Smart Pens in Diabetes Management

What Is a Smart Pen and a Smart Pen Platform?

Written By: ADCES staff. In collaboration with Lilly Diabetes


Facilitating Insulin management With Smart Pens

A smart pen is an insulin pen device that communicates with a mobile app to track insulin delivery, such as the timing and dose of insulin given.

Smart pen technologies include reusable insulin pens or smart cap/attachments that attach to a disposable, pre-filled, insulin pen.

Smart pen platforms provide people with diabetes personalized information and guidance through smart pen technology integration with an app that can capture blood glucose readings, insulin dosing data, and other behavior metrics such as physical activity and carbohydrate intake.


What Are The Benefits Of A Smart Pen Platform?

Smart pens can facilitate insulin management for patients and providers by:

  • Recording insulin doses in real time
  • Accurately tracking of insulin delivery
  • Eliminating the need to manually log insulin doses and blood glucose readings
  • Identifying potential insulin stacking by monitoring insulin on board
  • Enabling accurate insulin doses using a bolus calculator

Smart pens provide access to comprehensive data by adding key information (e.g., insulin dose, time of insulin delivery and blood glucose readings) that may have been missing in the past from patients’ self-reports.

  • Data from the smart pen can provide deeper insights by integration with other personalized technologies, such as glucose values from CGM devices.

How Can Using Smart Pen Platforms Help Address Barriers to Managing Diabetes?

  • Barrier: Missed doses
    • DISPLAYS LAST DOSE  Smart pen platforms display the last insulin dose given. This can help patients remember when the last dose was given and prevent missed or double dosing.
    • PROVIDES INSULIN DOSE REMINDERS  Smart pen platforms track insulin delivery and reminds patients when the next dose is due.
  • Barrier: Miscalculation of bolus dose due to limited numeracy
    • PREVENT ERRORS IN DOSE CALCULATIONS  Using a bolus calculator that determines indicated dose based on the amount of carbohydrates entered and the current glucose value helps prevent errors in dose calculations.
  • Barrier: Lack of insight on insulin dosing effects
    • PROMOTES DEEPER UNDERSTANDING  Being able to integrate and visualize the data promotes a deeper understanding of the impact that food, exercise and insulin delivery have on overall diabetes management.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Using a Smart Pen?

Any person with diabetes who:

  • Uses multiple daily injections (MDI) and has access to a compatible smart phone and app
  • Struggles to calculate doses accurately and may benefit from the bolus calculator feature available with smart pen technology
  • Misses doses and/or forgets when the last dose was given
  • Is challenged by the need for frequent blood glucose logging and may benefit from the integrated meter features that automatically transmit the reading to the app
  • Does not want to use an insulin pump, but desires access to more comprehensive data regarding their insulin dose and glucose trends

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This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your diabetes care and education specialist or health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. To find a diabetes care and education specialist near you, visit the ADCES finder tool.

ADCES and danatech curate product specifics and periodically review them for accuracy and relevance. As a result, the information may or may not be the most recent. We recommend visiting the manufacturer's website for the latest details if you have any questions.