Freescale’s Integrated MCU Powers OmniPod Insulin Pump for Diabetes Management

Freescale Semiconductor has designed a fully integrated microcontroller (MCU) solution that powers the second generation of Insulet’s OmniPod, the revolutionary tubeless, wireless insulin pump. Freescale’s integrated technology has helped make the new OmniPod one-third smaller, one-quarter lighter and much more power-efficient to help people with diabetes lead a more active life.

Freescale Semiconductor’s fully integrated microcontroller (MCU) solution powers the second generation of Insulet's OmniPod, the revolutionary tubeless, wireless insulin pump. (Photo: Business Wire)

The OmniPod System – comprised of a body-worn Pod and a handheld Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) – relies on Freescale technology to wirelessly control insulin delivery and management. People with diabetes attach the waterproof Pod to a discrete and convenient location on the body, where it delivers both basal and bolus doses of insulin for up to three days. For connectivity, the OmniPod relies on a Freescale custom 8-bit MCU (based on the ultra-low-power S08 architecture) with integrated RF wireless technology. The PDM measures and displays blood glucose levels, wirelessly programs insulin delivery and even calculates suggested doses based on a food database. This handheld device is powered by a Freescale i.MX applications processor, in addition to the wireless 8-bit MCU.

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“This application-specific system-on-chip for Insulet’s OmniPod is the latest example of an innovative Freescale medical solution aimed at helping people live healthier lives,” said Geoff Lees, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller business. “We combined our control and connectivity expertise for an easy-to-use, tubeless, wireless insulin pump that is helping change the lives of people with diabetes by giving them new-found freedom and continuous control of their insulin intake.”

By using Freescale’s integrated solution, Insulet was able to reduce the size and power consumption of the new OmniPod, further simplifying insulin pump therapy and shrinking the Pod by 33 percent. Additionally, the battery requirement dropped from four to three, while allowing the Pod to maintain its three-day useable life. Freescale also helped Insulet increase the communication range between the PDM and the Pod from two to five feet by changing the wireless technology to a proprietary sub-1GHz solution. The end result of Freescale’s added integration is a smaller and even easier to use diabetes management solution.

“The OmniPod is a revolutionary, tubeless insulin pump, and Freescale has helped make possible the second generation, which gives people an even easier and more discreet way to deliver insulin and manage their diabetes,” said Kevin Schmid, Insulet’s vice president of Business and Advanced Technology Development. “We partnered with Freescale because of their strong product portfolio, technical support and their commitment to the medical market. Their thorough understanding of our business has helped to forge a solid partnership.”

Diabetes is a life-threatening condition that affects an estimated 285 million people worldwide, according to the world diabetes foundation. That number is expected to grow to 438 million by the year 2030. Freescale is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives by driving innovation and providing high quality technical solutions that enable companies like Insulet to develop breakthrough medical products.

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