The rate of new cases of diabetes may have plateaued, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, 35 percent of Americans live with diabetes (29 million) or prediabetes (86 million), making the disease a continuing major health threat. Health tech companies, universities, and research groups worldwide are searching for better disease management solutions. The two major components in automating diabetic care are continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and insulin pumps, in a few cases combined in a closed loop single solutions.
Insulin pumps have several major advantages over multiple daily injections including the potential for better blood sugar control, decreased high blood sugar duration, fewer large swings in blood glucose, and even lower total insulin use. Tandem Diabetes Care‘s t:slim X2 Pump is the company’s second-generation handheld insulin pump. The device has a watertight aluminum case housing and a color touchscreen that displays insulin on board (IOB), current system settings and insulin delivery status, and battery level. The t:slim X2 can hold up to 300 units of insulin and the battery lasts up to 7 days. The case is 25 percent to 37 percent smaller than handheld pumps from other major manufacturers, according to Tandem.
The t:slim X2 Pump advanced features include Micro-Delivery technology for delivering insulin in the smallest increments available, every five minutes in as small as .001 unit. The Tandem pump also has remote update capability via Bluetooth or a USB connection to update the onboard software as new features are available and FDA approved. That means patients don’t need to go to a doctor’s office for updates. The small pump can be worn clipped to a belt or carried in a pocket. Insulin flows from the case via a thin, flexible tube to an adhesive patch with a short fine tube that is placed under the skin. The patch site is changed every two to three days.
Advances in CGMs and insulin pumps give patients with diabetes more independence and peace of mind that their disease is being well managed. ‘The ability to update the Tandem pump’s onboard software gives users assurance that they are less likely to be left behind or need new devices for the near future.