Craft idea: Adapting the HumaPen Memoir for Levemir vials

Now something to craft for Christmas:

I really like Levemir and the NovoPen but sometimes the routine of the 12 hour regime goes over my head. I have that many images of shots in my head and the process of shooting is highly automated. Thus once in a year I can not tell if I have already applied my shot for the night or not. So I will set my alarm clock to 4am and will check if the BG has risen or not. If it has risen I will apply Levemir and correct with NovoLog. So the costs of this mishap are pretty high.

At the last Diabetes fair I have seen the HumaPen Memoir. This Pen can remember the last 16 doses. This way you can check the memory of the Pen if you are unsure about your shot. Sadly I found out that only insulin vials made by Lilly will fit into this pen. After a short inspection I was pretty convinced that this is not the last word here. I bought one HumaPen Memoir and the solution was simple:

a) if you remove the cap from the vial by Novo they will fit into the HumaPen without problems. I must admit that the removal is not that easy but with a sharp knife and some patience it can be done:

b) but fitting alone is not enough. The Lilly vials are an estimated Millimeter shorter than the Novo vials. This one Millimeter will cause the HumaPen to block the insulin stamp/foot. I think this is intentionally designed this way to prevent the use of other vials. Now the solution is to create one ring of metal that will make the HumaPen longer. Every Metal Fabrication Shop that is specialized on CNC Machining, Milling and Turning can create this ring for you. Here are the dimensions in metrical units (Millimeters):

c) you just insert the ring between the vial holder and the lower part of the pen. The final result will look like this:

Negative side effects: the ring will make the pen 2 Millimeters longer. The insulin stamp can not bridge this gap and therefore you will have up to 2 Millimeters of insulin left when the stamp reaches the end. Maybe this can be achieved with a ring that is smaller than 2 Millimeters but I will leave it up to you to find that out.

Disclaimer: please be aware that this is a modification that can violiate the guarantee of the HumaPen Memoir. Furthermore it is a modification that changes the way this Pen was designed to work. Therefore you will apply these modifications on your own risk.

So do not try this at home and happy shooting :wink:

What a such good idea. Did the Humapen Memoir go to a Frio? (not now, it’s very cold in Lyon). I want to tell you that since a few days I have High blood sugar when I wake up so I put the alarm of the clock at 3 in the night and I control my sugar and add 1 or 2 units of Apidra . It works!

Hello Emmy, there was no difference in dose between NovoPen4 and HumaPen (1:1). LOL, yes I have broken one vial at the beginning. Now I am using a sharp knife to make a cut first. This weakens the stiff material. I will try the idea with the ball. Do you have an idea what can be used?

The Memoir is certainly a nice device, but Lilly is a little less than accurate when they say it’s the first with a memory. For those who doubt, look for “InNovo” and “InDuo”, which are so much older that NovoPharm suggests that a suitable replacement for them would be the NovoPen 3! They actually spot-welded the batteries in place, to keep them from being changed, and even the lithium batteries in unused InNovo devices have now failed.

I tried fitting empty Novo NPH and Toronto cartridges in the Memoir, but even after removing the plastic thread cap (not too hard to do with a thumbnail, especially if you loosen it a little by giving it a few turns), it doesn’t want to fit right for me. The Novo cartridges seem longer and thinner than the Lilly ones.

The other thing that you will notice if you try to fit a Lilly cartridge in a Novo pen, the Lilly cartridges are actually a bit bigger around! I haven’t tested it with a Novo needle cap, but I suspect you would be getting a smaller dose with a Novo cartridge in a Lilly pen. In case you haven’t found out about it, the Novo needle caps hold 20 units in the small end of the clear cover, up to the part where it widens. They did it that way to make it easy to waste 20 units, and verify your pen’s operation. Being thinner, I’d expect a Novo cartridge in a Lilly pen to not deliver enough insulin.

Something else you could do is take a Huma (Lilly) cartridge, and re=load it with Levemir. You can either use your Novo pen to refill the other cartridge, or use your backup syringe to do the trick. If you are using Novolin Toronto, Lilly has version of that, which will get you Lilly cartridges after you’ve used them. A handy thumbnail can be used to properly re-lable the refilled cartridge.

If you are looking for something to extend the plunger, turn to your empty cartridges. If you take off the plastic cap (for Novo cartridges) and then the little aluminum band, you will have a little rubber-like disk sitting atop the glass vial. They are just about the right size to drop in the end of the cartridge, to gain an extra millimeter of length. A dab of rubber cement should hold it on the plunger end.

I hate to see the waste of all those glass vials, and have been threatening to uncap, unstopper, and then string them together with fishing line, to make a recycled-version of a beaded curtain for a doorway.

Now, if anyone knows what the three contacts on the back of the Memoir are for, I’d love to hear more about tit!