Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Open Letter To Animas

I loved Meri's Open Letter to Target, made even better by the fact that she received a response! So with that in mind, I've written my own open letter, to a company near and dear to my daughter's pancreas...

Dear Animas,

My daughter and I are devoted users of your One Touch Ping insulin pump. She is the wearer and I am the operator. We are a team - me, my daughter and her pump. We've been working together for just over a year, and have been very happy as a team.

As the wearer, my daughter loves the waterproof feature. She's put it to the test by accident a couple of times, with no harm done. She's also a fan of the meter remote. Being able to bolus her from across the room is a big plus when your at birthday parties.

As the operator, I originally chose your product over others because of the low dosing capabilities. My daughter is fairly insulin sensitive, and small incremental amounts helps me to keep her blood sugars stable.

There are, however, a few ideas to consider as you, I'm sure, are working on the One Touch Ping - The Next Generation. They're in order from least affecting my day, to most.

1. Can you upgrade the screen on the meter remote? The screen on the pump is bright, crystal clear, and in color! The meter remote screen evokes images of the old Atari game, Pong. I've heard via the DOC that a new meter is now available in Canada with an upgraded screen. We'd love to see it in the states, too.

2. Part of my nightly routine is to check my daughter's blood sugar at my bedtime (around 11pm) and then again around 2am. Sometimes, if warranted, I check more often. To do this, I either need to bring a flashlight or turn the light on in the room. The problem is that I can't seem to get the tip of the strip onto the tiny blood droplet in the dark. I can find her hand, poke it with the lancet, insert the strip into the meter, all in the dark, but I can't find the darned blood! My idea is to put a small light on the top of the meter that shines to the tip of the strip. That way I can point the strip at her finger, find the blood, and unite the two. (My husband says this technology exists already on electric drills. If carpenters can enjoy the feature why can't your customers?)

3. As I already mentioned, one of the main reasons we chose your pump was the low dosing ability. My daughter is out of her honeymoon phase but still only uses about 15 units of insulin in a 24 hour period. Small amounts of insulin go a long way with her. That being said, the "Low Cartridge" warning cannot be set lower that 10 units. If I get the warning at 5pm, she can easily make it to the morning without a set change. The problem is that I have three kids to get off to school in the morning, plus I have to get myself to work. Chances are high that I won't remember she's low on insulin, which results in her running out at some point in the school day. Can you help a sista out here? If you're marketing to younger users with your low dosing ability, could you give us a 5 units "Low Cartridge" warning?

As you can see from the above list, I'm not asking for the moon. If I added everything I wish for it would surely include having the ability to have my daughter's numbers automatically sent to my phone. If my husband can get up to the minute sports updates, I think I deserve to know her blood sugar on pizza day at school. But I digress.

These are real issues facing real users of your product. Please consider adding these upgrades to your newest Ping model. I'd appreciate the help.

mother of Grace, dx 1/23/09


  1. I SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH all of those :)

    AND....for the "less than 10 u warning"....I'd like a reminder...or 2...or 3....something else reminding me that I confirmed the warning before she's OUT OF INSULIN would be NICE!

    Great post.

    Send it!

  2. WURRD! I'll sign it. I am especially fond of #2. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to perform the state #2 totally in the dark. I know WTH??? was I thinking? Really? Only to then get an error 5, b/c truly I guess I am not a vampire and I do need some sort of light to see blood AND the miniscule strip opening.

    The screen idea is a nice added touch on the remote. I hadn't thought of that.

    The low cartridge hasn't gotten me yet...I think it is b/c we change Joe's set every 36 hours anyway.

    Great post!

  3. AMEN! I hope they take it seriously..we have ALL the same beefs!

  4. I think the flashlight should be standard on ALL blood glucose meters! I'm sure they want to hear your input! Send it along...I imagine their website has a customer service section where you can send this baby along!

  5. YES !!!

    The Freestyle has a light on it and it also takes a super SMALL amount of it is possible for OneTouch to do too...I can't see how FreeStyle has the rights to those! (no we don't use a FreeStyle...we are Ping-ers too) At night, we use a headlamp...nerdy but super helpful!!

    yes, the low cartridge should really alarm every couple units until it is changed.

    To add to your list, I would like to be able to see the same info on the meter as on the pump. For instance, the bolus history. So annoying when a bolus is cancelled and I have to go to the pump to find out how much he actually got of the bolus.
    Would also like their software to show IOB at the times a bg was taken or a bolus was given.

  6. Good Hell, Woman! I could have written this myself! We are "pingers" too and I agree with all of what you said! Glad to find your blog... can't wait to get to know you! My daughter was dx'd in April of 09. She's 4. Stop by and say hi!

  7. Hey, don't give up on the blood sugar info being sent to your phone! That should and can be done! Wouldn't that be totally beyond words cool if they would make that a feature!? OMG!!! Nice letter by the way! Oh! The OmniPod has a little light that lights up the strip...ummm well it lights up the first HALF OF THE STRIP, the half that is in the PDM...I do not need to see the end that is in the is in my hand already and I am well aware of its location. So literally the light makes it almost to the point of blood/strip meet but fails miserably...and it's green, the light that is. Green? Who can see sh&% in green light? HA! So yes, I use it but make sure the light they develop is NOT GREEN and actually reaches the end of the strip! ((HUGS))