Because… Progress.

January is practically over, and you know what? It’s been a pretty good start to 2015.

Tandem has announced approval of their larger-capacity insulin pump.
The t:flex pump may not raise a lot of eyebrows, but it does provide something no pump has provided before: The ability to pack 480 units of insulin in the reservoir. I can’t name anyone off the top of my head who needs this right now, but I have been in support group discussions where People With Diabetes felt they couldn’t use an insulin pump because their daily insulin needs are higher, and they would have to change a set out too often, and it just wasn’t worth it to them to go through that. For many, this will solve that problem.

Not to be outdone, Medtronic obtained approval (outside of the USA) for their new 640g system.

This is the first system available to the public that will both suspend insulin delivery when a patient reaches a low point on their CGM, and resume insulin delivery when a patient’s CGM reading recovers. It also comes with additional hardware that looks to me like a PDM, and a seriously-needed upgrade to the CareLink software that, in images on Med-T’s website, look an awful lot like what you see with Dexcom’s downloads.

Speaking of Dexcom… The FDA announced approval of the Dexcom app software that allows CGM users to share their data with others in real time.

For people with hypo unawareness, sharing CGM readings with people close to you is life-changing, and potentially live-saving. Dexcom’s system will employ a new Dexcom Share receiver (the previous version was the Dexcom Cradle), and existing users will be able to upgrade at little or no cost. Of course, you and anyone you connect with (via the Dexcom Follow app) will have to have an iPhone or an iPad device to make this happen. But yay for the FDA allowing Dexcom to go through the de novo classification process, a regulatory pathway for low to moderate risk medical devices that are novel and not substantially equivalent to any legally marketed device, rather than making them go through the gauntlet of the full medical-device approval pathway.

I know, I know… all of these devices may have issues and fall short of what we are looking for from innovations in the diabetes device space. But who was talking about real-time CGM monitoring a year ago? Who was talking about pumps that suspended, then resumed insulin delivery based on CGM readings? Who was discussing larger pump capacities? Okay, well, people were talking about those things a year ago, but at least some of us didn’t expect any of these innovations to be rolled out to actual customers within a year’s time.

In the end, we can’t complain entirely that we don’t get everything we want right now, because… Progress. Things are moving forward, and I’m hoping that we’ll eventually reach a tipping point where the urge to both innovate and get those innovations to patients as soon as possible will cause device and drug makers to move at a pace that matches the rest of the world’s technological advancements.

Because… Necessary.

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  • Reetika  On June 10, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    The pace of technological development in diabetes devices seems fast but I wish the pace was similar everywhere. Here in India, things are still slow. But thankfully, better logistics these days make it easy to get products delivered here. Hope it matches up soon! A nice read.

    Liked by 1 person

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