Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy Snappy

After a 30-day trial and a talk with my endocrinologist, I've decided to start pumping officially with the Asante Snap insulin pump.
I'm frequently asked how I have the opportunity to try so many insulin pumps. The answers, briefly, are (1) having an endo who trusts me enough to allow me to experiment, (2) having a husband who will financially support and encourage an "early adopter" mentality, and (3) paying for some of it out-of-pocket so as not to tempt fate with my insurance company.

In this particular case, Asante actually approached me about their 30-day trial in mid-2013 and I had the opportunity to start the trial in November. Because they were soliciting my feedback, they also offered to let me keep the controller portion of the product if I wanted to start using their system. What worked to my benefit was that my insurance covers the monthly supplies and that my endocrinologist was happy to write me the prescriptions I needed. I am Asante's first customer in Texas.

Somewhat related to my decision was that I am being forced onto Humalog in 2014 by Express Scripts International (my insurance plan's Pharmacy Benefit Manager) and Snap is currently Humalog-only (with plans to design a Novolog version), so this was something I felt I could move forward with.

I always have anxiety about switching to a new pump. What if I don't like it? Asante is so confident about their product that they will let you try it for 4 weeks. That really piqued my interest. I tried it and I liked it. And the startup price is so low that, even if they hadn't offered to let me keep a controller, I would have been able to manage the low out-of-pocket costs to switch to the device.

I don't have much more to report about the device than what I reported in my initial review after my first week on it. I felt the same at the end of my trial as then. I really appreciate how little I have to think about the pump itself.

I will echo what Kim said about Snap's lackluster accessories. Much like the Dexcom G4 leather belt holster, I am certain they were designed by and for men. I don't like the options for a case or clip that Snap came with, but I don't usually like belt clips or leather holsters on my pumps (or my phone either). Maybe it's because I don't wear a belt and I often have a kid on my hip that knock those things off.

I prefer drop clip cases that hang from a beltloop and stay out of my way - like the Clip n Go that I used with my Cozmo and the Tallygear G4 case I use for my Dexcom. Fortunately, however, the Tallygear Dexcom case (of which I own three) is perfect for the Snap and I'm loving that I can see the full pump face and control all the buttons without fishing it out (though I do have to remove it to use the handy flashlight). The pump is visible, accessible, yet protected.

I love how quickly I can change out my site and that I don't have to change the tubing unless I'm changing the whole pump body. I just change the site every three days.

And on Day 6, I can change the insulin cartridge and pump body and tubing in under 2 minutes and did it in the dark the other night when I got the low insulin alert before bed.

I love how little I have to carry around with me. I'm carrying a tiny purse that holds my wallet, phone, keys, glucose tabs, meter/strips/lancet, syringe, 3mL pre-filled cartridge, slim pump body, and site. I love tiny purses and women with diabetes never get to carry them! (I was the only 5th grader in my class with an old lady handbag.) And now I have an itty bitty zippered barrel bag.

I don't love being back on Humalog. I'm not going to lie. My highs do seem to drag on for longer. It's not as peppy as Apidra, but it's a battle I was willing to fight only so hard (more on that later). If I'm going to be on an insulin I'm not thrilled about though, I love that I get to use these awesome little 3mL vials and I don't have to worry about compromised insulin or air bubbles and that I get the whole 300+ units from it. I can continue pumping on Snap down to the very final .05u of the vial.

I do like Omnipod still, but it's just never going to be my favorite pump. Its idiosyncrasies are often maddening. I didn't ever experience the frequent pod errors people complain about - on the old or the new versions of the systems, but my occlusion rate was always very high. Maybe once a week. And pods would fall off. Occupational hazard of having little feet climbing all over me, I guess. And the PDM was so often still in my purse or on the kitchen counter when I'd be in bed with a sleeping toddler on my arm and want to bolus. I do like wearing the controls on my person. That's probably the best testimonial for a tubed device. I want it right there with me.

I am optimistic about Snap. I think Asante is a confident and capable new challenger to the existing pump market and I love how responsive they've been to me. I am 10 days in with my new RED controller (thank you for allowing me to exchange for the color I wanted, Asante) and, knock on wood, I'm problem-free. least as far as my insulin pump is concerned.


  1. What is a new pump body? I really don't understand quite how it works, and am confused by the terminology!

    1. I go into this more in my initial review, but the pump consists of 4 pieces - the glass insulin vial/cartridge, the tubing with cartridge cap, the controller (the pump face with the buttons), and the pump body (the disposable battery/cartridge holder).

  2. I tried to do a trial with them, but they said they weren't servicing my area code yet. I'm am beyond frustrated with the new Omnipod. Every other pod fails after a couple of hours or a day. I have run through all my insulin and had to call to get my prescription increased just so I could get another vial. I'm seriously tempted to change to something else and I like that you put the whole vial in the pump body. I also like only having to make a site change instead of filling a reservoir with insulin. When can I get on this one?????? :-)

    1. They should be set up in our area in early 2014, so soon hopefully.

  3. I'm on the hunt for a new pump ( remember all the work it took me to get my first one?!?). So far it isn't in the Kaiser system that I have seen, so I'm hoping this Animas Ping will hold out a little longer. Can you still use Inset infusion sets with it? I love the idea of using the Humalog cartridges. I always thought it was stupid to take insulin out of the vial in order to put it into another reservoir.

    1. Yes, the infusion sets are just like the Animas insets, but they have a specially designed cap connected to them. They come in short and long tubing. They also offer a manual Comfort set that's angled. Also short and long tubing. And both styles come in two cannula lengths - 6mm and 9mm.

  4. when i grow up, i want a snap.