Blog Entries With Tag: technology


Posted: Jan 27, 2015

I came across a story called Midnight Three and Six on The New York Times website today.  I am utterly floored by the short documentary that accompanies the article.  It's llike looking at myself (and maybe you will feel the same) in the same story line.  This is how many of us live our lives. Though for some of us, I know for myself, it's just always been what I do having had Type 1 diabetes for so long.

The documentary shows a Mum’s efforts to manage her 15 year old daughter Grace's daily struggle with a life-threatening condition.  It is something we can all relate to, and watching this made me abit teary eyed at times.  It is the fear of the Mum with her daughter going low at night that really struck me.  Having the Dexcom now, I can relate - annoying at times ... but it's been useful for me to catch the hypo earlier, and not deal with crazy highs the next day if I have slept through it ... or over dealt with fixing it due to panic.

The goal of this documentary is to show others that don't quite understand the difference between Type 1 and 2.  I think it really brings it across very well.

They are hoping to raise funds for Grace to have an artificial pancreas by the time she turns 20.  

```````````````

On top of this story I came across one from last week about a 4-year-old in Australia receiving the world’s first artificial pancreas.  Also, Jane Reid, from New South Wales, is going to be fitted with the pump (this may have already occured since the articles publication) making her the first adult to be fitted with the device. 

After 5 years of clinical studies a new insulin pump is now commercially available in Australia for children and adults (wonder when it will be available here in North America?). It can mimic the biological function of the pancreas, stopping insulin delivery when glucose level drops, avoiding a low blood glucose. When glucose level recovers, the artificial pancreas recognises this and resumes insulin delivery. I'm sure that there is still human interaction with this, just like there is with the devices I use, but it's a step in the right direction, despite it being yet again another money "Pharma rules" device that some of can or can't afford.

It's still not the same thing as a "real" pancreas, or a CURE - so the title about this little lad having an "artificial pancreas" is a wee bit misleading.   That's my opinion of course, as I pat Ziggy (my Animas Ping pump) on my left side of my waistband nd my Dexcom CGMS on the other side.

Now isn't he just the cutest little Superman or what????

 Above photo courtesy of http://encomium.ng/

 

NB: For more insight into the discussiion of "artificial pancreas" - check out Craig Idlebrook's post at Insulin Nation

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Posted: Feb 23, 2013
Moi (in my mind) saying

Well, as I type this out, I have Careless Whisper from George Michael playing in the background.  It's been almost 2 months now that I disconnected from him - my Animas 2020 pump - in preparation for my holidays I took - where I didn't want him compromised by more s/w issues that my past 2020 pumps have experienced when going thru' the security systems at the airports.

Before I'd left on my holidays, I had finally heard back from Animas Corporation in the USA on my issues that I've been calling them about / blogging about / talking to them since mid-December.   I was told by Francis Crane who is Supervisor of Animas Customer Support (lovely lady from Georgia - but your sweet accent doesn't fool me ) I'd have an answer answer on January 28, 2013.  I told her I'd be away at that time so  she said she would call me when I got back.  Of course, as soon as I got back home, I called Ms. Crane, left 2 voice messages over almost a week.  When I heard back from her, she could not give me an answer <disappointment>, and that it had been given to someone by the name of Alecia now, in the technical department area, and I would have my answer no later then Friday (Feb 22/13).  

That call has never occurred.  

My question to Animas Canada - is why did they wipe their hands clean of me - and send me over to Animas Corporation in the USA?  I purchased my pump here in Canada, not the USA.  It also scares the heck out of me due to T1D's in the USA who have had their pumps "gone bad" replaced with a "reconditioned pump(s)".  One such American said that within 3 months - they were given each time a reconditioned PING pump - in the end - they gave up on the pump all together due to continual technical problems and went back to MDI (multiple dosage injections)..  Here in Canada, when I had called up about this a few years ago, apparently our laws differ from the USA.  Canadians are given a new pump when they receive a replacement - phew.   Though, I'm not sure if that is a good "phew" or a bad "phew".

I still to this day - as I posted in my other blogs/discussons on this situation with the Animas 2020 pump - firmly believe that Johnson and Johnson knew full well of the problem well before the issue was made public (when many of us were still under warranty).  That with both registered letters that many of us received - that they are admitting culpability in the fact that they DID NOT post anything in their literature or training manuals even after discovering s/w originally developed had the built in "Self-Destruct" sequence of the date  versus delivery of insulin.

I still scratch my head as to why, when the issue was known back in "March 2012", and I myself was still under warranty - why my replacement 2020 pump was not a PING - which supposably has no issues - would I be any further ahead with having had that pump I wonder?

The other question that is running around some of our heads these days is also .... how long is an insulin pump supposed to last?  Many other pumps made by other pump manufacturers last 10+ years with no issues to the user with dispensing of their insulin coverage.

All I can say is .... SHAME on you big corporations that hold us in your grip - for us to use products that we trust our livelihood on ....   Animas Canada / Corporation you know full well that you are in the WRONG.  


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Posted: Jan 7, 2013
Well, I have to admit, the response back from Caroline Pavis who is the Communications Director at Animas Corporation took only 5 days - considering the holiday season - not bad!  I personally do not think I am the only one questioning all the releases with not only the 2020 pump they manufacture, but their two previous pumps (IR1200 and IR1250) - but I appreciated her taking the time out to "personally" respond to my/our questions. 

I am still wondering why the answer I was given back in December by  Ann from Customer Relations that the s/w time out date was known since 2000 has changed to March 2012 as you'll read below in Q2 - has me a wee bit puzzled.  Even more puzzling, is now it seems they are going back on their statement made online on their website that the IR1200 and IR1250 will also NOT function past 2015 - if you read the release - you'll be like me - scratching my head - as it states that these two pumps will STILL function  - e.g. " continue to deliver insulin, if patients are using a data management software program with their pump, they will notice inaccuracies in the reports because of the incorrect dates".  What is stated below in Q2 is the reverse of what is stated from this statement release by Animas.  Do they know that some of us patients read VERY carefully about how are medical instruments are affected right to the "t"??

Now, I wonder, since Caroline states below - that they became aware of the s/w problem in March 2012 and my warranty ended in April (I received my replacement pump a few weeks before the end of March) - if they'd consider retroactively letting those of us that were still in "the zone for warranty coverage" have a pump that will function past 2015 - so we will have a "back up" pump for the future - like other pump users do with their retired pumps - wouldn't that be one less worry for those of us who find it difficult to control their diabetes with MDI (multiple dosage injections - e.g. average of 8-12 shots a day). 

On closing, as one American pumper stated in an online discussion on the w/e involving this issue  - and I'm quoting them the way I interpreted it (so if you're the one who posted this - clear up my confusion of what you said please) - " everyone should get a new pump every 2 years - to have the latest s/w technology - it's a no brainer ".  The yell in my head that went off at that statement may have made the walls cave in of your home - sorry - this is my polite response - " Not all of us have insurance coverage that covers a new pump every 2 years - let alone a pump.  Some of us pay out of pocket (our savings if we have them) to stay healthy.  Our hope  isto have a pump that lasts at least 4-6 years (more would be a dream) - which would make the cost of owning one about $2K/year - for some on limited income that is extremely difficult ". 

-----------------------------------------------------

Via Email - Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hi Anna:

My name is Caroline Pavis and I serve as the Communications Director for Animas Corporation. It is great to meet you over email. Thank you for all the amazing work you do providing information and education to people with diabetes!

I have read your blogs related to the software limitation we recently discovered with our Animas 2020 pump models. I want to make sure to provide answers to all the outstanding questions you have about this issue. Following is a list of questions (and our responses) which I hope will be helpful to you. Please let me know if you still have outstanding questions that I can help you with, after you review the Q&A below.

All the best,

Caroline

_____________________________________________

Q1 - When and how was this software issue discovered?

Animas recently discovered this software limitation as a result of a separate investigation into the calendar designs of all our pump systems. This investigation was launched in March of 2012.


Q2 - Why was the pump designed with this software limitation?

The pumps were not intended to be designed with this software limitation, or end of use date.  The end date was a consequence of the memory limitations of our technology available at the time the platform was first created.  Due to how the pump’s memory is allocated for storing dates, the memory capacity is limited to a 16-year range. The IR 1200, IR 1250 and Animas® 2020 pumps all began with a reference year of January 2000, which restricts this family of pumps to January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2015.


Q3 -Why didn’t you notify patients about this software limitation sooner?

Upon discovery of this issue in mid-2012, we launched an in-depth investigation designed to ensure it would not pose a health or safety risk to patients prior to the date of Dec. 31, 2015. Now that we have a full understanding of the issue, we are notifying patients and healthcare professionals.

 

Q4 - Did Animas design your pumps with this software limitation, or end-of-use date, so that patients were required to purchase a new pump after their warranty expired?

No.  There was and is no plan to limit the date on the pump in order to require patients to purchase new pumps. The end date is solely related to memory limitations of our technology available at the time the platform was first created.

(To reiterate from question 2: Due to how the pump’s memory is allocated for storing dates, the memory capacity is limited to a 16-year range. The IR 1200, IR 1250 and Animas® 2020 pumps all began with a reference year of January 2000, which restricts this family of pumps to January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2015.)

 

Q5 - After midnight on Dec. 31, 2015, can I change the date on my Animas® 2020 pump to a previous year, so that it will continue to function?

No. After midnight on Dec. 31, 2015, the Animas® 2020 pump will no longer function, meaning the pump will no longer deliver insulin. Changing the pump’s date to a previous year will not serve as a “fix” for this issue. The issue/end date for the pump is a consequence of the memory limitations of our technology available at the time the platform for the Animas® 2020 insulin pump was first created.

 

Q6 - What will Animas offer to Animas ® 2020 pumpers who are out-of-warranty?

We are committed to providing assistance to our patients whose warranties will expire prior to Dec. 31, 2015. Between now and the end of 2015, we will be proactively reaching out to all our out-of-warranty Animas® 2020, Animas® IR1250 and Animas® IR1200 patients to remind them of the end of use date.

 

Q7 - Will Animas continue to honor your warranty commitments to patients who are currently using Animas® 2020, IR1250 and IR1200 pumps?

Animas will always honor any and all warranty replacements of our insulin pumps, and is committed to honoring our replacement warranty plans for all our Animas® 2020 users. Prior to the end of 2015, we will provide in-warranty patients with a free replacement pump of a newer model to ensure their care with pump therapy is not interrupted.

 

Q8 - Is the Animas® 2020 being phased out?

Animas recently discontinued the Animas® 2020 insulin pump in the United States and Canada in favor of newer technology. We will therefore be providing patients in need of replacement pumps with a OneTouch® Ping® Glucose Management System, which includes an insulin pump and a glucose meter that can also act as a remote controller of the pump. The OneTouch® Ping® insulin pump has very similar features to the Animas® 2020 insulin pump.

 

Caroline Pavis| Director, Global Communications

Office: 610.240.8128 | Cell: 610.357.3121 | Fax: 484.568.1444 |  [email protected]

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Posted: May 5, 2008

 

Now that we're on the diabetes rollercoaster we've been waiting for things to get back to a new normal. I think we're finally getting there. We are now at a place where every conversation doesn't need to revolve around diabetes. It has moved from leading role to supporting actor status. I'm hopeful that with the continuous advances in technology it will remain this way or become even less a part of my daughter's life in our lifetime.

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Tags: advancements (1) technology (1) type 1 (1) diabetes (1)
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