Patch Pumps: Are They All the Same?

J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2019 Jan;13(1):34-40. doi: 10.1177/1932296818795150. Epub 2018 Aug 22.


Insulin pumps are used by a steadily increasing number of patients with diabetes. Avoiding certain disadvantages of conventional pumps (ie, the insulin infusion set) might make pump therapy even more attractive. Patch pumps are usually attached by means of an adhesive layer to the skin and have several additional advantages (smaller, more discrete, easier to use, and cheaper than conventional insulin pumps). This review provides a general overview of patch pumps, the technologies used, basic clinical requirements, why a number of developments failed, which clinical studies are needed to provide sufficient evidence for their usage, which costs are associated, what the patient preferences are (which might differ between certain patient groups), and what is the future of patch pumps (ie, artificial pancreas systems).

Keywords: infusion sets; insulin pumps; insulin therapy; patch pumps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin Infusion Systems / economics
  • Insulin Infusion Systems / trends*
  • Patient Preference
  • Transdermal Patch*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wireless Technology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin