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Pump Watch: The Field Narrows Further

October 24, 2013

As you know if you’ve been reading prior posts (like this one, this one, or this one here), I’m making the move to insulin pump therapy. The problem is, I didn’t know exactly which pump I was going to choose, and which would be best for me. 

I thought, “This is a great opportunity to see how active the pump and continuous glucose monitoring (GCM) device manufacturers will be in trying to get me to use their products.”

The answer, I found, was pretty underwhelming. 

(Full disclosure: I did some freelance content strategy for one of the companies I’ll be discussing in this post.)

Anyway, after each of my blog posts, I tweeted each of the manufacturers (Medtronic, Animas, OmniPod, Dexcom, and Tandem Diabetes), basically saying “I want to be your customer. I want to be a steady source of income for your company for a long time. Come and win my loyalty.”

(Note: Two hours after posting, I was informed that @OmniPodNA is not OmniPod’s Twitter account. In fact, OmniPod and it’s parent company, Insulet, do not have a Twitter feed. In this day and age, they don’t have a Twitter feed. I think this might actually be worse than the fact they didn’t contact me about my pump needs.)

Medtronic, not surprisingly, contacted me right away. Why was this not surprising, you ask? Medtronic has about a 70% market share in the worldwide insulin pump market. When they see an opportunity to grab a customer, I’d imagine they make a move to grab it. 

Shockingly, Animas (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) didn’t. Neither did OmniPod. Or Dexcom. Or Tandem.

So I started communicating with Medtronic to see what they had, and decided to give the rest another chance. And another. And another. 

Then I called them all out, tweeting “@brianhegarty: I tried to contact @OmniPodNA, @animas, @tandemdiabetes, and @dexcom. No one replied. No wonder @MDT_Diabetes has such a large market share.”

Tandem then got back to me, asking for my contact info. I’ve since started talking with them. 

None of the others have bothered talking to me. 

Their loss. 

In my post where I stated I don’t think I’ll see a cure for diabetes in my lifetime, I mentioned the commodity I’m viewed as. I will be a lifetime customer (unless your product sucks), meaning a steady source of orders and supplies for as long as I use your product. (As well as big amounts of money from those fu&$ing insurance companies.) 

The breakdown, as I can see it, is either with the sales departments or the social media managers at the offending companies. If it’s the sales departments, you should all be fired. If it’s the social media managers, you should all be fired, too.

I’m just one diabetic who’s looking to make this change. Keep an eye out for your customers and do a better job in trying to win them. 

But it’s too late to win me. I’m sorry, Animas, OmniPod and Dexcom. You’re all dead to me now. 

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