Above: Current insulin pump
therapy options. Left: Patch pumps
(or micro pumps) are tubeless.
Right: Tubed pumps, also known
as tethered or 'durable' pumps.
Below: An Accu-Chek Solo worn
on-the body with PDM in hand.
60%, irrespective of their age (in the UK
there are fewer criteria for children and
young to access pump therapy).
Roche's newest pump is a patch
pump (or micro pump) called the AccuChek Solo. It is tubeless and has a
handheld personal diabetes manager
(PDM) with it. This controls basal rates
and bolus doses.
So how does the Solo address patient
satisfaction issues? "Obviously the great
upside to tubeless pumps is that you
have no more 'door handle moments',"
says Oliver. "For those who fear needles,
there is no needle visible when putting
this particular device onto the body. Also,
with no tubing there is a greatly reduced
risk of occlusions [blockages]. This pump
model is smaller and lighter than others
on the market at present and the fact
that you control it with a handheld means
you have a discreet capability to remotely
check on and deliver insulin."
However, as with all technology, there are
limitations. For example, parts of these
devices may be thrown away after only
one use and are generally not recyclable,
which is not great for the planet and adds
to the running costs of the pump. Oliver
adds, "On a very personal level, for some
people with diabetes using these onbody devices we have seen problems
the pump sites themselves - underneath
where the pump, a sensor, or an infusion
set is attached. With a patch pump you
can't see what's underneath, yet there
may be problems with skin reactions
[contact dermatitis] which can be a
challenge for certain individuals."
Continuous use of pumps and/or
sensors is associated in some people with
skin irritation at the point of contact. As
with many things, it's some of the people
all of the time, and all of the people some
of the time with various factors involved.
For some users, they specifically react to
certain 'ingredients' used in the adhesive
which attaches the device to the body.
The Solo pump uses a common adhesive
ingredient, Isobornyl acrylate (IBOA) but
in order to address the common reaction
of contact dermatitis, this also been
researched - and proven - that this does
not leach** from the Solo micropump and
therefore does not cause skin irritation.
The Accu-Chek Solo system is made up of
several components. There is an inserter,
which puts the cannula in, then there's a