Evolution of Technology

Insulin

Insulin was discovered in 1921 and it was not until 1982 when the first commercially available biosynthetic human insulin was sold. For many years insulin was self-administered from a vial. Patients would use a 28 to 31 gauge needle to place on a syringe and draw up a designated amount of insulin. Insulin would then be injected into their abdomen, upper arm, buttocks, hip, or thigh. They would discard the needle after use. By 1985, the insulin pen was created and patients would insert a 4-12.7mm pen needle on the pen and dial up the correct amount of insulin to be given in their abdomen. A needle was still needed but the vehicle insulin came in was more user-friendly, easier to handle, and more convenient. However, it did not solve the problem for patients who sought an option other than using needles.