Making your insulin pen “Smart” – Taking a closer look at the Companion Medical InPen
Today’s world is all about Smart technology. We have smart phones that communicate to our smart watches. Our smart TVs communicate with our Smart houses, and even our Smart refrigerators can refill our grocery list! Pump users have had a banner year as continuous glucose monitors have partnered with insulin pumps in new and amazing ways to make them smarter. Now patients using injection therapy need not be left out of the “smart revolution”.
In the past we have had pens with some brain, they could track past doses with on board digital displays. But let’s face it, that is analog flip phone technology in an LED high def touch screen world! With Companion medical’s December 17th announcement that they are now selling their Inpen on the commercial market, insulin pens have made the leap into the modern app filled era!
How to customize your InPen with an App
The Inpen works with a Novolog or Humalog cartridge. It has onboard blutooth technology that syncs use to an app on your mobile device. (iOS 10 and higher, Android app is in development).
What does the app do?
The app tracks insulin amounts given, but so much more!
- It also has a bolus calculator. You can customize the app with carb ratios, insulin action times, target, and sensitivity factors. Enter blood sugar and carb intake data and the bolus calculator gives a recommended dose. It even takes into account insulin on board and deducts it from the total recommended dose.
- The app has reminders to remind the user to take insulin at meals times, and can even be set to remind the user to check blood glucose at a set time after bolus to monitor postprandial elevation.
- App software generates sharable reports and data is stored for the full yearlong life of the pen. No need to charge the pen, the onboard battery lasts a year without recharge. (Of course this would mean needing to purchase a new pen at the end of the year, couldn’t make a good thing last forever)
- This pen even has a temperature sensor and will alert your phone if your insulin is getting too hot or cold and your insulin is at risk for spoilage.
The Inpen comes in 3 colors and is the same size and weight as a traditional insulin pen. Doses are available in 0.5 unit increments from 0.5-30 units. The pen holds a total of 3ml.
The Inpen is currently available by prescription in the U.S. Companion is currently working on insurance coverage contracts so for the time being most people are looking at out of pocket costs. And as with most new technology Medicare approval will likely take time.