So the question is: What improvements or adjustments would you make to current [diabetes] technology?
Being that I have both a pump and a CGM, I feel very qualified to answer this question. Oh wait, it's not a college scholarship essay! :P
Anyway, I always explain to people that what I want to do in life is duct tape my pump and CGM together and put them inside of me. The essential closed-loop artifical pancreas and such. I don't really want to ramble on about that because that idea is pretty obvious. Plus it doesn't actually exist yet.
With my Dex, the list of things is short but obvious - smaller receiver, get rid of the rechargeable battery and just use AA's or something, make the backlight optional (with another button), and maybe waterproof.
I guess my 'ultimate Dex' would be about the size of a cruddy pay-as-you-go cell phone.
|This is my cruddy pay-as-you-go phone, except it's on a plan. Go figure.|
On to the pump. Right now I've got a Minimed 722, although I am going to get the Vibe as soon as it comes out, and hopefully it will conveniently coincide with my warranty ending on this pump.
So complaints about the Minimed; proprietary cartridge connections are dumb. Go open source with Luer locks. Your CGM sucks, just gonna say it. Waterproofing would be nice, so I don't have to freak out about being thrown into a pool or something (see Jay Cutler). And your link meter needs a backlight.
I'd like to see the glucagon/insulin combo in a pump, and maybe have a pump with two types of insulin for whatever, or just 2 cartridges for gluc or Symilin or whatever.
A lancet thing that changes the lancet for you more than twice a year.
This kind of turned into 'complain about your nice medical devices that you're lucky to have because you have good health insurance'... So cheaper supplies for all, and end the bureaucracy of the FDA? I know it's not just them... A story I guess.
I really wanted a DexCom for a while. I printed out the stuff I needed to fill out and filled it out. Talked to the endo about getting it. Was a goal of mine (along with a 6.something a1c). So Dex gets the insurance sorted out and gets the sensors from our supplier and stuff. Get the FedEx'ed box delivered to the door even though they said they needed an adult to sign for it. [Sensors were a different story. They showed up in the mail in a cruddy box, on a day that it was near the upper end of their 'safe storage temp'... Not a fan of the current people, although I hear being on hold is better because you don't have to listen to catheter advertisments].
I digress. The point of that was to say that our out of pocket cost for the Dex itself was $60. Well within reach of anybody who really wants or needs it. Sensors are kind of expensive, but if the Dex costs $60 after the insurance company, why does it have a 'MSRP' of $600, why do people buying it themselves have to pay $600 for it? Same goes with pumps, for a list price $5,000 pump we pay like $500 for it. Just having insurance makes the price less, and I don't get that. If I were to buy a box of IV prep wipes off the shelf, they're like $7. Because of my insurance, they'd cost $4 or so before anybody pays anything. Then we have to pay like 0.40 for them.
Yep, long-winded, and I've lost my train of thought. I guess my main wish is for d-tech to cost less for everybody.
This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/july-dsma-blog-carnival/