The Diabetes tech timeline - insulin pump timeline

The Diabetes tech timeline - insulin pump timeline

With the current hype about CGM (cgm continuous glucose monitoring), I decided last month to do some research around key dates of diabetes technology and diabetes in general.  

As a visual person with diabetes type 1 myself, this Diabetes tech timeline is my first attempt to put on paper some of the several important discoveries starting with the development of a copper reagent for urine glucose by Benedict.

Hopefully, to pin down some key dates and have a more visual representation of diabetes research. This is not by any means, an official refined timeline. Actually, through my many searches on Google, diabetes publications and a wide selection of books of diabetes I encountered some contradictions in terms of dates.

If you have found any discrepancies, have any important data, or you just want to say hi, please write to 🙂


The Diabetes Technology Timeline


Key dates

1908 - Benedict developed a copper reagent for urine glucose.

1921 - Frederick Banting and Charles H. Best discovered the hormone insulin in pancreatic extracts of dogs.

1963 - The first insulin pump was developed by Dr Arnold Kadish. It delivered both glucagon and insulin (only available for clinical use).

1965 - Ames developed the first blood glucose test strip, the Dextrostix, using glucose oxidase.

1971 - Glucose meter patent by Anton Hubert Clemens for commercial purposes.

1976 - Insulin pump - A more wearable version was later devised by Dean Kamen (portable infusion pump). Kamen formed a company called "AutoSyringe" to market the product, which he sold to Baxter Healthcare in 1981. The pump known as the “Big Blue Brick” was marketed in 1978.

1976 - CGM? - First commercial closed-loop bedside device in 1974-1976, the Biostator created by Miles Laboratories (about $55,000 in 1982). The patient was confined to a bed or a chair, the machine checked glucose levels and needed constant supervision to recalibrate the glucose (also delivered insulin). This was the first closed-loop system!

1979 - Tamborlane and Sherwin designed a battery-operated SC insulin pump.

1979 - The glucose kinetics model by Bergman and Cobelli.

1983 - First commercial insulin pump MiniMed 502.

1999 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first “professional” CGM, with which the patient was blinded to glucose data collected for 3 days, the MiniMed by Medtronic.



Development and Evaluation of a Glucose Analyzer for a Glucose Controlled Insulin Infusion System (Biostator) (

Diabetes: The Biography by Robert Tattersall (p151-152) (

From pancreatic extracts to artificial pancreas: History, science and controversies about the discovery of the pancreatic antidiabetic hormone - Edition Jan-Feb 2011 (

Inflammatory Response to Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Systems and the Effect on Insulin Absorption submitted by Dipl. Ing. Jasmin Renée Hauzenberger, BSc. - Department of Internal Medicine Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology 2017 (

The Discovery of Insulin: An Important Milestone in the History of Medicine - Frontiers in Endocrinology - October 23 2018  (

The history of insulin pumps, Diabetes Support Forum UK (

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