Everything You Need to Know About Connected Insulin Pens


 2024-06-11

First, there was the simplicity of insulin injections. Then, there was the dosing and tracking support of an insulin pen. With connected insulin pens, there is now a device that combines both.

Connected insulin pens—also known as “smart pens”—are cutting-edge tools that provide accurate insulin delivery and sophisticated tracking features.

Simply put, connected insulin pens have revolutionized diabetes management.

What’s So Great About Connected Insulin Pens?

Unlike traditional insulin pens, smart-pen devices are equipped with Bluetooth technology and other smart features that enable them to communicate with mobile apps and other digital-health platforms.

This connectivity allows for:

  • Real-time monitoring
  • Better dosage accuracy, and
  • Improved diabetes management.

There are a number of features and capabilities associated with connected insulin pens, such as:

They Have Bluetooth Connectivity

  • Connected insulin pens are equipped with Bluetooth technology to connect with smartphones or other smart devices.
    • This connectivity allows for seamless data transfer to apps or cloud-based platforms.

They Log Insulin Data

  • Connected insulin pens automatically log each insulin dose, including the time and amount of insulin administered.
    • This eliminates the need for manual recording and helps in maintaining accurate records.

They Allow Data Sharing

  • Connected insulin pens facilitate easy sharing of insulin data with healthcare providers
    • This enables better-informed medical consultations and adjustments to treatment plans.

They Help Calculate Insulin Doses

  • Many pens offer features to help calculate the correct insulin dose based on current blood-sugar levels, carbohydrate intake, and previous doses.
    • This assists in achieving more precise insulin administration.

They Track Insulin Doses

  • Smart pens track the remaining insulin in the pen and alert users when it’s time to replace it.
    • This feature helps in preventing missed doses.

They Integrate with Mobile Apps

  • Smart pens typically come with companion mobile apps that offer various functionalities, such as:
    • Tracking doses
    • Providing reminders, and
    • Generating reports.
  • For thorough health monitoring, these apps can also be integrated with other diabetes management and wellness apps.

They Have Reminders and Alerts

  • Connected insulin pens can send reminders for scheduled doses and alert users if a dose is missed.
    • This helps ensure adherence to the prescribed insulin regimen.

They Are Battery-Powered

Rechargeable batteries are used in certain smart pens, whereas replaceable batteries are used in others.

They Have a User-Friendly Interface

  • Connected insulin pens are designed to be user-friendly, with clear displays and intuitive controls
    • This makes them easy to use, even for people who are not tech-savvy.

They Offer Enhanced Insulin Accuracy

  • Many smart pens come with features to ensure more accurate dosing
    • This can be particularly beneficial for people who require fine-tuned insulin management.

Research Supports the Effectiveness of Connected Insulin Pens

Connected insulin pens have shown significant efficacy in improving diabetes management.

According to one study, connected insulin pens—like those that use Bluetooth technology—have been linked to better blood-sugar control because they offer real-time data and reminders, which lower human error and improve diabetes patients’ overall health management.

Additionally, smart pens assist in reducing typical problems associated with traditional insulin-delivery techniques, such as missing doses and inaccurate insulin calculations.

Furthermore, by integrating with blood glucose meters and CGMs, connected insulin pens enable thorough health monitoring. This integration enables healthcare providers to make more educated therapeutic decisions and to present patients with more individualized suggestions.

Which Connected Insulin Pens Are Available for Purchase?

In recent years, there has been a surge in connected insulin pens flooding the market. Connected insulin-pen options include:

The Lilly Tempo Pen

  • CGM Connectivity: Dexcom
  • BGM Connectivity: Tempo Blood Glucose Meter; Accu-Chek Aviva Connect, Accu-Chek Guide, Accu-Chek Instant, Contournext One, OneTouch Verio Flex, and OneTouch Verio Reflect
  • Compatible Insulin Types
    • Humalog (insulin lispro): This is a rapid-acting insulin used to control blood sugar spikes after meals.
    • Basaglar (insulin glargine): This is a long-acting insulin used to maintain blood sugar levels over a longer period.
    • Lyumjev (insulin lispro-aabc): Another rapid-acting insulin similar to Humalog, but with a faster onset of action.The Lilly Tempo Pen’s user-friendly design ensures easy handling and precise dosing, reducing the risk of errors.

The Lilly Tempo Pen, manufactured by Lilly, is a sleek and intuitive insulin-delivery device designed for simplicity and precision.

With its ergonomic design and easy-to-use features, it offers accurate dosing and enhanced control for people managing diabetes.

The pre-filled, disposable pen enhances portability, making diabetes management less intrusive in daily life.

With its intuitive interface, patients can administer insulin discreetly and confidently.

The Lilly Tempo Pen’s features include a smooth injection mechanism and clear-dose display.

The InPen

  • CGM Connectivity: Guardian Connect
  • BGM Connectivity: Has Bluetooth connectivity with the Bigfoot Blood Glucose Meter and can also be used with the Freestyle Libre CGM. The InPen app can also connect to Bluetooth-compatible blood glucose meters on Apple devices.
  • Compatible Insulin Types:
    • NovoLog (insulin aspart): Another rapid-acting insulin similar to Humalog, used for controlling blood sugar levels after meals.
    • Fiasp (insulin aspart): A faster-acting version of NovoLog, designed for rapid onset of action.
    • Humalog

The InPen by Medtronic is a smart insulin pen that connects via Bluetooth to a mobile app, offering dose tracking, reminders, and insulin recommendations.

The In Pen enhances diabetes management with real-time data and insights, integrating with CGMs.

The NovoPen Echo

  • CGM connectivity: Dexcom
  • BGM connectivity: Not listed
  • Compatible Insulin Types:
    • NovoLog
    • Fiasp

Novo Nordisk’s NovoPen Echo is a smart insulin pen with a user-friendly design, a memory function for tracking dose and time, and accurate half-unit dosing, making it ideal for both adults and children with diabetes.

The Unity Pen

  • CGM connectivity: Dexcom G6, Libre CGMs
  • BGM connectivity: Bigfoot Blood Glucose Meters.
  • Compatible Insulin Types:
    • NovoLog 
    • NovoRapid

The Unity Pen by Abbott is a smart insulin pen designed to monitor and log insulin doses.

It integrates with Abbott’s Freestyle Libre CGM system, enhancing diabetes management by combining insulin tracking and CGM in one cohesive system.

Talk to Your Healthcare Team About Connected Insulin Pens

If you have any questions or need further clarification, check the user manual of the aforementioned insulin pens or speak with a healthcare provider


This content was made possible by Lilly, a Founding Partner of Beyond Type 1.
Beyond Type 1 maintains editorial control over its content.

WRITTEN BY Daniel Trecroci, POSTED 06/11/24, UPDATED 06/11/24

Dan has written about diabetes for more than 20 years. He was one of Diabetes Health's first recruits, and throughout his 10 + years as Managing Editor he wrote/published thousands of articles and helped establish Diabetes Health as the premiere resource for people with diabetes. He later became the Content Manager for OneTouchGold—Johnson & Johnson/LifeScan’s official digital publication for its metering-technology customers. Under his leadership, OneTouchGold received the Web Marketing Association’s award for “Best Health & Wellness" web site. Dan has also written for the Diabetes Research Institute, dLife, diaTribe, Healthline, CareDx, Pendulum Therapeutics, and Hero Bread.