Infusion pumps that deliver insulin and other drugs
have been getting quite advanced thanks to modern wireless technology. Yet,
many people around the world simply can't afford even existing pumps.
With this in mind,
TouchéMedical, an Israeli firm, is developing a small, cheap,
and accurate infusion pump that would be within the budgets of millions of
diabetics and people with other diseases treated by drug pumps.
The device has a disposable cartridge that is particularly
cheap to manufacture, and a reusable core that contains the actual pump and the
electronics to drive it. It includes Bluetooth connectivity to be able to
interface it with a smartphone can even send out SMS messages to keep physicians
and loved ones informed on how the drugs are being delivered.
Avi Keret of TouchéMedical stresses that he and his
inventor son Amir are not reinventing the wheel, rather making it more
universally accessible. "Our device gives the same amount of medication as any
other pump; it just delivers the drug in a way that allows for a better quality
of life," he said.
The device would be especially welcome, he believes, in
parts of India and other Asian countries with a rising diabetes rate and a high
incidence of thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder often affecting multiple
members of the same family. A patch pump is the best solution for administering
lifesaving medication continuously, but the high cost forces many of these
families to share one device, compromising its effectiveness.
"We'll offer them an alternative," Keret pledges. "People
who have or don't have medical insurance will be able to afford it. Children
all over the world will be able to use it."