Insulin Pumps Information

Insulin PumpInsulin pumps are medical devices used to administer insulin to a patient for the treatment of diabetes. The device consists of a pump (including controls, a processing module, and batteries), a disposable reservoir for insulin, and a disposable infusion set. The infusion set includes a cannula for under-skin insertion and a tubing system to interface the insulin reservoir to the cannula.

Insulin pumps are adjustable according to the medication dose desired. For example, most pumps default to continuous delivery of insulin to maintain blood glucose levels, but patients can increase doses when eating carbohydrates or to lower previously-high glucose levels. (These dose types are referred to as basal and bolus, respectively.) Specialized devices known as closed loop pumps, however, automatically adjust dosage based on blood glucose readings, although these are not yet commercially available. 


Depending upon the sophistication of the device, insulin pumps may feature automatic shut-off sensors, programmability, touch screens, and rechargeable batteries. Additional features to consider when selecting an insulin pump include: 

  • Ease of use is defined as the ability to operate insulin pump without looking at the screen. Diabetes requires constant monitoring throughout the day and there are times when a person can’t stop what they’re doing if the machine is trying to tell the individual something.  For some types of pumps this translates into beeps, vibrations, and other messages communicating notices.
  • Reputation for reliability — pumps failing on an individual can be life threatening.
  • Additional functionality:
    • Integration with a continuous glucose monitoring system
    • Integration with a smart phone
    • Automatic adjustment of insulin rates based on blood sugars 

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Diabetes Net 

American Diabetes Association

Image credit:

ADAM Health Central