After 39 years as a T1 (oooops, started as a patient with diabetes mellitus, then a diabetic, then a juvenile diabetic, then a Type 1 diabetic, then a PWD, then a Type None PWD), in 2004, I finally decided that I was ready to try the insulin pump. For me, it was a big step. I had railed against the prospect of “being connected” all the time, with something that alarmed, with having something inside me. And then, it was quite a process of figuring out which insulin pump to choose.
BUT just 6 months into my second 4-year hitch, Smiths Medical announced its intent to stop manufacturing and selling the Cozmo insulin pump!
WHAT!!!!! I couldn’t even reach my rep who had become my friend. Everyone was instantly laid off and the company ended. While I was upset, I was guaranteed that the supplies I needed (cartridges, replacements for defective pumps and parts) would continue to be available through the life of my 4-year warranty.
So … I experienced my first “KILLING” of an insulin pump company. Of course, I was not responsible for their demise. It was Medtronic’s lawsuit for patent infringement that caused to Smiths to call it quits. But no matter … MY pump company was going away, leaving me stranded!
In my earlier professional career, I was involved in marketing for new computer technologies and artificial intelligence machines and software. And several of the small start-up companies in which I worked suddenly shut down. So I was no stranger to “KILLING” technology companies.
But this felt so personal. MY insulin pump is one of my best friends!
• I named my Cozmo KIWI because of the chirping alarms … and I was
able to upload the actual text to name it
• It went everywhere with me, even swimming
• It was my pancreas
• It was quirky looking and really pretty blue
• It was, by all reviews, one the absolutely technically best
insulin pumps ever made
Then the company stopped! But I wasn’t ready to stop, so I continued wearing my Cozmo well after the 2nd warranty expired. After 3 more years, I started looking around, “just in case.”
Then I found Snap! A totally new insulin pump developed and manufactured by Asante Solutions. They offered a one month trial … and I was in love. It brimmed with unusual features that, to me, were brilliant and time-saving and easy to use:
• The basal program resided in 2 places so I never had to re-enter my profiles
• The menus and features were never more than 1-2 button presses away
• The pump AUTOPRIMED instantly!
• It used glass cartridges! No filling plastic cartridges, no option to use the wrong insulin
• It was lightweight
• I could design my own “look”
• And the engineers and reps actually listened to us PWDs.
THEN IT HAPPENED AGAIN!
Asante Solutions closed their doors on Friday, after only a little over 1-1/2 years on the market, leaving loyal and very happy customers feeling totally sad and abandoned. We are left to choose from the remaining insulin pump manufacturers. And it literally feels like we are having to take a step backwards in features and technological advances. VERY sad.
Once again, I feel like I KILLED yet again another wonderful company!
Yes, I know it isn’t my fault. In fact, I was thrilled and enthusiastic about this pump. But it is GONE!
That’s my story. My crazy stories of KILLING COMPANIES! I am the Grim Reaper of Insulin Pump Companies (and other tech start ups).
Watch out Medtronic, Animas, Tandem, Insulet and Roche! If I choose your pump next, your days might be numbered!