Loop Installation @ BC Diabetes

Living With Diabetes, Patient Care + Research + Clinical Trials, Technology

The Artificial Pancreas (automated insulin delivery, AID) is here and we are not waiting! On 2020-Aug-1 BCDiabetes began doing in-house installations of the Omnipod Eros-Dexcom G6-Riley link Loop system (using the Master branch with Autobolus option = “Pete’s).  Although this system is not Health Canada approved, it is our default recommendation.  This is because currently it gives the best glycemic control & is less expensive than the Medtronic 670G/770G & the Tandem T-slim given current BC Pharmacare coverage & deductibles.  If you wish to start with either the Medtronic or Tandem system email us & we will support you by filling in the necessary forms and continue to work with you afterwards.

More than 80 BCDiabetes clients are Looping with the Omnipod system. All have good control and most have times-in-range of >85% (4.0-10.0). One in ten do not even need to manually bolus (unless they have a big starch portion like a donut).  This is because the Loop Autobolus algorithm prevents the expected spike through microbolusses given every 5 minutes.  Read a BCDiabetes client’s experience of the first two weeks of using Loop with Autobolus. These clients are all sleeping through the night and experiencing life without the rigors of diabetes for the first time in years. All they need to do is change their pod every 3 days, their CGM every 10 days, charge their iPhone as usual and their Riley link every few days.  We now support androidAPS and on 2021-Apr-20 will be doing our first installation.  No longer is an iPhone required – most android phones (ver 9+) are compatible with androidAPS.

Loop Installation

In case you want to configure & install Loop yourself, here is a one-pager with all the requirements. See also this instructive powerpoint from our 2020-May-20 webinar, this 55 minute 2020-May YouTube recording of The Weekly webinar focussed on closed-loop pump systems in general, and a 55 minute lecture on the fascinating history of Looping given by Ben Mammon.

Because Loop & androidAPS are not Health Canada approved we require a signed consent & waiver before we will consider installing it for you. BCDiabetes adult clients must complete this online written consent & waiver for adults.  Guardians of a minor BCDiabetes client must complete this online written consent & waiver for minors  Applications for the installation of Loop or androidAPS for minors also require the written (email is sufficient) consent of the treating pediatric endocrinologist or pediatrician (send to moa@bcdiabetes.ca).

At the time of your appointment (in-person preferred) you need to have with you the following:

iPhone (6S or newer for Loop) or android phone (running 9+) with an active data plan

Omnipod “Eros” pump (with spare pod)

Dexcom G6 up and running

“Riley link” either an Orangelink (an upgraded Riley link from the US, US$150) or an Emalink (European, 3 sizes, US$180)

Looping Safety/Emergency kit in case of failure of one of the system components.

We will share a link to either the Loop app with Autobolus option (from BCDiabetes’ account on TestFlight, Apple’s beta-test app store) or androidAPS and help you with all the configuration, at no charge.  If you are not a BCDiabetes client you first need to register online, get a referral from any Canadian Physician (click here for quick referral form), and be seen for a regular appointment either in-person or virtually.  Once we have the referral you will be seen within 2 weeks.  The cost of the appointment and follow up will be covered in full by your Canadian provincial medical plan with the exception of Quebec. For Quebec residents the fee is $1200 (initial appointment plus up to two weeks of daily follow-up).

When you are ready to try Loop or androidAPS email us requesting an appointment for the set-up. The appointment itself can be either in person or can be done remotely/virtually (on Zoom).    

We will have you up and Looping in 90 minutes and follow you along until you don’t need us any more. Most Loopers are completely independent within two weeks.  We will also provide you with an instant no-cost Nightscout account as long as you remain a BCDiabetes client.  Nightscout makes for easy sharing of data with your loved ones and your diabetes-care team.  Nightscout is not available yet in app stores though you could build it painstakingly yourself in 4-6 hours.

If you are not trained on the Omnipod Eros pump and are a BC resident we will fill out and fax a Special Authority application for BC Pharmacare & a Medical Necessity form to Insulet (the manufacturer).  A starter kit with two pods will be delivered to your home within a week: once you have completed basic online training (two sessions 3 days apart) and been certified, you are ready to Loop.

For the Omnipod pump email Andrew Muirhead phone +1–604-754-6195

For the Dexcom G6 order online or email Anthony Petrovich phone +1-604-363-8776.

For the Emalink order online.

For the Orangelink order online.

For the Medtronic 770G pump email Brenda Heaney phone +1-604-312-7101.

For the Tandem Control IQ email Teri Currie phone +1-778-995-1268


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