Insulet: OmniPod Insulin Management System

Diabetes is a life-threatening disease that affects more than 24 million people in the United States alone.

Insulet: CaseStudy: Omnipod: Hero
OmniPod has given thousands of users a new found sense of freedom from diabetes.

01

Challenge

Diabetes is a life-threatening disease that affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States alone. For most, a diabetes diagnosis brings with it two treatment options: self-injecting insulin multiple times a day with a syringe, or wearing a durable infusion pump. An infusion pump can be more effective but is difficult to master. And because it’s typically attached to a belt or waistband, the visibility of the pump broadcasts to the world that the wearer “has a disease.”

When Insulet Corporation first partnered with Continuum, they were a three-person startup with a breakthrough idea for a new kind of insulin delivery system. The client envisioned an insulin patch that could adhere directly to the skin’s surface. This patch would automatically inject metered amounts of insulin according to the specific needs of the user, and be managed wirelessly via an integrated handheld device.

The catch: the technology behind the patch didn’t exist yet, and the company had an aggressive timeline for development. Continuum assembled a team of ethnographers, designers, and engineers to help Insulet bring this revolutionary medical solution to the market.

02

Research & Insights

03

Solution

With Continuum’s help, Insulet triggered a paradigm shift in diabetes management. The breakthrough OmniPod Insulin Delivery System—comprised of a disposable insulin patch and remote “Personal Diabetes Manager” (PDM)—was the world’s first FDA-approved, wireless, tube-free insulin pump. Now covered by a broad range of health insurance plans, the Omnipod provides an affordable diabetes management option that eliminates the discomfort and inconvenience of earlier therapies.

Insulet’s OmniPod device is sold in multiple countries, most recently acquiring distribution rights in Canada. The company is also leveraging the OmniPod system for other subcutaneous drug therapies.

omnipod interactive figure
The OmniPod automatically injects a metered dose of insulin at regular intervals.
We replaced the conventional pump motor with a small shape-memory alloy wire.
The pump’s electronics are noteworthy for the custom design and low-cost implementation.
Technical illustration of the Insulet OmniPod.
Initial Prototype Schematic
9

In just 9 months our team took the client’s concept from napkin sketch to a Prova works-like prototype

In another six months, we delivered a looks-like, works-like Alpha prototype for clinical testing and 510(k) submission.

04

Results