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Pumps vs. Daily Injections: The Future of Insulin Delivery

Jan 5, 2019

New technologies have the potential to revolutionize diabetes care. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of insulin pumps vs. daily injections? How widely will they be adopted, by patients with type 2 diabetes as well as type 1? What factors will make a difference for adoption – convenience, accuracy, costs?

In November, we asked you to help us examine the future of insulin delivery and find the answers to these questions. Now we’re sharing all the results with you, so that you can see for yourself how your fellow members of the diabetes community plan on using CGMs, now and in the future.


Key Takeaways:

  • Automated Insulin Delivery (AID) systems will increase the numbers of patients with diabetes who use pumps, from ~30% today up into the 40%-45% range
  • Use of pumps will grow among both patients with type 1 and patients with type 2 over the next 5 years
  • Smart pens are more attractive to patients who currently use multiple daily injection (MDI) compared to those already on a pump

What People with Diabetes Think:

The majority of the survey respondents were patients with Type 1 diabetes and their family members/caretakers. Looking to new products, current pump users are most excited about TNDM’s Control IQ while current MDI users are most excited about PODD’s Horizon.

79% of current patients who use insulin pumps say they would not be interested in using a smart pen, and the other 21% would only be interested if smart pens control sugars as well as pumps do.

On the other hand, 69% of patients who use multiple daily injections are very interested in smart pens — of which 29% would be willing to pay extra for a smart pen with the features they wanted.

  • A key reason smart pens are more interesting to current patients using MDI than to patients who currently use pumps may have to do with an individual preference that seems unlikely to change for many people: the number one reason people do not want to go on pump therapy is that they do not want to wear something on their body. Additionally, people who do not want pumps say they feel in more control with daily injections.

Health Care Professional Viewpoints:

HCPs expect both type 1 and type 2 patients to adopt Automated Insulin Delivery in greater numbers

While a smaller number of health care professionals (physicians, RNs, NPs, PAs and CDEs) responded to this survey, those who responded expect people with type 1 who use ADI to go from 35% to 45% in 3 years and 52% in 5 years, and adoption among people with type 2 to move from 16% to 20% in 3 years and 30% in 5 years.

They also expect smart pens will make it less likely for people who currently use injections to switch to pumps, more so than take market share away from pumps. They note that some patients do not want to wear something on their body as the main reason they do not want a pump. Followed by cost and considering a pump too complicated.

Survey Methodology:

We conducted a diabetes survey between 11/17 through 11/25 consisting of patients, physicians, nurses and CDEs (Certified Diabetes Educators). The survey was focused on insulin delivery, primarily pumps and pens. We had a total of 140 responses of which 73% were patients, 11% were physicians and 16% were CDEs.

Click here to view results and charts in PDF format:

Diabetes In Control-PiperJaffray Survey Charts & Graphs