"Don't call them pumps..." Further to my ongoing pursuit of alternative insulin delivery devices, I've learned of a few more highly intriguing models that were showcased via research posters and/or demos at last month's annual ADA Conference.
* Valeritas' h-Patch technology -- a daily-use, disposable, waterproof device that's as small as a chap stick tube and as easy to apply as a band-aid, according to the New Jersey-based company. It delivers both a fixed basal rate and manual meal boluses. Looks like the company is initially targeting Type 2 patients, to help make the transition to insulin easier. This device recently received 510(k) pre-market clearance from the FDA, a first step towards full FDA approval in which the manufacturer must demonstrate that a new type or category of medical device is "substantially equivalent to an existing, legally marketed device."
* Danish company Danfoss Bionics is developing a similar system -- a novel disposable Microfluidic Elastomer Patch Pump (MEPP), also aimed initially at Type 2 patients. Looks like this one's still under study.
* Encapsulation Systems was showing its U-Strip transdermal insulin delivery patch system. That's right, insulin being absorbed through your skin, directly into the bloodstream. "This is accomplished using ultrasound to transport the large molecule drugs, via a wearable, portable and programmable drug sonic applicator device," says the Pennsylvania-based company. Observers note that the current system is quite bulky, but the company is of course working on a sleeker design. (Although the featured male model already helps make the name "U-Strip" a lot more interesting :)
While there's lots of speculation about market demand and reimbursement issues for these new devices, need I remind you how cool it is for us PWDs that R&D is finally focusing on simplicity and quality of life concerns?
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btw, I've just arrived in St. Louis for the annual American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Conference. More news on all those doings to come.