After almost 21 years with Type 1 diabetes, you’d think I’d have it all figured out -right? WRONG! My name is Courtney Enright and I am a first-year graduate student at Stony Brook University. Over the last 20 years, I feel like I’ve experienced it all when it comes to type one diabetes: highs, lows and everything in between. For me, one of the scariest parts about being a type one is the constant changes and advancements in diabetic technology. In September of 2021, after some intense thought and a lot of hesitation, I made the decision to switch from the classic insulin pen to the new InPen™ smart insulin pen by Medtronic.
"For me, one of the scariest parts about being a type one is the constant changes and advancements in diabetic technology."
Over the years, I have always struggled to find which type of insulin injection worked best for me. After three different insulin pumps, I decided that pump therapy wasn’t for me. While I like manual daily injections (MDI), carrying around syringes was something that always seemed to make me uncomfortable. After years of struggling, insulin pens were my favorite option. For years, I used traditional pens. Those were fine, but I hated the fact that I was unable to dose half units when needed.
"While I like manual daily injections (MDI), carrying around syringes was something that always seemed to make me uncomfortable."
Finally, I found InPen. The best way for me to describe the InPen would be if an insulin pump and a traditional pen had a baby. This tech-savvy pen works in a similar fashion to an old school pen but shares similar technology to an insulin pump. Once you’ve received your pen (which is available in pink, blue or silver) your next step is to connect your pen to Bluetooth® via your smartphone. Unlike a traditional pen, InPen is reusable and requires the insertion of insulin cartridges. One of my favorite features about this pen is the temperature control. Once connected to Bluetooth®, the pen is able to detect if the insulin is getting too hot or too cold. I love this because it keeps my insulin from expiring too quickly.
The best way for me to describe the InPen would be if an insulin pump and a traditional pen had a baby."
Within the InPen app, you are able to enter your number of carbs and blood sugar level. The app will then calculate the number of units you need. It takes out the guesswork and math while also allowing for half unit doses. The pen is able to calculate units by using the settings that you enter into the app (insulin to carb ratio, correction factor, etc). Medtronic seemed to turn traditional into tech savvy.
"It takes out the guesswork and math while also allowing for half unit doses."
One potential issue with this pen is the relationship with Dexcom and Medtronic continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors. The pen is able to connect with the Dexcom app to show trends and relationships. Since I am a Dexcom user, I do not mind it. For people living with diabetes who are not Dexcom or Medtronic users, they would have to manually add their BG. Despite this, I would consider the InPen a product definitely worth trying. I’d love to hear others opinions on this. Please feel free to reach me on social media platforms to let me know your opinion.
Medtronic is a corporate member of College Diabetes Network.
The InPen™ is a home-use reusable pen injector for single-patient use by people with diabetes under the supervision of an adult caregiver, or by a patient age 7 and older for the self-injection of a desired dose of insulin and for calculating an insulin dose or carbohydrate intake based on user entered data. A healthcare professional must assist in dosage programming of the device prior to use, based on various patient-specific criteria and targets. The InPen requires a prescription. For additional product and safety information, see User Guide and http://bit.ly/InPenSafety.
The Bluetooth (R) word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Medtronic is under license.