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

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 phones.
  • 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 through?


– 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 www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information for complete safety information.

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