Promising to make the daily management of diabetes a lot more easier and accurate, a leading product development firm has designed a new insulin pen, which uses energy harvesting.
The device, known as KiCoPen, is designed to capture the exact dose delivered and sends the information to an associated Smartphone App. The developers claim that there is currently no injector pen on the market that combines these capabilities.
AdvertisementBy being able to confirm the correct dose of insulin delivered and deducing the time it was delivered, the Pen allows the patient to keep track of their daily insulin regimen. This in turn improves patient compliance and results in better glycemic control.
The device functions without a battery. The device uses energy harvesting - from the motion of the cap removal and replacement - to power the electronics, which are based on a single chip.
The insulin pen was developed by Cambridge Consultants. They say that the current devices in the market allow patients to know when the last insulin dose was given by tracking the time the cap was taken off from the pen. This leaves room for error if the cap falls off accidentally, providing false confirmation about the dose.
Vaishali Kamat, head of digital health at the company, says, "Patients who are on daily insulin therapy have to keep track of how many carbs they're taking, test their glucose level before each meal - which can vary drastically depending on stress level, amount of exercise and last insulin dose. Based on this, they have to calculate how much is needed for their next dose."
"Our insulin pen permits patients to self-manage their treatment with ease, while ensuring they're getting the exact amount of insulin they need. The company is also developing a companion app that will integrate different pieces of data important to diabetes patients and provide assistance for disease management. The app will wirelessly receive data from a glucose meter, activity monitor and KiCoPen," she said.
Background Information - The Challenges Involved in Developing the Innovative Pen.
Key challenges were in the electronics and software design. Developers wanted to minimize the power required to record dose information and achieve wireless data transmission reliably so that both functions could be achieved via harvested energy rather than using a battery.
The other big challenge was in the mechanical design because they wanted to achieve the energy harvesting without adding any deliberate/ additional actions by the user (e.g. other devices require shaking or winding of a coil). They were keen to harvest the energy needed during normal usage of the device. They achieved this via features in the casework that capture the energy during cap removal and replacement.