Living with diabetes before the discovery of insulin in 1921 was life-threatening. The only effective treatment at that time was to put the patient on a strict diet by minimizing the carbohydrate intake. However, it could only buy a few extra years for the patient and couldn’t save them for long.
The invention of insulin pumps is a savior, as managing blood sugar levels without significant fluctuations has never been so easy for diabetic patients. An insulin pump is a small device that can be attached to the patient’s body to administer insulin continuously for carbohydrate intake through a catheter placed under the skin to control blood sugar levels. An insulin pump is programmed with specific information that helps in meeting the needs of a diabetic patient. Even though it is not a cure for diabetes, it has made the life of diabetic patients much more accessible.
Evolution of Insulin Pumps
It all started with a small device attached to the individual’s body, enabling them to adjust insulin levels infused through the catheter for treating type 1 diabetes using a few buttons on the device. Later, insulin pumps market trends witnessed an addition of a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to check blood sugar levels and send user alerts when a significant fluctuation happens.
Insulin pumps started gaining popularity in 1990 and have continuously evolved. In 2017, a new type of insulin pump called closed loop was introduced into the market that combined CGM and insulin pump into one device for continuous monitoring of blood sugar levels. More significant changes and upgrades are expected for insulin pumps soon, owing to the rising demand and tends to generate demand for similar products capable of controlling type 2 diabetes.
The number of people who have diabetes is constantly rising globally, and awareness amongst people with diabetes has grown substantially, which boosts the growth of the insulin pump market significantly. The prominent leaders of the global insulin pump market, like Dickinson and Company, Insulet Corporation, and Abbott Laboratories, are constantly innovating and upgrading the mechanism and functionality of insulin pumps to make them more efficient and effective for patients.
Some significant benefits of insulin pumps include flexibility in life, reduced risk of low blood sugar, and précised insulin infusions, among others. However, there are a few shortcomings associated with insulin pumps, including the need to monitor blood sugar more often, the device's visibility, and devices being expensive, among others.
Future of Insulin Pumps
With the increasing consumer awareness and knowledge, market players have a broad scope of innovating and creating more convenient, less intrusive, and better user-friendly devices in the years to come. With the rising adoption of automated insulin pumps and artificial intelligence, the insulin pump market beholds considerable growth and expansion opportunities.
The market for hybrid closed-loop systems or artificial pancreas has grown significantly. It will continue to do the same, with the elimination of specific challenges in closed-loop technology that includes the need to input carbohydrate counting and risks of hypoglycemia manually. Commercialization of new hybrid systems is expected in the coming years, along with upgrades in the already existing ones.