Implantable pump

I just got a survey from Thrivable. It was a survey about pumps and a new inplanted pump that’s uses a duodenal catheter to better mimic a real pancreas. It uses a cartridge that lasts 3 months and will be fillable at the doctors office.
They claim it needs no intervention including for mealtimes.

They also claim that it can be turned from closed to open mode as the user wants.

Of course requiring a surgery they claim is 30 min out patient.
Pump will last 7 years.
This sounds too good to be true and if this is a clinical trial, I would be the first to raise my hand.

I know the beta bionics pump was supposed to be able to dose for meals automatically, but I think it doesn’t work as well as it was promised.
I don’t know the manufacturer or any other details. I know Medtronic was working on a newer implantable pump but the details don’t seem to match this one.

Did any one else get this email and survey. I’ll see if I can post the info sheet by taking a screen shot

I’m fascinated by the idea

Thrivable is a Kaiser Permanente program, but they claim to offer surveys to everyone.

Update. I could not re enter the survey to get the info. Maybe someone else can if they screen shot it when the go in the first time


Googling around, I was surprised to learn that internal (implanted) insulin pumps have been around for a long time and that they’ve apparently been successful for the extremely limited number of patients who’ve used them — even loved by those patients.
MiniMed made one and Medtronic killed it after they bought the company.

A number of years ago I read an article about a very small number of patients in the United States who were still using that implanted Minimed pump. It used a special concentrated insulin and they had to fly to France several times a year to get it refilled! Then the insulin ceased being made so I guess they were out of luck.

If you are willing to go overseas multiple times a year to get your pump refilled, I’m guessing they were very pleased with the results.

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Here’s a website with some of the story:

It seems like the website hasn’t been actively updated much since perhaps 2017… not sure of that, but that’s my impression.

Then there’s an investment JDRF made in early 2020 but, other than that, the internet doesn’t seem to have much to say. It’s cool that you got that survey, Timothy. Hopefully that means there’s more going on behind the scenes because it really does seem the best route to an artificial pancreas is through the stomach.

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As if we didn’t need another reason to dislike Medtronic…

By the year 2000 MiniMed had produced a very promising, version of their implantable insulin pump and was in the process of incorporating a continuous glucose sensor and control algorithm into the device to create an artificial pancreas.

In 2001, MiniMed was purchased by Medtronic and in 2007 Medtronic announced the worldwide termination of the implantable insulin pump


This is likely a new product. The data don’t match the old versions. Particularly the size which is described about half the size of a standard pump and controlled via phone.

The JDRF investment is in a new device called the ThinPump. (One of the drawbacks of the old MiniMed device was that it was visible as a weird bulge under your skin.)
Looking on the website of the maker PhysioLogic, it just isn’t clear to me where they are: basic development/engineering, animal studies, human trials, still raising money? There’s a photograph of a device. Is it a mock up or an actual working model? So many questions…


Thank you for doing the legwork. My quick search didn’t turn up the company.

Thrivable often has surveys not about actual products but to gauge interest in a possible product. I think this falls under the what would be the interest.

I would agree but they had a very specific fact sheet with a lot of details about the surgery recovery and pitfalls. I think they want to see if diabetics will want to get surgery as an option. I would take it for sure.

I went to an event in 2004 or 2005 and a Medtronic rep talked about an implantable pump they were working on, said it would use U-300 insulin. I’m surprised that we haven’t seen more on this front, it’s been almost 20 years since that meeting.

That said, I am impressed with the Medtronic 780, it’s a nice step forward.

It’s funny, but when I first heard insulin pumps were a thing I imagined that it was an implant of some kind and didn’t really want any part of it. Didn’t know any other T1s, didn’t have an endo, and my PCP was decidedly of the “You’re Doing Fine Let’s Not Change Anything” school (see YDFLNCA in the glossary). So I really had no idea. Heck, it took years just to finally get on bolus-basal with Lantus & Novolog instead of R/NPH. So I was still under that misapprehension when a change of employer finally got me off the university-based HMO and into an insurer who would allow a referral to an endo and I started at Joslin. At one of my appointments, more or less out of idle curiosity I asked what an insulin pump consisted of, was it some kind of implant or something? and the next thing I knew my doc had me slotted into the process for getting one. That was quite an extended process at Joslin. I remember going to a panel where reps from all the major makers (about half a dozen back then) showed up with samples you could look at, they showed their own personal ones, talked features and benefits etc. Meanwhile Joslin had you take several pre-pumping classes, remedial carb-counting as well as all this stuff about what basal was, how to determine your diurnal pattern. After getting the thing there were still weekly follow-ups with them adjusting the thing for you and checking your numbers (this was pre-CGM). It was a pretty big deal.

Funny, because I hadn’t really started out wanting to try it. And of course it disabused me of the idea that I was going to have some big thing surgically implanted in my stomach or something, which I definitely didn’t want. Now it turns out that that was kind of an option all along, though I think it was pretty much off the table by then. And here it is back again! Still doesn’t appeal to me. :slight_smile:


What year did you go to Joslin? I was there in 1986 or 87 shortly after being diagnosed (it was a weeklong inpatient program at that time). The hospital that stabilized me after being diagnosed put me on 28 units of NPH and that was it. No regular insulin, no blood testing. I don’t know what people without access to a specialist clinic like Joslin would have done.

I was diagnosed in 1965 and started with single morning injection of Lente, testing urine in test tube.
I was treated by pediatrician, until I was in college and met other T1Ds going to endos. Switched to MDI with NPH + Regular. (1980s)

And then started pumps few years later, and cgm from medtronic, then dexcom, then Tandem X2.

I don’t currently have interest in implantable pump but look forward to hearing from others that do.

I was at Joslin from ~ 2003 to 2015. Lived in Somerville, adjacent to Boston, so they were my regular (and first) endo specialist since dx’d in 1983.

That’s crazy! But it fits my theory about T1, that it goes against the grain of all their training. Any other medication, they figure out a daily dose, prescribe the pill, maybe adjust as needed but all under their direct control. Vs. “Here’s some dangerous stuff, here’s some info, now go off and dose yourself.” So you got “Hmm, 28 units a day, that oughta work, more or less. NPH, R, whatevs, Insulin is insulin amirite?” I mean, you can’t use NPH as if it were a flat basal insulin like Lantus. Stuff’s gonna peak on you, hard, 4 hours out. Never forget my first experience with that. “What’s the big deal,” I thought. I found out. What the heck were they thinking? I was lucky to get a GP who was actually current on state of care for “Juvenile” by early 80s standards. So many of 'em are fine with T2 but T1 is a rabbit hole they just don’t want to go down.