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'Mill Hill Infuser', the first portable insulin infusion pump, London, England, 1976

'Mill Hill Infuser', the first portable insulin infusion pump, London, England, 1976

Credits: Science Museum

Made at the National Institute for Medical Research, based in Mill Hill, London, this so-called ‘Mill Hill Infuser’ was the first portable insulin infusion pump made to treat diabetes. Ordinarily, insulin is released from the pancreas to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Diabetes is a condition where insulin cannot be produced by the body. Too high levels or too low levels of glucose can be dangerous to a person’s health. Worn at all times, a battery driven pump delivers insulin through a plastic tube inserted into the skin at a controlled rate, which can be varied if necessary. Insulin infusion pumps are considered to be a more convenient way of taking insulin rather than by injection. Inhalers, patches and pills have also been developed.

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    Glossary: insulin infusion pump

    No description.

    Glossary: diabetes

    This term refers to any form of metabolic disorder characterized by extreme thirst and excess urine production.

    Glossary: insulin

    A hormone that causes the body's cells to take up glucose from the blood. (Diabetes is the loss of control of the body's levels of insulin.)

    Glossary: diseases of affluence

    A phrase that refers to diseases that are considered to be a result of increasing wealth within a society. Unlike diseases of poverty, they tend to be non-infectious and include coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, certain cancers and clinical conditions such as obesity. However, as habits change within a society, strict definitions of what are diseases of affluence often change.