JDRF backs EOPatch, a tiny, wearable insulin pump

By Jonah Comstock
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The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has partnered with South Korean medical device company EOFlow to accelerate the development of EOPatch, the company's wearable insulin pump.

"JDRF is working hard to reduce the burden of living with Type 1 diabetes while we search for ways to cure this disease," Jaime Giraldo, Ph.D., research scientist at JDRF, said in a statement. "Innovation in automated insulin delivery devices and artificial pancreas (AP) systems will help to significantly improve health and quality of life for people with [Type 1 diabetes]. Next-generation wearable designs that are smaller and employ user-centric design will remove barriers that prevent some people, especially small children, from using these life-saving and life-changing glucose management devices."

EOPatch is a wearable, adhesive insulin pump with a handheld touchscreen-enabled controller that closely resembles a smartphone. The device's size is its primary differentiator. It measures 49.5 by 32 by 12.6 millimeters and weighs less than an ounce. This makes the device especially good for children, JDRF says, since they are smaller and more burdened by bulky devices. 

JDRF will fund clinical trials for the device, which it hopes will eventually act as not only an insulin pump, but as a full closed-loop system to deliver insulin, a significant step along the way to an artificial pancreas.

"We are very excited that EOFlow is partnering with the world's leading private nonprofit funder of [Type 1 diabetes] research to accelerate the development of this wearable automated insulin delivery system," EOFLow CEO Jesse Kim, said in a statement. "JDRF is a partner that believes in our vision of a small, practical, fully functional artificial pancreas system that can be used by anyone with [Type 1 diabetes] to help live a fuller life." 

JDRF is a mission-driven nonprofit that has invested quite a bit in various digital health companies working on Type 1 diabetes. It helped fund Bigfoot Biomedical's automated insulin delivery service smartloop last year. It has also worked with IBM on using machine learning to identify and treat Type 1 diabetes and worked with the DIY diabetes patient community, as well.

EOFlow has been working on its product since 2011. It recently received regulatory clearance from South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

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