The launch of a new insulin pump player in Australia is super exciting. I love that Cellnovo quietly sneaked into the landscape, with only a tiny stand at the recent Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association conference.
While Cellnovo is currently available in the U.K., the version that is launched in Australia comes with significant upgrades like Bluetooth connectivity and new software. The pump system includes two pumps, a handset, a charger for the pump, a cable to charge the handset and infusion site inserter. The consumables that you buy are just the sites, similar to other pumps.
The idea is that while you’re wearing a pump, the other one remains charging. The handset also doubles as a blood glucose meter, that uses Accu-Chek test strips. You can log your mood and activity on the handset, which also has an in built activity tracker. There is even a safety alarm around the temperature of your insulin!
All your data is logged onto the handset and automatically sent to the cloud, which is why there’s a sim card in the handset. So if you ever need to replace your handset, your settings and data will always be there as it will be linked to your account and not locked to the system. Having data share via the cloud also enables remote monitoring for tele-health or eHealth appointments. Pretty cool!
Cellnovo is covered by private health insurance and has a 4 year warranty period, which is similar to other pumps on the Australian market. Infusion sites are priced similarly to others listed on the NDSS. A pump, costs mabout $2000 to replace it, while the handset is about $3000, from memory.
Thankfully, Cellnovo are working towards replacing the handset with a mobile app, which eliminates the need to carry another thing around.
My favourite part of the pump is the handset, which allows the software to be updated, similar to the T-Slim. What that means is that whenever a new upgrade or feature like CGM connectivity, all we have to is update the software to receive that functionality. There’s no need to wait until our insurance allows us to get another pump for an upgrade!
My other definite huge pro (which can also be viewed as a con) is that everything is controlled via the handset. There is no need to fiddle around with the pump once it’s on. Together with its small size and similarities to a patch pump, I don’t have to think about trying to squish it down my top or find pockets for it. Major win!
Cellnovo isn’t for everyone. There are many bits and pieces to keep track of and not lose. Additionally, the pump only holds 150 units of insulin over a 72 hour period. Similar to the Omnipod, the system will only allow you to wear a pump for 72 hours and will give you warnings before that time is up.
I would also really love to see more interoperability with Cellnovo and other diabetes devices in the future. For example, having other blood glucose meters automatically integrating with the Cellnovo system. As we know, choice is a powerful thing when it comes to diabetes technology.
Cellnovo will officially hit the Australian market from the 1st of October. Aaron from Medical Specialities Australasia was kind enough to show us how the system works. The customer service team are also in place ready to help out with any enquiries and troubleshooting matter.
While I am SUPER excited for Cellnovo, I would love to hear other user experiences before I settle for it. Four years is a long time to commit to a piece of technology. I’ve still got a year and a bit to go before my warranty runs out with the Animas Vibe. Hopefully by then, we’ll see other pump systems in Australia like Kaleido!