How Insulin Pump Technology is Transforming Diabetes Care

06/14/24  2:48 PM PST
Diabetes

Diabetes technology has come a long way in recent years, and for those living with diabetes, technology like insulin pumps is bringing a welcome relief.

People with diabetes can now connect their Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) with insulin pumps. This means insulin dosage can be an automated process. Making managing diabetes easier than ever!

 

What are Insulin Pumps?

Insulin pumps are small, wearable devices that deliver insulin in two ways:

  1. Bolus – As a surge dose, at your direction (such as around mealtime), or,
  2. Basil – A steady measured and continuous dose.

The insulin dose is pushed from a pump through an infusion set (catheter and small needle). The needle is inserted and taped onto the skin for 2-3 days at a time. Although it is commonly inserted on the abdomen, some users prefer to place it on their lower back, hips, or thighs (users should consult their physician about ideal placement).

The insulin pump can connect to a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to read how the glucose level is being affected and change the amount of insulin in some cases.

 

Who should get Insulin Pumps?

Anybody with diabetes who requires synthetic insulin may use an insulin pump. This includes people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes — both children and adults.

Pumps are convenient and easy to use – but they don’t suit everyone.

It is important to remember:

  1. Training period – Insulin pumps take getting used to, you can request training from your physician and/or pump provider.
  2. Site care – Like CGM sensor sites, cleaning the pump site and ensuring sanitized insertion will avoid and prevent infections, which can be serious and fatal.
  3. Monitor your glucose – While CGM and insulin pumps make managing diabetes automated, it is a good idea to periodically keep an eye on glucose data and compare your insulin pump readings to ensure they are continuing to work together seamlessly.
  4. Battery and insulin levels – Insulin pumps run off battery and must be filled with insulin. Always check these levels before leaving the house and take extra supplies with you when leaving for extended periods.
  5. Skin irritation – Some users find their skin will be irritated by the tape’s adhesion. Speak to your physician if this is an ongoing problem, and not remedied by moving the injection site.
  6. Back up insulin – It is important to always carry an extra injectable insulin. This will cover maintaining insulin levels if there are any breakages or blockages in your pump system.

 

Where Can I Get an Insulin Pump?

Like CGM, your insurance may cover insulin pumps, making them more accessible than ever!

There are many pumps on the market, and it’s important to research what is best for you or your child. Discuss these options with your diabetes care team, and they can refer you to a supplier today!

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