Insulin Pump Therapy


When you consider pump therapy, be sure to contact each company to learn about their product offerings. Insulin pump features vary, and you want to be sure to find the pump that best meets your needs.

What Is An Insulin Pump?

An insulin pump is a small computerized device, about the size of a box of raisins, that is worn outside the body. It delivers fast-acting insulin into the body via an infusion set -- a small, flexible plastic cannula or a very thin needle. The infusion set is either inserted  at the end of a short, flexible plastic tubing (for traditional insulin pumps) or from the pump itself (for patch pumps). You insert the cannula beneath the skin at the infusion site, usually in your abdomen or upper buttocks. You keep the infusion set in place for two to three days (sometimes more), and then move it to a new location. All insulin is delivered through the cannula.

Pumps vary in how much insulin they hold, whether or not the pump has a touch screen or is waterproof, and have a variety of advanced features as well as safety features. Safety and user features may include programmable bolus, customizable reminders, alerts for missed bolus dose or missed glucose measurement, and alarms in the event of a blockage that prevents the continuous infusion of the insulin through the pump.

The features offered by insulin pumps vary from brand to brand. Some are waterproof, some have a touchscreen interface, and they hold different amounts of insulin. Pumps include programmable bolus profiles, varying basal profiles, alerts for occlusions or low reservoirs, and other safety features.

The insulin pump is not an artificial pancreas. Rather, it is computer-driven device that delivers fast-acting insulin in precise amounts at pre-programmed times. Wearing an insulin pump might require more work on your part than traditional multiple daily injection therapy, especially if you are not used to checking your blood sugar several times a day or wearing a continuous glucose monitor. You must also learn to use the pump to deliver the extra insulin you require when you eat.

Insulin pumps available in the United States in January 2019. From left to right: The Omnipod, the Tandem t:slim with Dexcom G6, and the Medtronic 670G

Why Pump Insulin?

When you consider pump therapy, be sure to contact each company to learn about their product offerings. Insulin pump features vary and you want to be sure to find the pump that best meets your needs.

The number of people using insulin pump therapy to manage their diabetes is growing rapidly; roughly 500,000 people around the world use an insulin pump. Their reasons for choosing the pump are many, but generally "pumpers" all agree that it gives them tighter control and more flexibility -- both in terms of their schedule and lifestyle. This control and flexibility includes advantages such as:

  • Eating what you want, when you want
  • Worrying less about low blood sugars ("hypoglycemia")
  • Living life on your terms, not a schedule of snacks and shots

There are many scientific studies that demonstrate that insulin pump therapy results in better outcomes for teens and adults with type 1 diabetes. There are also studies that show that insulin pump therapy works well in toddlers and pre-school children. 

Kinds of Insulin Pumps

The following companies make or sell insulin pumps in the United States (listed in alphabetical order):

There are additional insulin pumps available in other countries (listed in alphabetical order):

When you consider pump therapy, be sure to contact each company to learn about their product offerings. Insulin pump features vary, and you want to be sure to find the pump that best meets your needs.

  1. Angel Bear Pump Stuff makes fabric insulin pump cases that helps make wearing an insulin pump easier for parents and more fun for kids
  2. Alana-Mireille Apparel provides clothing designed for girls who use an insulin pump.
  3. Dazzling Pump Pouches offers a collection of pump pouches for boys and girls.
  4. Funky Pumpers offers pump bags, pouches, packs and the like for families in the UK
  5. Grandma's Hands is an Ontario based company that specializes in custom made insulin pump pouches and belts for children with type 1 diabetes.
  6. Groovy Patches offers sticky accessories for the Medtronic MiniMed Quick-Set infusion set.
  7. Insulin Pump Packs For Your offers pump cases for adults and kids
  8. Insulin Pump Pockets hold your pump in a cool cloth pouch.
  9. ipSOX offers insulin pump accessories that are comfortable, discreet and protective.
  10. Kangaroo Pump Pockets offers clothing manufactured specifically to hold insulin pumps for children and adults living with diabetes.
  11. My Own Style Insulin Pump Packs offers a variety of pump styles for kids
  12. My Pump Gear offers pumping accessories
  13. Myabetic has a line of stylish diabetes gear
  14. Pouch4U is a Canadian company that makes insulin pump pouches for kids with diabetes.
  15. Pump Accessories from the Diabetes Mall includes a variety of pump-related products
  16. Pump*tastic offers insulin pump cases for kids and adults.
  17. offers kid-friendly pump pouches
  18. PumpMates are cute pump cases for kids
  19. Pump Pockets offers fabric pouches to hold insulin pumps.
  20. Pump Wear, Inc. offers creative, fun items for children who use an insulin pump.
  21. radrr creates insulin pump cases that are fun.
  22. The Tallygear Tummietote Belt holds insulin pumps for kids.
  23. Unique Insulin Pump Accessories specializes in products, education and support for people with diabetes wearing an insulin pump.
  • IV3000 is a sterile dressing made by Smith & Nephew
  • Tegaderm is a sterile dressing made by 3M
  • Mastisol is a surgical adhesive made by Eloquest Healthcare
  • Detachol is an adhesive remover made by Eloquest Healthcare
  • Opsite Flexifix is a medical tape
  • StayPut Medical makes overlay tapes for pumps and CGMs
  • PumpPeelz makes overlay tapes for pumps and CGMs

Content coming soon!