At the ADA Conference in early June, I was lucky to get a sneak preview of some of the cool upgrades coming to Insulet's "paradigm-shifting" wireless insulin pump system. I've waited to post this because I was hoping to get my hands on some images of the new (not-yet-released) stuff, which are not forthcoming.  Dern.

You all know I'm an OmniPod user and devotee.  But until now, the software for downloading your blood glucose and insulin dosing records off the system basically just sucked.  The program, called Pathfinder, could not path-find it's way out of a subdirectory {or insert similar computer-related diss}.  But just wait until you see version(s) 2.0.  By comparison, this is going to rock hard. OmniPod makers Insulet Corp. are actually developing two different software programs:

1) A web-based system called OmniPod Partner, developed in partnership with NuMedics (out of Portland, OR).  This online program will offer a total diary log, modal day reports and much more. "It's easy to use and can navigate up to 5,200 data points," Insulet's Director of Development Tim Brown tells me. "This is not a glossed-up Windows program; it's pretty utilitarian.  But the cool thing is, this program can integrate existing glucose data into it.  That means you can build a file using existing data from whatever meter you already use, and then download OmniPod data into it."

The idea is that many new OmniPod users are also new to pumping, and don't want to lose their previous BG trend data when making the switch.  Anyone already using NuMedics Diabetes Partner program, (employed at 70 centers nationwide), can continue to use their same existing file as OmniPod Partner.  This new program should be available any day now -- and it's free of cost, the company tells me.

2) The second, really powerful and exciting program, is the one that will replace Pathfinder.  It is actually a new integration with Abbott Diabetes Care's CoPilot logging program.  It's a colorful and bright program (tested on colorblind and vision impaired PWDs) that will offer 11 different reports specific to the OmniPod: modal day, total diary log, pump settings report, a view of up to seven different basal programs, and a function that will let you click on any time of day to see the basal rate, bolus and other activity at that moment in time.  It will also include an overview of sensor readings for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) once that functionality is integrated into the OmniPod (!).

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"This is the future of our platform, with integrated sensor data... Of course we can't talk about specifics of future products, but we expect this CoPilot program to both work with the existing OmniPod and to grow with us," Brown says. The new software will be introduced before the dual pump/CGM product as a "CoPilot extension" this Fall.  That means it's a free download from Abbott's web site.  The only cost to the user would be ca. $4.95 for a standard mini USB cable to plug into your PC or laptop.

Both of these programs are already HIPAA certified.

The demo I saw was of the latter. It looked nicely interactive, the way you could scroll over data points and all the pertinent info would just pop up.  Of course the graphs of modal day are really useful.  This is much more comparable to other pumps' downloading software, especially Roche's Diabetes Assistant. What's also really nice on the new OmniPod program is the ability to include data from different meters. Obviously, the next big step is the dual OmniPod + CGM system.  Insulet is collaborating with both DexCom and Abbott Diabetes, so it's still a mystery whose CGM system will be integrated first.  But if the software progression is any hint, then I suppose we have our answer.

Meanwhile, Insulet was showing its answer to the "dual infusion site" issue on the show floor at ADA.  Most manufacturers still clearly believe insulin delivery and testing of interstitial fluid have to happen in two separate cannulas.  To deal with this, Insulet's booth at ADA was prominently displaying an image of a pod with a little cannula sticking out both ends.  Clearly the idea is that with a pod very similar to the design on the market now, they could integrate continuous monitoring simply by adding another small infusion site right under the pod you're already wearing.  Not bad, although I'd still prefer just one poke.

I'm still hoping to provide a screenshot of the new software and an image of the dual-purpose pod, so be sure to check back soon.  Exciting stuff, for us OmniPod fans!

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