When your doctor tells you they want you to go on the pump, or they want you to change your blood sugar meter, or they want you to get a continuous glucose monitor, or any other diabetic devices, how do you decide what to get? Do you just get what the doctor tells you to get, or do you go out and start shopping around like you would for a new TV or a new car? Should you get a Medtronic Minimed, an Animas Ping, or an Omnipod? Maybe you’re looking for info about the Dexcom G4 vs. the Medtronic Guardian? Many people ask their doctors for advice. Some will do their own research by calling manufacturers, or looking up magazine reviews, and now in todays age, people will Google for information about the diabetic device they need. What’s the best way to do your research though? How will you find out the secret little things that no sales rep, doctor, or nurse will know or tell you?
Well here is my opinion about doing research for diabetic devices. Ask people who use them. Certainly doctors will be full of info they’ve been trained on by the manufacturer reps, and the manufacturer reps will tell you all the reasons their product is better than the competition, but the people who will tell you the honest truth about a product, are the people who it. Doctors will skew you towards the products from the manufacturers who bring them donuts, cookies, and coffee more often, the manufacturer reps won’t tell you about the “known issues” with their product because they want you buy it, but the people who use it, will tell you EVERYTHING. The good and the bad.
How do you find the people who use the products? In local diabetes support groups, in JDRF meetings, at diabetes walks, and ONLINE. The diabetes online community is jam packed full of people who just love to rave about their devices. Just go to Twitter and search for the hashtags #doc, #dsma, #review, etc, and you’ll find people who can help. You can also of course do Google searches for personal reviews written by real diabetics like me. For instance, if you go to Google and type in “dexcom review” or “medtronic guardian review” or “dexcom vs. medtronic”, your going to find this blog in the top 10 search results. I love to promote my Dexcom, and I’m not a fan of the Guardian! I really should work for Dexcom I think. Hey Dexcom, wanna hire me?! LOL!!!
I have only 3 diabetic devices. My Medtronic Minimed pump, my Dexcom CGM, and my One Touch meter. My Medtronic pump I got simply because it’s the one my doctor at the time recommended, and it’s the only one they were trained on in her office. That was in 2006. I’ve stuck with it over the years because it’s never failed me. Not once. In fact, I’ve only had 2 pumps in those 7 years, and the one I have now is only a year old. That means my pump with a 3 year warranty lasted 6 years, and it still works! Why would I change, right? My Dexcom I got because of the failure of the Guardian I had. I got the Guardian because it was matched to my pump. It was horrible. The #doc was full of people posting about how they love Dexcom though, so I did some research, read some personal reviews, asked some people who use it about their experience, and couldn’t be happier with it. My One Touch I use because I’ve used it for more years than I can remember. Insurance sends me new ones every once in a while, and I just keep using them.
Well, I hope you found that bit of perspective helpful. Happy shopping!!!
This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/june-dsma-blog-carnival-3/