year of course.)

John Bowler

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Very interesting post, I had never really considered switching to OmniPod but the idea of the DASH being controlled by a phone was intriguing. One thing that stuck out to me was this:

One other thing that bugs me about the DASH, but it could just be me – in dialing in BG numbers, the HI has been moved to over 599 – really! 599! It would be easier to get to numbers if they reduced the HI to a max of 400.

Do you still have to scroll through numbers in their bolus calculator even now that the PDM is touchscreen? That’s what it sounds like to me, which seems… quite odd. Unless Tandem somehow has bolus calculator with a number pad included in their patents I can’t imagine why you’d want to design it that way

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I have the Dash. I had issues getting this approved and only got it after changing providers. Gone through a bunch of pods and comfortable with the Dash.

The scroll is this weird circular widget that you can drag to enter your BG. Like a scroll bar, but horribly inaccurate on the Dash because instead of up/down or left/right, you drag your finger in an arc. As was said, with a range of 599 makes it even worse. If you tap in the center you get a number entry panel that is far simpler.

Everything I read is close to my experience. I like it better than the brick, but it is so annoying to me as someone that knows too much about user interfaces - using it makes my blood pressure go up! I don’t understand how this was released to the world. But as I said, it is not as bad as the prior brick and I am grateful (so is my wife, who regularly Sherpa’d my PDM case).

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@turbopod, welcome to FUD!

Is there a new, smaller DASH? I thought the DASH was much larger than the old PDM? Or possibly I don’t quite understand your reference to the “brick.”

I just spent 1.5 years traveling so I may well not be up to speed on important things.

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The dash is much thinner than the old PLM, but thinner. Much more pocketable. With the old pen there was also the strips and lance, so a necessity but now sort of unneeded with the latest Dexcom(sigh-still have to hand enter).

So sorry to be dense! Just to make sure: to you mean much larger than the PDM but thinner?

So, in the end you feel the combo is more portable when combined with the G6?

Auto correct strikes again pen=PDM. Forgot to say, about as wide and a little taller.

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I get really annoyed by the constant reminders that just drain the battery even faster. Also I’ve only had the dash for a few months now and the PDM is already getting noticeably laggy when I try to hit most of the buttons.

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The newest Dash PDM that I have (but see below) has a bug in the battery management system that means the battery level drops slowly to about 85% then drops like a stone. It takes maybe a day to drop 15% then the rest of the drop happens in a few hours. It’s not the battery; I kept the old PDM (there was no way to delete my data off it) and swapped the battery, new (old) battery, same problem.

The battery drain is noticeably faster with wifi turned on; unless you rely on the continuous cloud update just turn it off.

I suspect you have an old PDM; Insulet issued a recall order a few months ago (ironically) and the replacement PDMs do not have that bug. You can tell if you have the replacement the following way:

  1. Switch it on.
  2. Unlock it (enter the PIN.)
  3. Select the “Bolus” icon.
  4. Enter a BG reading by clicking on the BG-- thing in the center left of the screen, entering a number (e.g. 100 for mg/dL users) and clicking “ADD TO CALCULATOR”.
  5. Observe what happens!

If a white box with the words “Please Wait…” pops up for a time you have the new PDM. If it doesn’t you have the old, broken, PDM.

The “Please wait…” box is the fix for the bug; it pops up all the time (entering carbs, entering the bolus screen; everywhere where the button entry lag happens.)

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I dislike the Dash. I don’t find it an upgrade worth $6300. I hate the rechargeable battery.

I no longer get 8 hours to change my pod, so am stuck with the same time, or wasting pod time.

It is very lackluster. Sure it’s lighter, but breakable like a cheap old android phone glass.

Everything is shut off besides the pod functionality.

Yes it’s Bluetooth. It has a few tweaks but just as many downfalls.

I leave mine home unless a Bolus is possible.

It was covered, but I think I am going back to my Omnipod “clunker” and waiting for the Horizon.

Not a fan. If I was brand new to Omnipod it would be find but as an “upgrade” it is way over priced. $6300 in Canada with little change.

I hope new tubeless come to market, I am about done with Omnipod.

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Don’t buy a Dash.
The original is better.

Dash has a very short rechargeable battery. If I don’t charge every night I won’t make two days.

In Canada it is a ■■■■■■, cheap android (samsung) with poor glass, no fast usb-c.

All the added stuff is useless. Like “pod site tracker”.

Bluetooth did nothing special, it still needs to be close to connect.

The Omnipod had 3 days plus 8 hours. 80 hours. Allowing for changes to pod change, or if you were out and forgot pdm…etc. this one screams at me an hour before 72, I never get three days and my pump change time is different (30 to 40 mins early) so every once in a while I have to lose overnight and change my pod early.

Swipe click scroll passwords. Too many steps.

Poor app

Locked smart phone (old).

Cheaply made.

Pros, it’s lighter. A tad more accurate. A bunch of pre programmed garbage.

I am literally putting mine in a drawer and using my original omnipod. $6300. For an old phone model with no real user directed functionality.

You get a camera. Doesn’t work. Nothing does but Omnipod.

I was pressure sold. No being promised an upgrade in a year or two of the app.

I might drive over it with SUV, I hate it.

Pods (tubeless) are great if someone would actually make them FOR us.

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Turn off the wi-fi (Menu Button/Settings/PDM Device). This is where the battery life goes - IRC it was lasting around a week without wifi. The PDM also drains your wifi in a totally unnecessary way: it contacts “prod.omnipodcloud.com” ever minute, from my pi-hole:

So far as I can see that is nothing to do with the sync of the PDM data to the cloud; that seems to happen anyway, even with the above domain is blocked. Also the sync to the Insulet Omnipod View app happens over bluetooth, not wifi (otherwise it wouldn’t work without an active wifi network.)

The underlying operating system software also contacts five separate domains controlled by the manufacturer; adups.com every 20 minutes or so (probably every 1000s). You probably don’t need to read the following if you’re going to stop using the Dash PDM, it will just make you angry:

Here is more information, but it doesn’t help unless someone has found a way to root the PDM:

Because I use a pi-hole on my network the adups stuff never got through while I was at home, but there is nothing you can do about it if you allow the PDM to connect to other wifi networks (ones you don’t control.) This, together with the battery life issue, make switching off the wifi a particularly good idea.

You don’t need to update the omnipodcloud stuff for your endo - her assistant just plugs the Dash PDM into a computer. The PDM writes a record of your data every 24 hours, when plugged in to a computer the PDM just looks like a flash drive called “Android”. IRC “OmniPodDash.ibf” is the record of your data; I think everything else are just log files.

Insulet swapped the wireless band from 433MHz to 2.45GHz; they moved to one which is globally allocated for “Industrial Scientific and Medical” applications (one of the “ISM” bands.) (433MHz is only allocated for ISM in Europe and Africa.)

The new band (2.4-2.5GHz) is particularly prone to adsorption by water; this is why it is used in residential microwave ovens. So far as I can tell my body adsorps all of the photons from the PDM; if I’m holding the PDM where I can see it it can’t transmit to a pod on my back, if I’m sleeping on my front the PDM loses contact with pods on my front. It’s not always 100% contact loss - photons can still bounce round my body off the walls, but when I’m sleeping they can’t get past the bed springs (their wavelength is 12cm).

As a result the consequence of moving to the new band is that the practical range is reduced massively. On the other hand because they also swapped to using a bluetooth protocol improvements in security and interoperability are made much easier.

Maybe there is a difference between the US system and the CA system. My Dash PDM behaves pretty much the same in this regard as the Eros/UST-400 PDM and the pods seem to behave identically. I always get 80 hours out of the Dash pods. In fact my time slips out at each change because I sometimes wait a few minutes before the change. The alerts do have to be explicitly quieted on the Dash PDM, but I thought that was true of the Eros one too; without a user ack the alert goes off every hour or so, which is a PITA if I’m sleeping, “SHUT UP! I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME!” I do change the pod when it fails; sometimes I end up changing at 3 or 4 AM in the morning.

Yep. It was bad enough with the Eros PDM. It seems to be worse with Dash. The green banners are particularly annoying - it’s pointless semi-obscuring the “next” button on the bolus screen because I just end up pecking at it trying to hit it behind the banner. Not being able to turn the passcode off is also a major flaw; it’s only four digits, there’s no alternative and it has to be entered so often because the auto-lock is hardwired to 2 minutes. That makes no sense at all and is simply indicative of how little UI testing Insulet has done; I don’t care if the screen blanks while I’m calculating a bolus, but if the whole device locks (it almost always does) I care about that.

Well, yeah, but it did cost less that USD40! Here’s last year’s model:

That’s got 2x the memory of the Dash PDM and the retail price is $40, so Insulet can’t have been paying more than $10/item (BoM cost - they will pay extra for the special programming, but not much.)

It’s a throw away - every time I complain they send me a new one. They don’t want the old ones back. It probably costs them less than a box of pods. They certainly could get rid of it - any recent smartphone has all the required capabilities.

I’m continuously annoyed by it but, of course, I didn’t have to pay $6300; I pay USD6900, about $9000, after insurance for everything. That’s not true in a lot (maybe most) countries where there is only limited coverage of insulin pumps but it seems wrong that Insulet are hiking the price that much in an environment where people are paying themselves. They certainly didn’t do that when I first did business with them.

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Thank you for the very thorough analysis!! :clap:t2:

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