"South Charleston, WV, United States, 11/27/2014 6:34 A.M. Out For Delivery"
It was an extremely welcomed thing to see. After months of wanting one I was finally able to get a t:slim Insulin Pump from Tandem Diabetes Care! I literally ran outside (it was 20 degrees) in shorts to meet the UPS man. So why was I so excited? I knew the t:slim would be an incredible piece of medical technology before I even used one. In the Spring of 2014 I met with a t:slim representative about having a table at the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes; when I held the demo t:slim I knew one day I would be wearing one. As someone who is always drawn to the latest in greatest in technology I was utterly impressed with the t:slim. It's small, sleek design with its beautiful touchscreen got my attention immediately. Looks are great; however, it's what's inside that really counts.
The t:slim is my fourth brand of insulin pump. My first (and by far my favorite pump) was manufactured by a company called Smith Medical. Enter the Deltec Cozmo. Unfortunately, Smith Medical manufactures medical equipment for several other reasons not pertinent to type one diabetes. Cozmo eventually went defunct due to lack of profit for Smith Medical. I was pretty sad and unfortunately had to switch pump companies. I really disliked the company I switched to. After spending upwards of 45 minutes on hold with customer service for a malfunctioning insulin pump you lose a lot of respect for that company. After years without my beloved Cozmo pump I'm finally getting some of the key components that made Cozmo so successful and popular among pump users back. When I found out that t:slim incorporated Cozmo technology I knew I had to have one.
As a pumper of 10 years, I can say with confidence that Tandem is the first company to actually listen to insulin pump users. A company that doesn't evolve dies. The pump company I used prior to t:slim didn't evolve. They more or less released the same insulin pump every time a "new" pump came out. Before I continue, I do want to extend my gratitude to my previous pump companies. Your products made my life with T1D easier, better, and allowed me to live with a lot less boundaries. Your products helped keep me alive and that can never be taken for granted. However, t:slim... you guys did it. You took a product and turned it into an experience, you took the Xbox and made the Xbox One, you took the 35mm camera and made it digital, you took the Razor and turned it into the iPhone, you took the opinions of insulin pump users and created something remarkable.
t:slim's slogan?... touch simplicity. Two words, yet those two words so elegantly define and describe the t:slim. When you hold the t:slim you instantly notice how small, light, sleek, and solid feeling it is. However, when you press the logo button on top to "wake" the pump, touch simplicity all makes sense. A bright, organized screen shows up. Much like a passcode on your phone the t:slim has a passcode (of 123) to prevent accidental insulin delivery. It's at that point that it hits you and you realize the pump is touchscreen! Every aspect of the pump is extremely easy to use. You're touching simplicity. Not only are you touching simplicity, you're operating simplicity with touch. The way the pump coincides with itself and operates really brings meaning to the phrase, touch simplicity.
As I continue working to become a private pilot I think a lot about keeping my blood sugar within a safe range that not only satisfy the FAA, but myself as well. I can't wait to go flying with my t:slim! Soon, I will have a Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and will mount it in the cockpit when I fly. Thanks to the ease of use of the t:slim, inflight insulin delivery will be a lot easier. Remember the days of pumps with an UP and DOWN arrow? Those days are over, t:slim utilizes its beautiful touchscreen to have an onscreen number pad. Instead of holding a button up to 80 carbs, you type in "80". This is the same with blood glucose input, talk about touch simplicity.
I will say, overall I am extremely impressed with the t:slim. It was like unboxing an Apple product. (Yes, I sincerely believing the packaging of a product is crucial for its success.) How would I simply describe the awesomeness of the t:slim to a perspective teenaged user? Trade your smartphone in for a flip phone. The flip phone calls, maybe it texts. The t:slim is the smart phone, every other company is the flip phone. In short, its badass.
Until a cure for T1D is found, diabetes care is about eliminating variables. If we can make T1D easier to manage we can prevent complications. As t:slim evolves I can see them eliminating variables. While t:slim hasn't eliminate the variable of an insulin pump, they sure have redefined the variable.