Patch pump technology has been on the verge of breaking through for several years and now it may actually happen. Patch pumps are becoming popular because they avoid the tethered approach of current pumps. Instead of having your pump connected to your body via an infusion set and tubing, the patch pump is worn directly on the body, discreetly attached at the infusion site and wirelessly controlled with a separate device.
With the Omnipod already available, and others in development, we could see many more patch pumps in the near future. We have listed some of the pumps we have heard about already below. If you know of more, please let us know.
Status: Available Now
The Omnipod is comprised of 2 parts: the wireless insulin pump and the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM). The pump contains the reservoir, angled infusion set, automated inserter, pumping mechanism and power supply, all in a small, watertight case. This pod is attached directly to your body. With a full 200-unit reservoir, it weighs 1.2 ounces.
Status: 510K review pending, needs major partner to launch
Debiotech has been working on their MEMS Nanopump technology for many years. MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) puts all the system programming on a tiny chip. Like the other patch pumps, it's a 2 part system: the reservoir with pumping mechanism that attaches to your body and the display device.
The Cellnovo semi-patch pump (patch pump with a nearby infusion site) got a lot of attention in 2009 when it was first announced because of it's small size and iPhone like handset. Cellnovo, a London based company, has now joined forces with Osaka, Japan based Nipro Diagnostics, a blood glucose meter company, for integration of a meter into the Cell-Novo controller for the pod.
Status: Currently under review at the FDA.
The V-Go is a simple-to-use, insulin delivery device that provides a preset basal rate and on-demand bolus dosing. Unlike most patch pumps current or in development, the V-Go has no controller device that must be carried around and used to give commands.
Status: Has FDA approval. Acquired by Roche in March 2010. Predicted to launch in 2012.
The Solo system has made two parts, the MicroPump and the Remote, which work together wirelessly. The MicroPump is made up of a disposable 200-unit insulin reservoir and a 90 day reusable Pump Base. It is attached to your body with a "cradle" that houses the canula used for insulin delivery. The pump has side buttons that allow quick ad easy blousing without the Remote.
The Solo Remote allows you to program your basal and bolus delivery just like any traditional pump. Color menus guide you through and messages tell you what is happening and what to do. The Solo Bolus Guide helps you figure out how much insulin to take for high blood sugars or carbs you plan to eat. History tracking includes entered BGs, BG trend graphs and insulin delivery for the past 90 days.
Insulean by Pancreum
Status: Early stages
The Insulean micro pump is a combination of proposed devices from Pancreum. The device centers around the CoreMD "brain." The BetaWedge is a small, wearable, replaceable patch pump hooked up to the CoreMD. It is named after the pancreas beta islet cells responsible for producing insulin. Filled with insulin, it is worn on the body for three days. Using a small flexible cannula inserted under the skin, it delivers programmed doses of insulin. The system will also have additional parts available. The AlphaWedge is a small, wearable, replaceable pump that can deliver glucagon, cortisol, adrenaline or other substances needed to avoid hypoglycemia. It is named after the pancreas alpha islet cells, responsible for producing glucagon. The GlucoWedge is a wearable, replaceable continuous glucose sensing device, with an automatic sensor insertion mechanism. You wear it on your body and the sensor measures glucose in the interstitial fluid every few minutes for three to seven days. All these systems are hooked onto the CoreMD, which connects to a PDA or your smartphone via Bluetooth.