Insulin pumps are small electronic devices that mimic the functioning of a healthy pancreas. They replace the requirement of frequent injections. Insulin pumps deliver precise frequent doses of rapid-acting insulin as per your body requirements.
You can easily attach the pump to a belt, or clothing. You can attach the pump to your body with the help of an infusion set that includes a thin tube to deliver the insulin through your skin.
The insulin pumps are more convenient over multiple daily injections. Plus, you can move flexibly, eat food and drink comfortably.
How they work?
The pumps can deliver insulin in two primary ways. You can program the pump to deliver a small, continuous trickle of insulin called the basal rate. This insulin keeps your blood sugar levels stable between meals.
You can also deliver fast-acting insulin doses called a bolus rate when required. This dose will be slightly higher to manage the sugar spikes during and after meals.
Why the need of Insulin Pumps
Insulin pumps can help you accurately manage your blood sugar and provide complete control ensuring limited fluctuations.
You can lead your life more flexibly and spontaneously without changing your habits or food choices. Insulin pumps are highly predictable and can deliver precise doses of insulin. They reduce the risk of having lower levels of blood sugar.
You can integrate insulin pumps with CGM capabilities to initiate an alarm whenever the pump reads low blood sugars. Insulin pumps are highly effective against the Dawn Phenomenon or unreasonable sugar spikes.
These pumps help fix the issue by delivering specific doses every hour of the day. However, you may need to check your blood sugar levels more frequently and ensure that your pumps function properly.
Price of Insulin Pumps
Insulin pumps are expensive with basic models starting from Rs 300000 and covered under health insurance. But if you need one, you should have one anyway. Here are some of the best diabetes insulin pumps available in the market:
Medtronic Insulin Pumps
Medtronics provides three types of insulin pumps. All these pumps use a CGM with SmartGuard Technology to stop the delivery of insulin for 2 hours in case the blood sugar levels reach a lower limit preset by the user.
- MiniMed 530G System which is not waterproof therefore you should remove it before any water activities. You can program the pump to work with data management systems like Glooko and Tidepool.
- MiniMed 630G System. It is a waterproof pump and features a color screen. You can access CGM and pump data with CareLink Personal software. The Bluetooth handset of the pump communicates blood sugar to the machine. Both these pumps are suitable for adults and children above the age of 16.
- MiniMed 670G System with exciting new features such as a hybrid closed-loop system with SmartGuard technology to provide maximum levels of automation for diabetes management.
- The pump has an Auto Mode feature to automatically adjust the delivery of basal insulin according to the glucose readings of the CGM sensor and recent insulin delivery.
- It is a waterproof pump with a full-color screen. You can upload and manage the CGM and pump data with CareLink Personal software.
- This pump is suitable for adults and children above 14 having type 1 diabetes. You can also transfer bolus and blood glucose readings remotely using Contour Next Link 2.4 meter.
Roche Insulin Pumps
Roche offers two different varieties of insulin pumps namely Accu Chek Insight and Accu Chek Aviva Combo.
The latter allows you to use the handset remotely via Bluetooth. Its insulin reservoir can hold 315 units at a time. The Accu Chek Insight is a newer model that can hold 200 units of insulin. You can access carb and bolus readings remotely via Bluetooth.
Both pumps are not waterproof, have a color screen with touch screen technology, provide carb counting advice, and have no CGM capabilities.
Tandem Insulin Pumps
Tandem is a popular brand with three varieties of insulin pumps featuring bright, full-color touchscreens, multiple device integration, and X2 data display from Dexcom G5. The pumps are chargeable and waterproof up to three feet.
Omnipod Insulin Pumps
These are tubeless insulin pumps with prefilled insulin pods. You can control the pump via a handset. It is a compact fully watertight pump without any tubing and a pod lifetime of 72 hours. The pump doesn’t have CGM capabilities.