Tube-free insulin pumps

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Over the last few years tubeless insulin pumps have been approved for use in Australia. These insulin pumps, sometimes called tubeless patch pumps or pod pumps, do not have tubing as part of the infusion set, instead only a small cannula to facilitate insulin delivery. They attach to the skin so there is no need to worry about clothing choices to accommodate carrying your pump.

The two pumps on the market in Australia are Accu-Chek Solo and Ominpod® DASH Insulin Management System. Both pumps are very small and both weigh less than 30g.

How do these pumps work?

The pumps do not have a screen so they use a personal delivery manager (PDM) or receiver to send information to the pump for insulin delivery. The PDM is similar to a smart phone. Unfortunately, to date there is not an app to control these pumps so the user needs to have a smart phone for their continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and a transmitter (PDM) for the pump.

As the CGM and micro pumps do not communicate with each other, the option of auto-stop or auto-basal adjustment is not available.

One advantage of these pumps is that they can be worn on the back of the arms, stomach, thighs or buttocks, providing more flexibility in regards to placement sites of traditional tubing pumps.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two:

Accu-Chek Solo

Omnipod DASH


Accu-Chek Solo

Omnipod Dash
Cost Covered by private health insurance and disposable parts subsidised by NDSS for eligible persons. Introductory offer which provides you with 2 boxes of pods (around 2 months worth of pods) and a Personal Diabetes Manager kit for $799.
Waterproof No.  Needs to be removed from pump holder while in water. Waterproof with an IP28 rating for up to 7.6 metres for 60 minutes.
Reservoir 200 units 200 units
Wear time Pump base replace every 4 months.

Cannula and pump holder maximum wear is 3 days.

Reservoir maximum wear is 4 days.

Replace pod every 3 days.
Data Upload Accu-Chek software. Upload data to Diasend or Glooko.
Bolus Bolus calculator.

Able to do small bolus with bolus button or precise bolus with PDM.

Bolus calculator.

Bolus using PDM.

Basal 5 different basal rates. 12 different basal rates.
Blood glucose checking Transmitter uses Avivia test strips. Manual input data from blood glucose meter or CGM/flash glucose monitor
Dimensions Approximately 63 x 39 x 14 mm (LxWxH) 52mm x 39mm x 14.5mm (LxWxH)
Weight Less than 29g with a filled reservoir 26g

If you are considering a pump

There are now five different insulin pump brands available in Australia. Each pump has different capabilities and suits different individuals.

When deciding on an insulin pump it is recommended you talk to your diabetes healthcare team and discuss what you would like from a pump and how a pump will fit into your lifestyle.


By Polly Antees APD CDE


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