Asante Solutions Snap Insulin Pumps
By Adam Brown
In April, Asante Solutions started shipping its Snap insulin pump to users in the northeastern part of US. What’s unique about the Snap is that insulin cartridges are prefilled – no more dealing with syringe and vials! Snap is currently the only pump that uses prefilled insulin cartridges. Designed around a prefilled cartridge of insulin for insulin pens, Snap holds 300 units of Humalog and, depending on one’s insulin needs, could last for seven days. We most like that the Snap simplifies the reservoir change process.
Snap has other attractive features that make it simple to use. For example, it automatically primes tubing, which eliminates another step to prep a pump and infusion set. Additionally, it has a unique drop detector alert that notifies the user when the pump falls from a height of three or more feet. The alert warns the user that the fall might have compromised the insulin delivery system. Most other pumps are tested to survive a three feet drop (which Snap also passes) but other pumps do not alert users if the pump is dropped. While the drop detector might not be its most exciting feature, it’s a safety factor that we think Snap users will appreciate.
To encourage people to try the new insulin pump, Asante is now offering a four-week risk-free trial program. We think this is an excellent idea, since the only way to get a real feel for using an insulin pump is to wear it. If after trying the pump the person wants to continue using it, the pump will be billed similarly to Insulet’s OmniPod – about a $600 allowable billed to insurance to start using it and about $350 allowable billed to insurance every month. Your out-of-pocket costs will be some fraction of these amounts and depend on your insurance. Asante is currently sending its pumps to people in the New England, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington DC areas, though we encourage you to contact the company if you are interested and live elsewhere.
To improve Snap, Asante could integrate it with a blood glucose meter or a continuous glucose monitor. We have heard that the pump’s next generation will have those capabilities. In anticipation of future Snap pumps, Asante has already stated that an upgrade to the newest version will cost $99. To learn more about Snap, see Asante’s website and read our previous coverage of the Snap/Pearl. –MN/AB