Types Of Insulin Pump One Must Know Before Buying
1. Tethered pump Types Of Insulin Pump
A tethered pump connects the body to the cannula through another small flexible tube. In tethered pumps, the controls are usually featured in the pump itself and the pump can be tucked under a pocket, worn over the belt, or carried inside the clothes in a pump pouch. Some tethered pumps may also have controls on a different device which may act as a continuous glucose monitor as well. Tethered pumps are the most widely used pumps around the world.
Tethered pumps can be bothersome because of the attached tubes which can be tugged by objects and cause pain to the patient. Tethered pumps are also not very discreet which may cause the wearer some embarrassment.
Some of the tethered pumps available in the market are Tandem t slim, MiniMed 640G, and MiniMed 780G
2. Patch pump Types Of Insulin Pump
A patch pump does not require any tubing to work. It is attached to the surface of the skin, usually on the stomach. To make the pump as compact as possible, the controls of the pump are located on a separate remote control. This remote control may also act as a blood glucose monitor. The pump is connected to the remote wirelessly and there are no tubes that might get in the way of daily activities. However, you still need to ensure that the pump does not get dislodged while doing activities.
Patch pumps are very popular with consumers because of their ease of use, discreetness, and low upfront cost. Patch pumps are also very popular with type 2 diabetes patients.
Some of the patch pumps available in the market are Omnipod Dash, Equil patch, and GlucoMen day.
3. Implanted insulin pump
As the name suggests, it is an insulin pump that is implanted inside the body and remains there at all times. An implanted insulin pump delivers insulin in the peritoneal cavity which has an abundant supply of blood vessels and thus, can absorb insulin very efficiently.
The surgery for implanted insulin pumps lasts just about 15 minutes in which the pump is stitched directly under the skin of the patient. It can then directly supply the insulin to the body and can do so for 3 months without a refill. The batteries of Implanted insulin pumps can last for many years as well. therefore, it will be years until another surgery is needed.
A few decades ago, Implanted insulin pump was considered the future of insulin pump technology. But it never took off when it was first introduced. As a result, most insulin pump manufacturers stopped the production of Implanted insulin pumps and shifted their focus to closed-loop insulin pumps.
While implanted insulin pumps are very advanced and provide better insulin delivery than other insulin pumps, it has many disadvantages such as needing to travel to France several times a year to refill the pump. Today, only a small number of patients use implanted insulin pumps worldwide.
However, Implanted insulin pumps are gaining popularity among patients once again due to their advanced technology, discreet nature, and pain-free delivery system. Insulin pump manufacturers are now conducting research and development for implanted insulin pumps once again.
4. Closed-loop insulin pump
Also known as an “artificial pancreas”, Closed-loop insulin pumps are always connected to a continuous glucose monitor that sends continuous feedback to the pump throughout the day. The pump automatically adjusts according to the readings given by the glucose monitor. The closed-loop insulin pump consists of an advanced system that contains various algorithms and rules that respond to changing blood glucose levels and ensure that the blood sugar levels are stable. In a closed-loop insulin pump, there is no need for any human intervention whatsoever, the pump will act on its own.
Closed-loop insulin pumps are being constantly developed by all the big insulin pumps manufacturers. It is said to be the future of insulin pumps as it will act just like a pancreas for patients. This will make it similar to an organ transplant.
These pumps are still in the stages of development and will require some more years to become mainstream.
5. Insulin pumps for type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas stops the production of insulin or produces insufficient amounts of insulin. It is more common in children but lately, many adults are also being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes accounts for only 5 to 10 per cent of total diabetic patients
Most insulin pumps are developed specifically for type 1 diabetes since type 1 diabetic patients are the ones that require multiple injections in a day. Insulin pumps that are suitable for type 1 diabetes are-Implanted insulin pumps, tethered pumps, and closed-loop insulin pumps.
6. Insulin pumps for type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that happens when the amount of sugar in your bloodstream is too high. Unlike type 1 diabetes, in which the body cannot produce insulin, in type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin but it doesn’t make the necessary amount to maintain healthy blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, with about 90 per cent of total diabetic patients.
Patch pumps are more suitable for type 2 diabetes patients because of their ease of use, operability, lower upfront cost, and discreetness. However, Insulin pumps are usually not necessary for type 2 diabetes patients since they can manage it by lifestyle, diet, and exercise.