How do Insulin Pumps Work?

Dr. Om J. Lakhani
MBBS, MD, DNB (Endo), Specialty Certificate in Endocrinology from RCP, UK

Pumps function in different ways based on the generation of the pump.

The oldest of the first generation pumps basically just deliver insulin in an automated manner via a cannula attached to the subcutaneous tissue under the skin.

how do insulin pumps work

You can set different rates of insulin delivery. Before every meal that you take, you need to enter some data in the pump and just press ACT and the precise dose of insulin will be delivered.

  • Some other first generation pumps stop when the sugar goes low and some of them can even predict when the sugar is going low and switch off before you go into hypoglycemia (low sugar).
  • The second generation pumps can calculate automatically the dose of basal insulin which can be delivered depending on the  circumstance. They are also called hybrid close loop devices.
  • The third generation pumps are complete close loop devices which can adjust for both the highs and lows just like a normal human pancreas.

In India, we still only have the first generation pumps available.