Delivery Device

FDA Approves New Insulin Delivery Device

Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This device is a hybrid closed looped system and is the first device to receive approval from the FDA for automatically monitoring the glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes (aged 14 and over), providing them with appropriate doses of basal insulin when required.

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A constant low supply of insulin is provided by the human pancreas (background or basal insulin) but the body’s production or response to the insulin is impaired in people who suffer from diabetes.

Improving Patients’ Quality of Life

Speaking about the FDA’s latest approval, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., said that they’re dedicated to helping those who are suffering from chronic diseases to achieve a better quality of life through making the right technologies available, especially to those who require ongoing attention and day-to-day maintenance. He also went on to say that Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G is the “first-of-its-kind”, and can provide freedom to those with type 1 diabetes, as they can live their lives without the constant need to monitor their glucose levels and give themselves insulin manually.

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The Artificial Pancreas

Little or no input is required from the user of this hybrid closed looped system from MiniMed, which some have deemed the “artificial pancreas”. Every five minutes, the device will check the user’s glucose levels before automatically withholding or administering insulin. Attached to the body is a sensor which can measure the levels of glucose under the skin. Strapped to the body is an insulin pump, which has an infusion patch attached to it that can deliver insulin through a catheter. Even though the device can adjust the insulin levels automatically, insulin doses will need to be requested by the user when they’ve eaten carbohydrates and need to counteract this.

Of those suffering from diabetes, 5 per cent have type 1 diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young adults and children are the ones who are typically diagnosed with this type of diabetes, the reason it is often referred to as “juvenile diabetes”. These patients require constant monitoring and need insulin therapy to avoid becoming hyperglycemic.