*Disclaimer: All content and information in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only.
Omnipod DASH Insulin Management System is a wearable, tubeless insulin pod combined with an external management device. Developed by Insulet Corporation, a leader in tubeless insulin pump technology, the Omnipod DASH System offers a unique and convenient approach to insulin delivery for diabetes management. Unlike traditional insulin pumps, Omnipod DASH utilizes an external tubeless pod that will deliver insulin through a tube into the body that can be used for up to 72 hours before needing to be replaced.
Continue reading to learn more about Omnipod DASH System.
How does Omnipod DASH work
Omnipod DASH is composed of a single two-part system which includes a Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) and the external insulin-filled pod.
Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM)
The Omnipod DASH system is controlled by a handheld rechargeable device called the PDM. This device has an easy-to-use interface that enables users to view insulin and blood glucose history, suspend and resume insulin delivery, and control insulin rate settings for basal and bolus insulin.
Through the DASH system, the PDM is used to enter current glucose values and carbohydrate intake into a bolus calculator to automatically calculate insulin needed for each bolus. Insulin to carb ratios can be programmed at increments of 0.1g carb/Unit. The pod will also deliver personalized doses of basal insulin based on set rates that are programmed into the PDM settings. If the PDM powers off, the pod will continue to deliver basal insulin, but users won’t be able to give additional bolus insulin.
This tiny, waterproof device houses the insulin reservoir and cannula to wirelessly deliver insulin. Users are required to fill the pod with insulin every 3 days or 72 hours and place it directly onto their body. The pod will deliver insulin through a small cannula based on the information it receives from the PDM.
Omnipod DASH Features
Features of the Omnipod DASH system includes:
- Tubeless Design: No more inconvenience of pump tubing getting tangled.
- Waterproof Capability: Pods are safe to wear while showering or swimming in the ocean for up to 7.6 meters for 60 minutes.
- Integrated Food Library: Access to a comprehensive library of over 80,000+ foods for simplified carb counting.
- Manual Insulin Delivery: Suited for individuals who prefer more hands-on control and flexibility in their insulin dosing.
- Broad Approval: Approved for use by anyone with diabetes requiring insulin.
- Site Tracker: Featuring a pod site tracker to help track site rotation and promote skin integrity.
- Remote Monitoring: Option for caregivers or loved ones to remotely monitor the user’s insulin delivery and glucose data via the Omnipod view app
- Bolus Calculator: Calculate recommended bolus doses based on user input of current blood sugar levels and carbohydrate intake. Bolus doses can be delivered in 0.05 increments to offer precision dosing.
- Customizable Basal Rates: The system allows for programmed basal insulin rates that can be tailored for each individual's needs and lifestyle. Basal rates can be programmed to 0-30 units/hour in 0.5 units/hour increments.
How Many Units Does Omnipod Hold
Omnipod DASH can hold up to 200 units of U-100 rapid acting insulin.
What age can you use Omnipod Dash?
Omnipod DASH system is approved for all ages for anyone who has insulin requiring diabetes.
Does the Omnipod DASH system automatically inject insulin?
The Omnipod DASH will automatically deliver basal insulin based on the programmed settings in the user’s PDM. However, DASH users are still responsible for entering doses for meals and corrections. Users can integrate their Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM), but it doesn’t have automation response as Omnipod 5.
Omnipod 5 is designed to automatically deliver insulin based on the user’s real-time blood sugar levels. It aims to reduce the need for manual adjustments by adapting insulin delivery to maintain glucose levels within target range. It's Insulets insulin delivery system that can automatically deliver insulin based on the user’s blood sugar levels.
Where can you wear Omnipod Dash pods?
Omnipod DASH pods can be placed on the arm, leg, back, abdomen, or buttocks. Omnipod suggests users to choose a new area with every pod replacement to avoid site overuse. When choosing a new Pod location, ensure they are at least 1 inch away from a previous one and a minimum of 2 inches away from your navel. Avoid regions prone to friction from belts, waistbands or other attire that could potentially disrupt or dislodge the pod.
How much does Omnipod DASH cost?
The cost of Omnipod DASH will vary with each person depending on their personal health insurance coverage. The list price for a package containing 10 pods is $609 without insurance coverage. However, Omnipod highlights that the majority of Omnipod DASH users typically pay $50 per month through their pharmacy benefits.
Pros and Cons of Omnipod Dash
Each individual’s experience with the Omnipod DASH system, or any insulin pump, will vary based on their unique needs and preferences. discussing the pros and cons with a healthcare provider can help individuals make informed decisions about their insulin delivery options.
- Tubeless Design: The tubeless nature of the Omnipod DASH system eliminates the need for pump tubing, offering greater freedom of movement and reducing the risk of entanglement or snags.
- Waterproof Pods: The pods used with the Omnipod DASH are waterproof, allowing users to wear them during water-based activities like swimming or showering without the need for removal.
- Customizable Basal Rates: Users can program personalized basal insulin rates to match their individual needs and daily routines.
- Bolus Calculator: The system can calculate bolus doses based on current blood sugar levels and carbohydrate intake, assisting users in precise insulin dosing.
- Integrated Food Library: The extensive food library simplifies carbohydrate counting and meal planning.
- Site-rotation Tracking: A feature that helps users keep track of pod placement sites, promoting healthy skin and insulin absorption.
- Manual Dosing: Users have the flexibility to manually input bolus doses into the PDM, allowing for precise control over insulin dosing for meals and corrections.
- Pod Size: Some users find that Pod size to be large and bulky in comparison to traditional insulin pump infusion sets.
- PDM Requirement: The system relies on the PDM for insulin dosing. If it is misplaced, lost, or malfunctions it can impact insulin management.
- Pod Changes: Pod changes are required every 3 days, and some users may find the process of changing pods tiresome.
- Limited Insulin Capacity: Pods have a maximum of 200 units, which will require more frequent site changes for individuals who utilize >200 units every 3 days.
- Device Dependence: Having to depend on a device in order to receive insulin can be challenging
- Lack of Automation: Other insulin pumps have automated insulin technology which can reduce diabetes distress and decision fatigue.
- Skin irritation: Some users may experience skin irritation or discomfort from the adhesive used with the Pod.
- Supply Management: Users need to ensure a sufficient supply of pods, batteries, and other accessories, which might require careful planning and ordering to prevent interruptions.
- Cost: The cost of the Omnipod DASH system, including pods and PDM, can be a consideration for some users, especially if it's not fully covered by insurance.
Omnipod DASH insulin delivery system offers a range of benefits that cater to the diverse needs and preferences of individuals managing diabetes. Ultimately, making an informed decision involves assessing individual preferences, lifestyle and needs, with the guidance of healthcare professionals to determine if this system aligns with your diabetes management goals.
About Amanda Ciprich, MS, RD
Amanda Ciprich, a registered dietitian with a specialization in type 1 diabetes, was diagnosed with T1D herself at the age of 18. With her expertise and personal experience, she has authored two books, including "The Caregiver's Guide to Diabetes: Practical Advice for Caring for Your Loved One." As the founder of T1D Nutritionist, a virtual insurance-based private practice, Amanda provides counseling and guidance to individuals with T1D and their families, supporting them in effectively managing diabetes.