Some pumps also keep track of the last dose given, so that “insulin stacking” is not a problem. This is when one insulin dose is given right after another, without regard to the effect that the first dose is having on the blood stream. The pump will prevent the user from giving too many doses too quickly without compensating for the prior insulin.
So why can’t the microchip that does all this be put on the end of an insulin pen? Eli Lilly has a new insulin pen called the “Memoir” which has a digital screen at the end of it. When I saw this pen displayed at the ADA convention, I thought perhaps some smart scientist had transferred the dose-calculating microchip to the pen, but no luck. This pen tells you what today’s date is, what time it is, and what your last dozen doses were, but that’s it – it doesn’t prevent you from insulin stacking, it doesn’t let you input carbs and it doesn’t calculate the dose for you.
I’m all in favor of kids having to count their own carbs – it’s good for them to know what they’re eating and how much – but anything we can do to reduce human error in calculating the insulin dose is a good thing. Let’s call it the SmartPen – and let’s hope someone invents it soon!
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