Remote control insulin pump

September 22, 2008 7:30:32 AM PDT
We have remote controls for our televisions, stereos, and car locks. Now, people with diabetes can get an insulin pump with a remote control.

Like most 8th graders, Madi Dodge likes to live a carefree life.

She can spend hours perfecting her roller hockey skills. She's a star player on several teams around her home in Delaware.

But unlike other kids her age, Madi has a huge responsibility.

She has had type one diabetes since kindergarten.

Her blood sugar needs frequent checks, and she used to need up to 7 insulin shots a day.

Now, she's got a high-tech helper.

"Actually I just delivered my insulin," Madi says after pressing a few buttons on her new insulin pump. It's made in West Chester by the Animas corporation.

The One Tough Ping is the first pump that can be controlled with a wireless remote.

"These are the two pieces of the system that talk to each other," says Mike Rechtiene, president of Animas Corporation.

Rechtiene says after insulin-dependent diabetics check their blood sugar, the device calculates the amount of insulin needed, and sends a signal to the pump to deliver the insulin.

Unlike other pumps, this one needn't be taken out from under Madi's clothes.

She says that's a blessing during her hockey. " When I'm playing roller hockey and I stop in the middle and check my blood sugar, then I don't have to pull out my pump which is threaded all throughout my pants and tucked in my pocket."

The remote works up to ten feet away and it's waterproof.

It also has a color screen, to make it easier to read, especially at night.

Rechtiene says, "The idea is to allow people to live the lives they want to live."

Madi says it's already given her much more freedom. "Wherever the wind blows, I'm going to do whatever comes to my mind."

The One Touch Ping was approved by the Food & Drug Administration in early July.

Most major insurance companies will cover the cost.

Madi and her mother say it's given her better control of her diabetes, and that means better health, and a longer life.


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