The insulin pump

The Insulin Pump
The insulin pump is used by people with diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body is not able (anymore) to regulate blood sugar properly. The regulation of blood sugar requires the hormone insulin. For people with diabetes, the supply of this hormone isn’t functioning properly [33]. This dysfunction can have two causes: in type 1 diabetes, the body is no longer able to make insulin, and in type 2 diabetes the body does not respond to the insulin. Because the blood sugar is not regulated properly, fluctuations in the blood sugar will occur which can lead to hypoglycemia, wherein the blood sugar is too low, or hyperglycemia in which the blood sugar is too high.

Diabetes is deadly when no insulin is administered. People with diabetes can manually inject themselves with insulin using an insulin pen. But for some patients, this method is not sufficient because their glucose levels are too unpredictable. An insulin pump can offer a solution for this problem [43]. Since the invention of the insulin pump, people do not need individual insulin injections to inject themselves. Another added benefit is that an insulin pump delivers insulin more accurately. As a result, there is less fluctuation in the blood glucose making diabetes management easier and thus reducing episodes of severe hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia [34].

Modern insulin pumps resemble a smartphone that can be operated using a touchscreen. The insulin pump has a micro USB port built-in that enables it to be charged and transfer data to a PC. Using monitoring software allows users to upload their data to a website. This data is protected by a password picked by the patient. According to the website of Medtronic, the personal information of patients is confidential and secure. The CareLink™ system they provide uses a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a technology to encrypt data. SSL ensures that the data is unreadable during transmission [45]. The web application allows the patient to maintain his blood glucose levels and the amount of injected insulin. In this way, the patient can gain more insight into his health situation [59].