Insulin Pump Study
Over the past 2 decades, there have been significant advances not only in the types of insulins that are available to those who require insulin to manage their diabetes (all patients with Type 1 diabetes and many of those with Type 2 diabetes), but how the insulin is delivered. Whereas in the past, insulin was stored in vials and delivered by syringes, these days patients most typically use disposable pen devices, which are much easier to use and more accurate. For many patients, however, insulin pump therapy is utilized to deliver insulin and impressive advances in this technology have been made as well.
Much of this has to do with advances in sensor technology which goes beyond checking sugar levels by finger sticks, to constantly measuring glucose in the fluid in our tissues with a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). Standalone devices have become readily available, but can also be used with insulin pumps to more accurately deliver insulin to patients. The goal is to “close the loop” between measuring sugar and delivering insulin, just like our pancreas does.
The Medtronic MiniMed 670G system is the first commercially available, licensed hybrid closed loop system used for continuous delivery of insulin in the management of diabetes. With this system, a CGM measures glucose and then tells the pump how much insulin to deliver in between meals and overnight. The patient still must tell the pump how much insulin to give at meals based on how much they are eating and what their sugar is. Multiple studies have shown that patients utilizing this system spend more time in a near-normal range (sugars between 70-180) with lower A1cs and fewer low blood sugar reactions.
Palm Beach Diabetes and Endocrine Specialists, PA is the largest endocrine practice in south Florida and as such has a large number of patients on this system. We undertook a study to retrospectively examine how patients did in switching to the system from their previous insulin therapy, which has now been published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. In the 84 patients we examined, patients spent about 75% of the time in the near-normal range utilizing the system (higher than the national norm) with a 27% increase compared to their previous insulin therapy. Patients on the system also had a low incidence of hypoglycemia, especially compared to previous insulin therapy. Quality of Life measures indicated a high degree of satisfaction in using the system with a preference for the system over previous therapy and 86% of patients remained on the system.
If you would like to learn more, you can read about the study by clicking here. We are proud of the work we have done to contribute to the field of diabetes management, in addition to caring for the thousands of patients in our practice. Please visit our website at www.pbdes.com.