Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where has all of the new technology gone?

Is it just me? Have I been in the game too long? Am I no longer in the loop like I once was?

This year brings our 11th anniversary of living with diabetes. Not nearly as much fun as a wedding anniversary but its better than the anniversary of my son's death.  When we first started down this road I was steadily finding something new.

We started on a "new" rapid acting insulin--Humalog.  Soon after, there was Novolog (or NovoRapid for those of us north of the US border).  After that we saw long lasting, peakless insulins like Lantus and Levemir.  We were the first patients that my son's doctor ever prescribed Lantus for and he was pumping at the time (Mom wanted to have some "just in case").

We started on an AccuChek meter that required at least 30 seconds to read and people were grateful for this "speed".  Soon meters were showing up that required 15 and finally 5 seconds to read.  The blood required was no longer a vial per test but a pinhead sized drop.  It seemed that every week there was a new and better meter to try. 

Insulin pumps were also changing on a daily basis.  Smart pumps were coming on the market and everyone was getting into the game.  There were four companies at least to chose from and everyone wanted your business so they each had features that made you take notice.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring was still something done with hospital equipment and a blinded machine but the GlucoWatch and rumours of more were coming.

Fast forward to 2011--We are still using the same meter we have had for the past three years.  We have the same pump that we started my son out on 8 years ago (it has upgraded slightly) and fear when we have to look at a "new" pump because it will not be as good as the current "Green Machine". There are three CGM systems available in the US but none of them are within reach of those of us without insurance.

We are fortunate that our province has an insulin pump program and as long as we live here (or until my son turns 25) he will have his pump and supplies covered.  They also will cover his rapid insulin because it is a must for his pump.  CGM systems remain a dream that must somehow become a reality before he heads off to university but that is a few years yet thankfully.

So am I out of the loop? I know that there are OmniPods and talk of micro-pumps have been in the works for well over five years but these things are not new and no longer excite me.

Am I just getting bored or not spending as much time researching as I once did? I looked forward to the advances in technology.  New meters were collected and used with serious scrutiny. There were better insulins and everything seemed to be moving forward at a breakneck pace. 

Today things seem slower.  There is still "cure" talk but I have grown calloused to such chatter. There is work on closing the loop but again, its not now and its not something I can put my hands on.  

I miss new gadgets and things that made me think that I was doing better by my child. 


  1. We've only been in the game for 4 years, and I'm itchy too. Something, anything...

  2. CHECK! Let's get on with it, people. We're ready to see some new action in this game!

  3. It seems the dates keep getting pushed back on all the new "cool" gadgets, such as the Solo and Veo and whatever else some may be interested in and can't get. Always talk, but no introduction or real world availability. But to some degree, it does always get a little more boring as you go on as it's more "routine." After 26 years, I'd concur that Living With Diabetes is often very routine. But just like you, I'm always itching for something new and shiny to come along and help me out with management in whatever way possible!

  4. Agreed. I think new "things" or "gadgets" make us feel like they "the researchers" "the pharmaceutical companies" are making progress. That we are nearing the end of diabetes being a reality.

    Unfortunately, I think it is a ways off...the cure. I am looking forward to some products to ease the laboriousness of our daily life.