Diabetes is a worldwide pandemic affecting about 347 million people, according to the World Health Organization. One of the biggest problems in regulating a patient’s blood sugar levels is that insulin must be administered multiple times throughout the day. For most people, this requires injecting themselves with insulin, which some find difficult or painful, and as a result they do not always keep up with their treatment. This can result in big swings in blood sugar levels, which can accelerate the development of serious complications.
The Swiss company CeQur has developed the PaQ, a wearable device that automatically delivers insulin through a process called “continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion” (CSII). The device has two components; a replaceable section that contains the insulin, and a reusable messenger unit. The replaceable section has an adhesive pad that sticks to the patient’s skin, and can be worn for three days even when showering or swimming. It also includes a tiny cannula that inserts into the skin. It provides a background level of insulin throughout the day, and has a button that the patient can press to administer a bolus dose after a large meal.
The device makes it much easier to maintain the proper amounts of insulin in order to control blood sugar levels. The device is not yet available in the United States, but is approved in the European Union.