Implantable insulin pumps are out of the market today, but they may be coming back. @Boerenkool asked in another thread a question about Medtronic’s implantable insulin pump. It has been withdrawn from the market since 2007, and was never FDA approved in the US (Medtronic never completed the application), but Medtronic still supplies spare parts. The four US patients need to fly to France every 3 months for a refill.
Here is an interesting, recent article that summarizes the present situation:
"‘The most frustrating aspect of all this is that we know that today it is possible to build a far superior implantable pump,’ [Greg Peterson] says. ‘The potential for dramatically improving our lives is real and within our reach.’ Peterson is the chair of the Implantable Pump Foundation by the way.
There’s also a San Diego startup called PhysioLogic Devices that’s been quietly working on a new implantable insulin pump and is in the early stages…"
Here is are two interesting 2011 poll/s and discussions on the Medtronic implantable insulin pump:
"With the implantable pump, I feel normal. I don’t feel like I have diabetes, and it’s because of getting a direct insulin flow that goes into the peritoneal cavity and then right to the liver. To really appreciate this phenomenon, you have to be a diabetic who’s been on subcutaneous delivery, and then you switch to the internal pump. I came back and I said, “I feel like a new man. This feels totally different. I feel normal again.”
"The quality of life is so much better, it’s just unbelievable. I can even go a day or two without eating anything, and my sugars stay 85, 90 or 95 all the time. It’s just like being a person without diabetes. You don’t have those swings, those high highs and low lows, "
“The majority do want one.”
I really liked this published medical article, which is what an actual patient thinks of the implantable pump:
"Witkowski reports that his overall experience has been extremely positive. With delivery of insulin directly into the peritoneal cavity, he feels better, has more flexibility in eating, and experiences fewer insulin reactions. "
Finally, there is the Implantable Pump Foundation site, mentioned in the very first article, a foundation aiming at supporting efforts to develop implantable insulin pumps: