How to keep your insulin cool in summer
As a Type 1 diabetic, one of the things that makes me anxious in the sweaty days of mid-summer is keeping my insulin cool. I’m out and about a lot, and climbing into a baking hot car with my insulin pen in my bag is always worrying, because I know that insulin denatures over 30◦C. The trickiest part, of course, is that there’s no way of knowing if your insulin has overheated and denatured, except by injecting as usual and getting higher than usual blood sugar readings. The worst!
For years I’ve tried to find a solution to this problem. I’ve put my insulin in cooling packs, tried to leave my insulin at home (which means not eating if I’m not at home – not a sustainable solution) and even wrapped my insulin in wet paper towels in the hope that it would keep cool! I hate wasting insulin, but I hate high blood sugar more – and if your insulin has denatured it just doesn’t work any more, so it has to be thrown out.
And then I found the ViViCap1, and I can’t tell you what a relief it is! It replaces the cap on your insulin pen and keeps the insulin inside at a steady temperature – no matter how hot it is outside. (I’ve been in 38◦C heat and it’s been totally fine.) It’s quite a revolutionary product, so I asked Matthew Wray from ViViCap1 to tell us more about it…
What is the ViViCap1?
ViviCap1 is a revolutionary temperature shielding device for insulin pens. It simply replaces the cap of the insulin pen and can travel with you, bringing you year-round peace of mind that your insulin is safe to use, even in extreme temperatures.
What makes it so unique?
ViViCap1 requires no batteries and no charging. There is a phase changing formula within the cylinder of ViViCap1. This is a NASA patented technology used to control temperature within the walls of spacecraft without using power. When your ViViCap1 and insulin are exposed to temperatures from 28◦C, the formula activates itself, turns from a solid state to a liquid state, rushes around and prevents heat from reaching your insulin. Even in extreme heat, your insulin will never exceed a safe 26◦C. As soon as the ambient temperature drops to 26◦C and below, the ViViCap1 regenerates itself. The ViViCap1 I endorsed by the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology (CDE).
Why is it so important for insulin to be kept cool?
Insulin is extremely sensitive to changes in temperature. If not regulated properly, the insulin will spoil and could prove very dangerous for the person with diabetes if the insulin has no effect.
Is there any way to know if your insulin has denatured because of heat?
The ViViCap1 has a green light indicator which assures you that your insulin stored in the ViViCap1 is safely protected against heat. If, in some extreme example, the insulin in the ViViCap1 has been compromised due to heat exposure, the light will turn red and that red light will serve as your warning that your insulin is now compromised and not safe to use.
How is the ViViCap1 different to a cooler bag?
A cooler bag will only keep things cool for as long as the cooler bag can stay cool. Ever been on a long road trip? Nothing stays at the required temperature for extended periods. The ViViCap1 will activate itself when the ambient temperature gets to 28◦C and if that temperature is constant for 12 hours straight (daylight), ViViCap1 will keep the insulin at 26◦C no matter what the ambient temperature is. A cooler bag has no stop/start mechanism and therefore can only lose heat.
Where can people find out more or buy one?
ViViCap1 is available at the CDE pharmacy and can be ordered by all CDE centres through the CDE pharmacy. It is also available at Clicks nationwide. Some Clicks stores may need to order for the patient, but most will have in stock. It can also be purchased online at www.tempramed.co.za through our online store. It is priced from R1300 with a two-year guarantee. Find out more at www.tempramed.co.za
Any questions? Email Matthew Wray for answers.