A couple of Saturdays ago, I was lucky enough to attend the Type 1 Tech Summit in Perth, where I had the opportunity to catch up with some of the reps from the diabetes device companies to find out what’s new.
Last May, mylife Diabetescare Australia boldly launched the Ypsomed YpsoPump in front of a group of people with diabetes in Sydney. My most recent thoughts on the YpsoPump are here. If the chatter that I see among social media communities are anything to go by, Ypsomed is definitely a serious contender among Aussies considering insulin pump therapy.
One year on, Aussie duo Sylva and James are determined to do more to reach consumers. A partner for CGM integration with the pump is still yet to be announced. The pump will eventually be bi-directional with the smartphone app, with interoperability at the heart of the Swiss based company.
I’m also excited to hear that there are plans to introduce luer lock infusion sets for use with the pump. Unfortunately the Orbit infusion sets were the deal breaker for me, with the sets signalling too many occlusion alarms for me personally.
Medtronic have just launched their 670G hybrid closed loop system. Comprising of an insulin pump and Continuous Glucose Monitor, the 670G automatically adjusts background insulin based on blood glucose readings from the sensor. While users will still need to manually input their insulin doses for meals, this system will significantly minimise the impact of lows and highs.
The 670G has a target range of 3.9 to 10mmol, and will correct blood glucose readings to a default target of 6.7mmol. However my understanding is that the system won’t try to correct a blood glucose level of say, 5mmol and steady, back up to 6.7.
Unlike AMSL customers who have been promised free upgrades to their t:slim pumps via a software update, Medtronic users are ‘stuck’ with the 670G for the duration of their four year warranty period. Medtronic are working on bringing downloadable updates to future generations of their pumps, however I don’t get the impression that this will be a reality anytime soon.
Roche’s Combo insulin pump has been around for the past 7 or 8 years. Although we don’t hear a lot about it, it is still sold and supported here in Australia, and is becoming a particularly popular choice for people using DIY closed loop systems.
The new Solo patch pump has also received regulatory approval. With the recent news that Cellnovo has gone into administration and ceased distribution of insulin pumps, one would expect a launch to be imminent. I believe that unlike the Omnipod, the Solo has a disposable and a fixed component meaning that it would fit the funding model here in Australia (private health insurance covers the pump, and the NDSS subsidises consumables). I was told that there are still a few more steps that need to be completed before the pump can be launched, so watch this space…
Back in August, I first laid eyes on the beautiful new t:slim insulin pump that AMSL would be distributing in Australia as a successor to the late Animas Vibe. They committed a true crime that night after putting a t:slim in front of me and then taking it away two hours later. Thankfully, justice eventually prevailed and AMSL later coughed up a #TslimForFrank which I am still happily using today. My initial thoughts are here.
Still in the midst of their Animas to Tandem transition program, I have seen many comments on social media expressing long delays in being able to get t:slim pumps due to a shortfall of stock. The surge in demand for the t:slim, in part due to the demise of Animas, was unexpected. However new stock has started to arrive in Australia and AMSL are balancing transitions for existing Animas customers with new pump customers.
Dexcom G6 with Basal IQ, an update to the t:slim which automatically suspends insulin when blood glucose values are predicted to go low, was expected this past Summer. A launch is now pending the products receiving regulatory approval from the TGA. However I’d put my money on August at the Australasian Diabetes Congress, along with the usual flurry of diabetes tech announcements.
It was also great to reconnect with Nick from Ascensia Diabetes Care following on from the launch of the Contour Next One blood glucose meter last year. You can read my thoughts on the meter here. One of the more noteworthy announcements from Ascensia was a new partnership with a company called POC-Tech to bring a CGM product to the market. It is expected to launch in Europe later this year, and encouragingly Australia is also set for an early release.
I’ve long since expressed my disappointment in the fact that events like the annual Diabetes Congress showcase the latest and greatest technology to healthcare professionals, but not people with diabetes. Holding an event of this nature has been somewhat of a vision that my fellow Young Adult Diabetes Committee members have been working towards over the past two years. With the support of Perth Diabetes Care and the stakeholders who generously supported the day, we were able to make an event like this a reality. Hopefully there’ll be more to come.