On the Horizon - A Letter from Insulet Medical Director, Dr. Trang Ly
I’m Dr. Trang Ly - Pediatric Endocrinologist and Medical Director here at Insulet, the makers of the Omnipod® System. I make sure that the products we develop are safe and effective for our users. Here’s a secret – I have the BEST job in the world!
Before I joined Insulet in September 2016, I was Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford University. That was the second best job in the world 😊. I took care of families with diabetes and performed research with exciting new technologies to help people with diabetes. Everything I know about diabetes, I learned from my patients.
As a pediatric endocrinologist, I wanted to do more than see my patients once every 3 months. I can’t be with my patients every night or be there when they’re low. During my time at Stanford, I conducted various closed-loop system trials, several of which are used by many thousands of patients today. Closed-loop systems consist of an insulin pump, continuous glucose sensor and an algorithm. The algorithm uses the information from the sensor to determine insulin delivery by the pump. Think of it as an insulin pump that does all the math for you so you don’t have to worry so much about your diabetes. I get giddy with excitement when I see someone use a product that I helped create!
When I spent time at a diabetes camp, there was one night I couldn't sleep because I had just given a little boy a shot of insulin and I had no idea whether his blood sugar would drop to dangerously low levels. I'm sure many of you can relate to that feeling! Closed-loop technology is now a reality. We have fantastic glucose sensors, such as Dexcom G6, that are highly accurate. We have amazing pumps, such as the Omnipod® System, that are simple and easy to use. Algorithm development has been going on for many years by many smart people.
At Insulet, we’ve been developing our system, the Omnipod® 5 System, for nearly 4 years. The algorithm will work inside the pod and talk to the Dexcom G6 sensor directly. It will be a wearable, closed-loop system. We’ve been testing the system in real patients for three years now, constantly refining it to make sure it is safe and effective for all users – this includes honeymooners and long timers, as well as both young and older people. It’s important to us that the Omnipod® 5 System is simple and easy to use. This means a lot of developing, testing, redesigning and testing again. We’ll do it until we get it right. We’re super excited to be starting our home study in just a few months!
At Insulet, the number one question that Podders™ ask me is – How can I get involved with Omnipod® 5 System research? The best way to do this is through clinicaltrials.gov. Details of the study, including the centers around the United States taking part in the study, will be listed here, when we are approved to start recruitment. You can also ask your endocrinologist or other provider. They might already be involved 😊.
I attended the Children with Diabetes, Friends for Life Conference in Orlando in July 2019, and was blown away by the excitement that the community has for the Omnipod® 5 System. I want you to know that we are working hard. Here is a video to give you a glimpse about what our team does. I hope it conveys Insulet’s commitment to deliver truly life-changing innovation for you.