Part-patch, part-pump device helps diabetes 2 patients

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Part-patch, part-pump device helps diabetes 2 patients. Monica Malpass reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on March 20, 2018. (WPVI)

Easy to learn, gives
Insulin pumps have helped many with diabetes 1 control their blood sugar.

However, those with diabetes 2 needing insulin have largely relied on pens and syringes.

And learning and maintaining them can be complicated for some people.

For them, there's a different device to deliver insulin.

Joe Dougherty helps companies improve the leadership skills of their staff.

Some are local companies, like MRO, which manages medical records.

But it also means a lot of time on the road.

"In 2016, I did 141 hotel nights.," quips Joe.

For years after Joe learned he had type 2 diabetes, medication controlled his blood sugar.

But then his A1C levels went too high.

"At it's worst, it was 11-1, and the target's 7," he notes.

Dr. Jeffrey Freeman of Han Endocrinology Associates in Springfield, Delaware County, thought Joe needed insulin, too, and suggested V-Go - it's part patch, and part pump.

It has a cartridge, which is filled from a vial of insulin.

"Then you peel it off, and it has a tiny catheter at the back, and you stick it on your stomach - and you're done," says Joe.

The insulin is delivered through the skin, evenly through the day.

For meal time, or blood sugar spikes, Joe just clicks the cartridge up to 3 times for more insulin.

On a cruise with his wife, Joe had tried a standard insulin pump, but it didn't work well.

"My blood sugars were 350, 370 - I said, that's it!! Went back to the V-Go aboard ship," he says.

Dr. Freeman says V-Go's easier to learn than insulin pens and syringes, and it's mechanical, not electronic, which appeals to many patients.

"It's not battery-powered. It's hydraulic, there's no tethering," says Dr. Freeman.

Despite long training days and dining on the road, Joe's A1C is near the target, and he feels in control of his diabetes.

"It doesn't need to be a game-changer. It doesn't need to compromise your life," he notes.

The V-Go patch is replaced every 24 hours.

It's was approved by the FDA several years ago.

However, many type 2 diabetics, and even doctors, may not know about it.

For more information on V-Go, click here.
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