When to folks in the lab coats develop things to make living with diabetes a little easier - like pumps and continuous glucose monitors (also known as Roses and Dexters) - I'm pretty sure they have to run them through a whole barrage of tests.
Like how well the infusion sites stick.
Do they hold on after a shower? After two showers?
Does the CGM receiver receive a signal when the transmitter is on your stomach and you are sleeping face down under a mound of blankets?
How much pulling can the infusion site take before it rips off? Can it survive if you drop the pump and it's dangling at the end of the tubing? Can it survive if the tubing gets caught on a doorknob as you stroll by? As you run by?
How cold can it be before everything stops working right? How hot?
If someone sleeps on top of their insulin pump, while buried under a pile of blankets, for oh, say, 8 hours, is that hot enough to cook the insulin into uselessness?
So many things to test - no wonder it takes so long for new products to reach the consumers.
After the last few weeks, I'm working if I should contact Animas and Dexcom to let them know about a few more tests that I've been running on their products.
I like to call them the CoreFit Challenges.
The Pressure Test: Take a stability ball. Lie on it with all of your weight on your stomach. Ideally, directly on top of the Dexcom transmitter. Bend forward to put as much pressure on the transmitter as possible. Lift up using your back muscles. This will stretch out your stomach and pull the skin as tight as possible. Hope like hell the transmitter does not rip off. Repeat, oh, I don't don't, 10,000 times.
The Pump Clip Test: Clip your pump to your workout shorts. Begin class. Move pump around to the back in order to lie on your side. Then move pump back to the side in order to lie on your back. Move to stomach in order to lie on your side. Move from stomach to back in order to lie on your stomach. Hope clip is strong enough to handle 60 minutes of sweaty-palmed not-so-gentle manipulations. Repeat twice a week until pump clip disintegrates.
The Up and Down Test: I could probably get a job at Dexcom or Animas right now simply based on the knowledge I have re what happens to diabetes products during a long run. Running involves a lot of bouncing up and down but it's an up and down forward motion. I have never tested these things in a purely up and down fashion while waving my arms in various directions. As in while doing jumping jacks. Or while jumping up, spinning 180 degrees and landing. After each set I reach down to check if Dexter is still there because all the bouncing makes it feel like he's ripping off.
The Vibration Test: I dislike beeping noises so I have switched every pump alarm I can on my pump to vibrate. I never miss an alarm when I'm sitting at my desk. I rarely miss one while sleeping (although Doug may argue with that statement). Can the vibrations be felt while madly doing jumping jacks? While doing football runs? And, more importantly, will the vibrations cause me to lose my balance while in a side plank with one arm and one leg in the air?
Dexcom. Animas. If you have any questions about how your products performed during the CoreFit Challenge, please don't hesitate to contact me.