InPen Review: Smart Insulin Delivery Via MDI


Confessions of a pump user

Okay, I’ve tried to be a pump person. I’ve tried several times, and I am not dismissing the idea of giving it another go some time in the future, but that time is not right now. I enjoy being on multiple daily injections (MDI). Most days, it fits my lifestyle quite well. But there are elements of wearing a pump that I frequently miss.

InPen, developed by Companion Medical, is breaking ground for people with diabetes on MDI that has already been broken for people using an insulin pump. The InPen is a “smart insulin delivery system” in the form of a reusable insulin pen.

The pen is able to pair via Bluetooth® with its corresponding smartphone app (and comes in a variety of spiffy colors!). This allows for a ton of helpful data to be stored conveniently within the app on your phone. You can keep track of exactly how many units you injected throughout the day, as well as the timing and how many units of insulin you still have on board (IOB). The insulin on board feature is probably my favorite. It makes it so much easier for me to gauge whether or not I will potentially go low if I take a correction at a certain time.

Need to know

When you open the InPen app, you can enter your current blood sugar and number of carbs that you’ll be eating, and it will give you a suggested dose. These suggestions are based on your own insulin to carb ratio and other pertinent diabetes management information that you input into the app when you get started with InPen. If you enter a blood glucose (BG) level that is on the low side, the app will even suggest an amount of carbs to eat. The InPen app will also ask what long-acting insulin you are currently taking and set a reminder to log each long-acting dose each day. The pen can deliver 0.5 to 30 units of insulin, and InPen makes it possible to deliver half units.

The injector pen is compatible with Lilly Humalog and Novo Nordisk Novolog U-100 3.0 mL insulin cartridges and it requires single-use detachable and disposable pen needles as prescribed by your doctor. The pen lasts for one year and there is no recharging needed.

You can also share the data tracked by the pen and delivered to the InPen smart app with your doctor to use at your next endocrinologist visit and with loved ones. If you have an iPhone, you will also be able to link your Health app data as well as Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) data to the InPen app.

To sum it up

Technology, as we know, is not perfect. And although the InPen typically communicates quite well via Bluetooth with the app, make sure to keep your phone within a few feet of the InPen when you are giving yourself a dose. Otherwise, the dose won’t immediately register in the app, which could throw off your data until the pen is back within range of your smart phone.

It is a wonderful feeling, as someone on MDI, to be able to have all of my data in one convenient place, rather than needing to keep track of my doses with my own notes or in my head. The InPen has given me extreme peace of mind throughout my days managing type 1 diabetes, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone in the same position—or for anyone who is looking for a pump break, this would be an incredibly smooth transition back to MDI.

To learn more about InPen and how to try it out for yourself, talk to your doctor and get more information here.

Read another story of switching from a pump to smart insulin pens here.

This content mentions Companion Medical, an active partner of Beyond Type 1 at the time of publication. This content was not created as part of a partnership.

WRITTEN BY Alexi Melvin, POSTED 01/21/20, UPDATED 11/16/22

Alexi Melvin serves as chair of the Leadership Council’s Content Committee. She is a journalist who has written for The San Francisco Chronicle, Beyond Type 1 and other digital publications. Alexi is also a voiceover actor and reiki master. In addition to her dedication to being a voice for people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) everywhere, she has always been passionate about meditation and energy healing. Before getting her Bachelor of Arts degree at The New School University, she studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute. She hopes to continue her healing work, and to connect with other T1Ds through her travels and writing opportunities.