The use of insulin to manage either type 1 or type 2 diabetes is neither easy nor straightforward. For the 7.4 million Americans using insulin on a daily basis and for individuals starting insulin, personal objectives and circumstances, clinician recommendation, and health plan coverage contribute to the choice of insulin delivery device. Traditionally, insulin has been given as an injection using a syringe or pen, or as a continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) with a pump or patch, or more recently, as a fast-acting inhaled insulin by a small number of individuals.
To support safe and effective MDI therapy, a number of devices have been developed with features of potential value for insulin users such as bolus calculators, digital logbooks with retrospective dose data, and dose reminders and alerts. In the not too distant future, we expect that insulin dosing data will be augmented with artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict and prevent adverse events, such as hypoglycemia, and make more effective dose calculations. A positive result will be the replacement of legacy insulin dosing devices with smart insulin pens. Mobile/smartphone applications capable of integrating with Bluetooth-enabled diabetes devices will continue to improve and simplify diabetes management for all involved.
By harnessing the potential of technology to identify patterns from insulin dose data for the purpose of insulin decision support, we are at last on the verge of reducing the tremendous day-to-day burden faced by millions of people living with diabetes.
Highlights from: Kerr D, Warshaw H, Choi NY. Smart Insulin Pens Will Address Unmet Needs for People With Diabetes Using Insulin. Endocrine Today, 2019;17(5):20-21.