The CeQur Simplicity is a mealtime insulin patch.
This new, unique device needs a bit of explanation. It is not an insulin pump. It attaches to the body, and then it does exactly one thing: With a click, it delivers two units of fast-acting insulin.
If you use multiple daily injections (MDI) of fast-acting insulin before meals, the CeQur patch offers enhanced discretion and convenience. This review should help you decide if it’s worth a try.
CeQur (pronounced “secure”) kindly provided me with a sample package for this review. All words and thoughts are my own.
What Is It?
The CeQur Simplicity is a thin, plastic, single-use device that attaches directly to your skin with an adhesive. Just like an insulin pump, it delivers insulin under the skin through a cannula, or tiny tube. After three days, you toss it in the trash and apply a new patch.
You load the patch up with insulin before attaching it to your body. It’s approved for use with Humalog and Novolog U-100 insulins — fast-acting insulin for meals (and blood sugar corrections). This insulin patch does not deliver insulin continuously and cannot be used for basal insulin requirements.
This patch has no electronic components at all. It doesn’t have a battery, and it doesn’t sync up with a smartphone or receiver. It has only one function. By clicking two plastic tabs simultaneously, it delivers exactly two units of insulin. You can click it multiple times in a row to deliver four, six, or eight units of insulin, and so on. (The tabs are on opposite sides of the patch, making it incredibly unlikely that they get pressed accidentally.)
You wear the CeQur patch on your belly or abdomen. It’s light and easy to wear, water-resistant, and low profile. It is extremely easy to use discreetly — you can click the two tabs through a shirt or other clothing, allowing you to bolus at a restaurant or meeting without anyone noticing the slightest thing.
Getting the patch fully loaded and onto your body does take more than a few steps:
Fill the special syringe with 100 to 200 units of your fast-acting insulin.
Inject that insulin to the patch’s reservoir.
Prime the patch to remove air bubbles and get insulin loaded into the tubing.
Load the patch into a special hard plastic inserter and snap it into position.
Expose the needle and adhesive.
Complete the insertion.
Carefully remove (and dispose of) the needle.
The needle, to tell the truth, appeared menacingly long once it was exposed. But I found the application completely painless, even less painful than inserting a CGM. I didn’t even feel a pinch.
But all these steps do mean that insertion has a learning curve and can’t be accomplished on the run. You can see how it works in this YouTube video.
(I appreciate, by the way, that the CeQur system reuses the inserter, which reduces plastic waste.)
Who Is It For?
Anyone that uses multiple daily mealtime injections to manage their type 1 or type 2 diabetes may benefit from the CeQur.
But you’ll get the most value out of this device if you:
Currently use MDI
Use a vial and syringe, not insulin pens
Use 25-plus units of fast-acting insulin per day
Are content with your basal insulin injections
Wish you could deliver your mealtime insulin in a faster, easier, and more discreet manner
The CeQur patch might also be an improvement for those with “needlephobia,” dramatically reducing the number of times you need to stick yourself with an exposed needle.
The device is definitely not for everyone. Anyone that already uses an insulin pump has no need for it. If you use insulin pens, as opposed to syringes and vials, the system probably won’t work for you either. And if you use fewer than 25 units of fast-acting insulin per day, it might not make sense for you.
Once I had the CeQur patch on my body, it worked exactly as it was supposed to.
I really appreciated removing the annoyance of using my syringe and vial every time I ate. I was able to bolus two units effortlessly, whenever I wanted, without reaching for my diabetes supplies or even lifting up my shirt. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lazily decided not to eat an apple just because I didn’t want to bother measuring and injecting my insulin (and have instead opted for low-carb-but-high-calorie cheese, nuts, or dark chocolate).
I also loved how it reduced the number of diabetes supplies I needed to carry around outside of the house.
CeQur claims that its device leads directly to improvements in A1C and time in range. It didn’t help my control, but I suppose it could be a real advantage for patients who regularly allow the hassle of injection to prevent them from properly bolusing (and prebolusing) for meals. Once the patch is on your body, delivering a bolus is incredibly easy.
The truth is that I wouldn’t wear these patches during my normal everyday life. I have the good luck to be fairly insulin sensitive, and I eat pretty low carb on top of that. I often dose for one, three, or five units at a time, so the count-by-twos dosing reduces my flexibility. More importantly, I almost never use enough rapid insulin to empty a 100-unit reservoir every three days. I would end up throwing quite a lot of insulin in the trash — waste I could never live with, even if I could afford it.
But there are times when I know I’ll need more insulin and appreciate the enhanced discretion. On vacation, for example, I eat more carbs than usual, and I eat out for many meals. And I’m less likely to have tried-and-true carb counts and insulin doses to lean on. It’s a perfect time to use the CeQur. I would love to just click my patch during meals, rather than repeatedly brandishing my syringe at a restaurant.
You can arrange a trial of the CeQur Simplicity insulin patch by first scheduling a telehealth appointment. If you’re interested in getting started for real, talk to your doctor: The CeQur patch requires a prescription to use. The manufacturer reports that its device is covered by many insurance carriers.