"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.

Hpatch_3 * 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.

Ustrip_2 * 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?

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.

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