EASD 2020: Medtronic’s 7-Day Infusion Sets

As a dedoc Voice I had the privilege of attending EASD 2020 (European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual conference) from 21-25 September. I will be doing detailed posts of some of the announcements from the conference over the next few weeks with this being the first.

For those that use insulin pumps, one of the announcements was the development of a 7-day infusion set by Medtronic, instead of the usual 2-3 day sets on the market today.

They looked at the various aspects of delivery which could affect performance and found that insulin stability and preservative concentration, which dropped over time, were critical factors leading to hyperglycaemia and the need to remove the infusion set.

To address the stability factor, they changed the reservoir cap to alter the flow (fluid dynamics can play havoc with insulin stability, apparently), changed the tubing material to help preserve the preservative, and improved the patch adhesive so it would last longer.

Once the new design was created, 20 participants wore the infusion sets for a month (four in total for each person).

The graph in the middle is the key piece of information here.

The y-axis is survival percentage (how many infusion set were still working) and the x-axis is the days of wear. The green line is the usual 2-3 day infusion set and the purple line is the new infusion set.

To reach the point where 20% of the infusion sets had failed (80% survival) took the new infusion set seven days, compared to, unsurprisingly, 2-3 days for the 2-3 day infusion sets.

One of the claimed incidental benefits is the saving of insulin left in the tubing and reservoir (as well as insulin wasted in priming) which, according to Medtronic, could account for as many as 5-10 vials of insulin per annum. With insulin pricing being what it is in the US, it is easy to see how this is compelling. Given the system also needs a special reservoir, I am hoping the costs to the tech do not outweigh the savings in insulin.

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