Assignment Wearable Technology in the Medical Industry: Living with Type 1 Diabetes: The OmniPod Insulin Pump

Hello and thank you for viewing this follow-up post! This post is a two-part series, in which exploring two pieces of wearable technology that help keep my brother alive. This post explores the Omnipod insulin pump, whilst the first post looks at the FreeStyle Libre system.

The Omnipod Insulin Pump

The Omnipod is a tubeless insulin pump worn on fatty areas of the body, such as the legs or bottom, in which working alongside a Personal Diabetes Manager to deliver insulin to the body.

Prior to using the Omnipod, my brother was injecting insulin and trialled a different insulin pump. Insulin injections were necessary six times a day before meals, or in extreme circumstances of a high blood glucose level (BGL); therefore, helping to regulate his BGL at a healthy amount.

Insulin Injection
Insulin injections via NovoRapid FlexPen and 4mm needles. (My Flickr)

The trialled insulin pump was an external device that would have a small cannula inserted under the skin, which would release insulin throughout the day without the need for injections; however, during use my brother feared the cannula would become detached, which was also a requirement to remove and reattch when showering.

Impact of the Omnipod Insulin Pump

The Omnipod is waterproof, wireless and does not use a cannula to provide insulin; furthermore, the Omnipod provides up to three days of insulin before requiring a replacement, in which including a strong adhesive application pad; therefore, my brother feels much more comfortable and confident using the device, without fear of removal or the need for injections.

Omnipod Insulin Pump
Omnipod Insulin Pump (My Flickr)

A small issue with the Omnipod is that it relies on correct BGL readings to provide the correct amount of insulin, so an incorrect BGL reading will provide an incorrect amount of insulin; to remedy this, a complete hard reset is required by pushing a small button on the back of the device. This is more of a human computer interaction issue, but is quite a serious one, as negligence to recognise that an incorrect amount of insulin was administrated can cause severe bodily harm.

Future of the OmniPod and FreeStyle Libre Sensor

My brother and mother state that the OmniPod and Freestyle Libre Sensor have greatly improved the quality of their lives. The wearable technologies make Type 1 Diabetes more bearable, by improving my brothers physical and mental health, which secondarily improves my mother’s health as a carer. The wearable technologies are as important in his life as a mobile phone is to others, he relies on them and they are an inconceivable improvement to previous years of numerous daily injections and finger prick tests.

The Omnipod and Freestyle Libre Sensor are a prudent example of how wearable technologies can not only improve the lifestyles of their users, but completely evolve and sculpt them into something better.

Thank you for reading this post! Be sure to check out the previous post regarding the FreeStyle Libre Sensor if you haven’t already.

Please like and share if you’ve enjoyed reading and be sure to follow me here or on my other platforms.

 

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