Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Problem with Patch Pumps
They're sleek, for a medical device. They're stylish, for a medical device. They bring the diabetics who take insulin freedom from injections and obtrusive pump tubing. You can check your blood glucose and wirelessly control your pump from one PDA-like doohickey. (Yes, that's a technical term there.)
And they are, at this point, utterly pointless for me to consider. Patch pumps might be all the rage, thanks to famous customers like Nick Jonas, but this dorky diabetic is presently not a fan. Now, don't get me wrong. Everyone's insulin needs are different, and coming up with pumps that hold tiny amounts of insulin that dose miniscule, super-accurate amounts is certainly a very important medical device development. However, patch pumps leave diabetics like me out in the dust, unless we want to refill every single day.
I take what some people consider to be a lot of insulin. My low basal rate during the day is 2.8 u/hr. Now, granted there's not a lot of change during the course of 24 hours from that rate, but some people are just completely flabbergasted to find out what my daily intake is, as if that's a bad thing. I just call it what I need to stay alive and healthy. If you want to criticize me for how much insulin I'm taking, I'm sorry, but you're kind of a dick. Believe me, I wish I could take a couple measly units to cover a meal. I'd save money on insulin!
So I was utterly thrilled at the promise of something I saw over at DiabetesMine last week: the Picosulin Pump/Patch! At last, somebody is considering a patch pump which will be discreet, stylish (for a medical device) and will hold 3ml of insulin at a time! What a completely brill idea! I love the fact that somebody is working on a device which will give me options. Ever since Smiths Medical announced that they were bowing out from the diabetes business, I've been heartbroken, because when I get my next pump, I won't have choices. The only pump company that makes a 3ml pump that's worth a hoot, in my opinion, is Minimed. And I've had Minimed before. I wasn't unhappy, but their pump didn't offer the customization I really needed. Their bolus cap was too low for me.
I would love to see further development by Picosulin. In fact, if you visit their website, they have a survey you can take to tell them what you want in a pump. Everything I just told you, I also told them. (Maybe in a few less words, but the idea is the same.)
Maybe one day, there will be a patch pump that could work well for me. Then I can be just as hip as one of the Jo-Bros.