All About the Tidepool Loop Program
In Fall of 2018, Tidepool announced plans to deliver an officially supported, FDA-regulated Loop app that will be available via the App Store. They’re calling it the “Tidepool Loop”. So what’s a Loop? Who is Tidepool? And what does this mean for the future of insulin pump and automated insulin delivery technology?
Right now, Loop is a DIY open source automated insulin delivery app. DIYers in the type 1 diabetes community are using Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and older Medtronic pumps connected to the Loop app via a tool called RileyLink. The Loop app runs an algorithm for automated insulin delivery via the pump based on Dexcom CGM readings. The system is not FDA approved and requires a bit of “hacking” by users interested in setting it up.
Read much more about the current world of DIY Looping HERE
Tidepool is a not-for-profit company that creates tools and platforms to liberate data from diabetes devices, supports researchers and provides free software to people with diabetes and their care teams. Their mission is to make diabetes data more accessible and actionable. The Tidepool software available currently provides a platform for people with diabetes and their care providers to see all of their diabetes data in one place. Tidepool was also an early grantee of Beyond Type 1.
What does this mean for the future of automated insulin delivery?
Tidepool entering this ring is a big deal! Automated insulin delivery—closing the loop between CGM data and pump settings to keep blood sugars in range—is a hot frontier in diabetes technology innovation and development. The Medtronic 670G is the only FDA-approved commercially available device on the market. The Omnipod Horizon system and Tandem Control IQ system are both in development. And DIY-ers are building their own systems.
So far, closed-loop efforts have been segmented—algorithms and device compatibility has been limited by proprietary information. You can use the Medtronic system, wait for the Omnipod or Tandem systems, or hack something together yourself. Tidepool’s vision for the future cracks that model open. Tidepool is imagining a world where you can run a Loop insulin delivery system on your choice of medical device hardware.
What devices will Tidepool Loop work with?
In November, Tidepool and Insulet announced plans to partner for the Loop program, making the Omnipod DASH the first device that will be supported by Tidepool Loop. The vision for Tidepool Loop is to support a range of pump and CGM devices. From their site: “We expect the Tidepool Loop app to be compatible with at least one, and hopefully many more commercial, in-warranty insulin pumps.” They’re working closely with pump vendors on their “iPump” capabilities, hoping to get a number of companies on board—putting the choice of CGM and pump more firmly in the hands of the patient looking to Loop.
How will the Tidepool Loop Project be funded?
On December 13, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and JDRF announced a $6 million collaborative grant agreement to provide Tidepool with the initial funding it needs to begin developing Tidepool Loop for the iOS App Store as an FDA-regulated mobile application. Through this partnership, The Helmsley Charitable Trust and JDRF will provide Tidepool with funds to expand its software development and customer support operation.
Learn much more and get all of your questions answered over on the Tidepool Blog. Stay tuned for updates about the Tidepool Loop project.