Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Diabetes Gadgets and Gizmos

Today, there are numerous gadgets and gizmos available that are supposed to to make living with diabetes just a little bit easier. I think many just end up collecting dust someplace, but where there's money to be made, innovation knows no bounds. This quarter's issue of Clinical Diabetes features a story highlighting some of these things. I checked them out, and discovered that some of their links didn't work, so I've updated them with the up-to-date websites (unless they've since changed).

While someone may think these things are great, I really had to ask if we really need a $69 Medi-Fridge refrigerator device designed specifically to store 3 vials of insulin or 1 insulin pen? Maybe if my office was in Phoenix and not air-conditioned, I'd think differently. With others, I question whether anyone would actually use these things, like the bathtub "duck" thermometer.

Still, I wouldn't say they aren't all duds (at least in my humble opinion). Some items, like the Glucophone -- an all-in-one product, integrating a commercially available cell phone with a blood glucose monitor would make testing convenient for those of us on the run, and there's only one thing to carry (plus the test strips, the lancet device, and all the ancillary stuff that goes with it). The cool thing about this phone is that it's an add-on which replaces the battery cover for some mobile phones, and adds the meter functionality to it, so you wouldn't necessarily need a special, new phone.

The Glucophone claims that your test results are recorded in an online "electronic logbook" thereby eliminating the need for manual log books or synchronization with a computer. The results are accessible to the patient and any other authorized caregiver and healthcare professional they choose. They also note that a text message of the results can be transmitted to anyone the patient authorizes enabling real-time remote monitoring, which might be useful for parents of children with diabetes. While the product looks pretty neat to me, the downside is that so far, the only carrier that works with the phone is the LogicMobile (a pre-paid carrier), though the company claims they are now working on other phones and carriers. The real test will be if they can get insurance plans to pay for their strips.

But with diaBusiness being a multi-billion yearly industry, we can expect to see even more of these items -- the good, bad, and just plain stupid -- in the future. Are they worth it? You be the judge!

Medication Delivery Systems

Pen devices:

* www.insulindevice.com/
* www.lillydiabetes.com/product/insulin_pens.jsp?reqNavId=5.9
* www.lantus.com/solostar/solostar_insulin_pen.aspx
* www.opticlik.com/
* www.owenmumford.com/us/range/24/autopen.html
* www.byetta.com/patient/byetta_pen_122.jsp
* www.symlin.com/132-using-the-symlin-pen.aspx

-> Insulin pumps:

* www.myomnipod.com
* www.smiths-medical.com/markets/diabetes/
* www.minimed.com
* www.animascorp.com


-> Syringe magnifiers

* Search for "EZY Dose diabetes magnifier"
* www.bddiabetes.com/us/main.aspx?cat=1&id=256
* www.picindolor.com/sub_home.asp?languageCode=EN&areaCode=DIAB&subAreaCode=SIRI

-> Pump screen magnifiers

* www.lssproducts.com/product/4185/cell-phone-accessories

Other Insulin and Syringe Accessories

Search for "insulin carrying case"
-> Sharps disposal containers:

* www.sharpsinc.com/disposal_mail_product_page.htm

-> Safe Shot syringe holder:

* www.diabetesandmore.com/Safe-Shot-Syringe-Loader-P542.aspx

-> I Port infusion device:

* www.pattonmd.com/product/

-> Automatic insulin injectors:

* www.bddiabetes.com/us/main.aspx?cat=2&id=421
* www.owenmumford.com/en/range/8/autoject-2.html
* www.medijector.com/about/overview.htm
* www.insulindevice.com/novopen_jr/penmate.asp

-> Syringe carrying case:

* www.americandiabeteswholesale.com/-strse-233/Ezy-dsh-Dose-Preloaded-Syringe-Carrying/Detail.bok

Blood Glucose Meters

-> www.prodigymeter.com/prodDetails.cfm?itemid=213
-> www.glucophone.com/products/products.jsp

Glucose Sensors

-> www.minimed.com
-> www.dexcom.com
-> www.abbottdiabetescare.com/adc_dotcom/url/content/en_US/10.10:10/general_content/General_Content_0000163.htm

Other Helpful Gadgets and Gizmos

Glucose tablet holder:

* www.diabetesandmore.com/Glucose-Keychain-P112.aspx

-> Wearable medical identification:
* Search "medical alert id"

-> Carhohydrate-counting aids:

* www.calorieking.com
* www.dwlz.com/restaurants.html
* www.insucalc.com

-> Other helpful products:
-> Duck bath thermometer:

* www.gooddeals.com/products/255/Digital-Duck-Bath-Thermometer.aspx

-> Extend Mirror:

* www.healthmegamall.com/prodlist-Mirrors_c1905.htm

General Product Information and Comparisons

-> www.DiabetesHealth.com/charts
-> www.diabetes.org/diabetes-forecast/resource-guide.jsp

Permission is granted to reproduce this material for nonprofit educational purposes.


Jenny said...


Have you heard anything about when the Solostar pen might be available for Apidra in the U.S.?

Anonymous said...


This looks to me like the height of exploitation and patient abuse. New "tools" that have the promise of better control are a far cry from a CURE.

Suppose some of us could get together with Steve Jobs at Apple, and work out details for incorporating a CGBM tied to his I-Pod. It should be a snap for computer geniuses to include bells and whistles to offer important warnings instead of mere moments-in-time documentation. I know of one non-invasive prototype that has (probably) been disappeared in FDA's black hole. Tie NON-INVASIVE to I-pod. . . THAT sounds like innovation to me, not merely recycled, repackaged claptrap designed to tweak diabetic consumerism.

BetterCell said...

Anonymous.......That word, C--E is becoming redundant.
The only cure that I know of is the one on my hot dog wrapper, that says that this meat has not been cured.

AmyT said...

Nice roundup, Scott. I say bring the gadgets on! The free market will be the judge whether they sink or swim, i.e. you don't likes it, you don't buys it.

Anonymous said...

At one time you had said that you were looking into a pen that had cartridges that could be refilled from the vials of Lantus. Have you done anything with that idea?

Scott S said...

At one time, there was such a device sold by what was then known as Disetronic medical systems (which is now owned by Roche). To the best of my knowledge, the Disetronic Pen is no longer sold, butI have been told that you can use the new Lilly Humapen Memoir with cartridge refills sold by the insulin pump unit at Roche. I'm not sure which specific cartridges those are (they are cartridges meant for one of their insulin pumps but supposedly fit into Lilly's insulin pen). I'd have to look further into the matter to find out.