Can Tandem’s User-Friendly t:slim Make Pumping Insulin The Therapy of Choice?
Snap is a feature-rich pump long on convenience but short on price. At around $700, it costs about the same as an OmniPod starter kit.
“It would be really upsetting if I had to go back to shots,” said 16 year-old Spencer McEvoy (number 84 in the photo above). Like many teenagers, he prefers pumping insulin over multiple daily injections.
Learning how to replace the insulin-producing functions of the pancreas isn’t easy for a newly diagnosed Type 1, let alone parents without diabetes. While pumps automate insulin delivery, the adult roles are just as significant with a pump as with injections.
When the history of the first successful closed-loop diabetes management system is written, David Damiano’s name may be mentioned only in passing. This will not be surprising, since David, age 13, played no role in writing the algorithms and testing the meshed technologies that will make life infinitely easier and safer for people with type 1 diabetes. He is, however, the principal reason the system will exist. His father, Ed, coinvented the “bionic pancreas” to keep him safe. The system will represent a father’s love, distilled into a mathematical formula.
An Ontario mom Amy Ermel and her daughter Emma have never met Rebecca Sypin and Jane Bingham, but they hope following in their footsteps will convince toy giant Mattel, makers of Barbie and Ken, to create a suite of dolls with diabetes. The Ermel’s Facebook page, Diabetic Barbie, launched in February and as of mid-May had accumulated almost 6,000 “likes.” Sypin and Bingham’s Facebook page, “Bald and Beautiful Barbie: Let’s See If We Can Get It Made,” has garnered more than 159,000 “likes” since Christmas, 2011, the vast majority after CBS News broadcast their story about a Barbie doll with cancer in early January 2012.
One might think that the development of insulin pens and increasingly sophisticated insulin pumps would force syringes into retirement. Not so. More than 6.6 billion syringe injections occur in the U.S. each year, and 3.3 billion of those are self-administered by people with diabetes.
Four years ago, there was no iPad, or any other brand of tablet computer. Today there are tens of millions of individual devices, produced by a variety of companies. New diabetes technology isn’t on such a fast track, but the pace of innovation is increasing rapidly.
There is an old saw that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, and Ed Damiano’s relationship with Dr. Steven Russell is a perfect example of the saying in action. In 2006, when Damiano came to the Joslin Diabetes Center to give a talk about the experiments he was doing on pigs, using an early version of the bionic pancreas. Russell happened to be in the audience.