To fulfill our mission we need the following:
- Increased awareness within the T1D community and beyond. We are amazed that almost none of our fellow T1Ds know about the implantable insulin pump. One of the aims of this website is to stimulate a greater awareness of this remarkable technology.
- Commitment of a manufacturer to take on the challenges of developing a new, technologically advanced and affordable implantable insulin pump. The pump that we 450+ now have is based upon outdated technology, much of it from the 1980s and 1990s. To illustrate why this is so vitally important – what did your cell phone look like and how well did it perform in 1990? The current pump is too large (particularly for children and smaller adults), requires a longer battery life, needs an easier way to replace catheters when necessary and more. These demands were very difficult, if not impossible, to meet ten to twenty years ago. Today, they are finally achievable, if we have the will to make it happen.
- Linking a continuous glucose sensor (ideally an intraperitoneal glucose sensor sitting on the insulin delivery catheter) with intraperitoneal insulin delivery to automate or semi-automate insulin delivery. The critically important and proven advantages of intraperitoneal insulin delivery and intraperitoneal glucose sensing make the so-called “artificial pancreas” truly possible. The implantable insulin pump is the optimal route to the artificial pancreas that we have been promised.
- Additional research. Existing research has already demonstrated the remarkable benefits of intraperitoneal insulin delivery with the implantable insulin pump. Moving forward, we need additional, large scale, prospective, peer-reviewed research to expand our knowledge of how to take maximum advantage of this remarkable technology and to continue to improve it.
- Our active participation. It is in our own best interests to encourage those with the necessary capabilities and resources to turn their attention and efforts toward the development of this remarkable therapy and to make it affordable and available for the millions of us who need it. Success will not only benefit the millions of T1Ds here in the U.S. but also the many millions of T1Ds throughout the world.
So, what can you do?
Become informed. Learn as much as you can. We have included a considerable amount of information on this website and there will be more coming. Updates will be posted regularly – check the What’s New tab – we will announce additions and changes to the content of the website there. It is your life and at the very least you deserve to know what is possible. Learn what you have been unaware of and what you have been missing.
Contribute your thoughts, comments and questions. What more do you want to know? We will collect your comments and questions and address them to the best of our ability by adding information to this website.
Become part of the solution. When we, as a community, are well informed, we will need to make our voices heard. We will report back to you (on this website) what kind of feedback we have received from our community. What do you think is the best way for us to proceed? How can you help?
BOTTOM LINE: Hundreds of us living with Type 1 Diabetes now have a far better life because we have an implantable insulin pump, yet we know that the current pump is seriously in need of improvement. A new, technically advanced pump will be even better and affordable. For whatever reason, industry, government and organizations devoted to the well-being of people with diabetes have not stepped up to make this a reality for all T1Ds. We don’t think that this means they don’t care. We think it means that they need our help to see the possibilities.
We must accept the responsibility of helping ourselves and each other.