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Will You Drop it on The Floor? Will You Catch It On A Door?

By Amanda Sheldon

Managing Editor

Posted:  7/5/2011 12:00 AM


I don’t know about you, but I can easily get caught up in an episode of “How It’s Made.” Today we hear from Amy Kellerman, a product specialist on our insulin delivery marketing team, who gives us a peek into the extensive quality testing Medtronic insulin pumps and other products go through to ensure they’re tough enough to make it through
the daily lives of customers like you.


Do you ever look at your Paradigm Revel pump and ask, “Where did you come from, my
little friend?” Just like in the beginning of your relationship with your pump you might
have felt anxious or excited about what life together would be like, you might have also
wondered about where it was manufactured, what kind of testing it went through and how
it will hold up day-to-day.

Of course, we know that living with a pump is an adjustment. That’s why, at Medtronic,
making quality products that you can live with all day, every day is a very big priority.
So, in addition to clinical trials, we do some serious quality testing on our pumps,
infusion sets and reservoirs, sensors and transmitters (note: obviously some of the
destructive testing we only conduct on qualification devices, and not on any devices that
are shipped to customers).

I recently took a tour of the testing labs here in Northridge, CA to see just what our
products go through. As I walked through the labs, it almost felt like the Willy Wonka
Chocolate Factory (except without the tasty treats or the Oompa Loompas) where
impressive machines work hard to put our pumps, infusion sets, and sensors to the test.

Here are a few fun facts from that tour that you might not have known until today:

• We conduct initial testing in which the results are used in the FDA submission for
approval and ongoing testing after the product has launched.
• Our insulin pump case (the part that is pink, purple, black or clear) is made out of
an extremely durable material called medical grade polycarbonate – it’s actually
the same material that motorcycle helmets are made of.
• Our testing is conducted internally at our Northridge, CA facility and at several
accredited test labs and universities we partner with across the United States.
• To test durability, we drop our pumps from 3.3 feet (about waist height, where
most customers wear their pumps) onto a platform made of thick hardwood with a
concrete block underneath (density greater than 700 kg/m3) – just in case it ever
falls out of your pocket.
• We attach our infusion sets to a 3lb weight and perform a pull test to ensure the
integrity of the tubing – just in case you get caught on a doorknob or other object
around the house.
• We also run altitude, humidity and electrostatic discharge test to make sure your
pump still functions properly even if you’re on top of a mountain, in a rain forest
or hanging out in a room with other typical electronics like stereos and cell
• All of our testing is conducted under our Quality Department and comprised of
electrical, mechanical, biomedical and reliability engineers and scientists.

The pump is not indestructible, of course, but we try to test for real world conditions.
If you’ve been on a pump for a while, you might have some interesting stories of how
your pump has been tested in your own life. So, tell us, what have you put your pump

- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and
associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should
only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks
associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose
monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling
to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any
reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace,
blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory
fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site.
Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that
the site is infected.

Please visit for complete safety


kathie kienle

Posted on Wed Jul 06 01:11:34 GMT 2011

I have been using a MM insulin pumps for the past 15 years.When I had my MM607 and MM508, they came with a clip on the back of the pump. I then used a MM leather case which fit over the pump with an opening for the clip to the outside which I wore on my waistband. It was perfect. The pump was kept clean, safe and secure. It fit very close to the body and was hardly noticeable. Then came the MM722 and now the MM Revel. These pumps do not come with a flush clip on them. For the MM722 I ordered a leather case which came with a leather covered clip on the outside of the case. The leather on that clip split open and it did not fit after that. I had several of them after that, all with the same problem. Now I have the MM Revel and the current leather case comes with a swivel clip on the back of it. It is big, bulky thing and looks terrible on the waistband when I wear a shirt over it. I have now tried the plastic holster which secures the pump but the pump is not at all protected if it falls. I want a case that clips on the waistband, protects the pump and fit snug to the body. MM did it before so they could do it again. MM should have just left the clip on the pump, still had the leather case that fits snugly over the pump and all the bulky problems would be avoided. The clip could be removed if someone wanted to. After 15 years with MM, I feel like we are going backwards.

Mike Hoskins

Posted on Wed Jul 06 15:20:27 GMT 2011

Great post, Amanda. Thanks for sharing those fun and interesting tidbits about the pump designing process. I didn't know about the dropping it from that height, which is cool to know. I'm looking forward to eventually making it out that way for a tour of the MM facility, something my mom has done on a visit and many friends had a chance to do at the recent summit there. Thanks for writing and sharing this with the broader D-Community!

Paul Grahn

Posted on Tue Jul 19 03:16:43 GMT 2011

Thanks for all of your input everyone. I have had a pump for about 1.5 years. I basically started out on the MM723. I love it. It's funny how some of you refer to it as your friend. I agree. Without my "friend", I would not be alive. I was all over the place with just the pen to help. I would go from a 32 to +600 all day long. I had a hard time regulating my BG with Lantus also. I would usually crash down to 30-40 about an hour after taking it. Thank you everyone at MM!!! My next step is convincing a surgeon to look into a new pancreas for me. I lost my pancreas due to necrotizing pancreatitis in 2003. I was in a coma for 14 weeks and in hospitals and rehab centers for a year.

It's easy to say "Pls pray", but we ALL need prayer. God be with you all and keep me up to date with any info you want to share. Also, are there any clubs or meetings relating to, not just diabetes, but someone who has lost their pancreas? Thanks for your time!!!

Married w/ 1 son
37 years old

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