The Diabetes tech timeline - insulin pump timeline

The Diabetes technology timeline - insulin pump timeline including DIY Diabetes Looping

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 many 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 insulin pump 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 (specially regarding the insulin pump timeline).

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

insulin pump 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.

2005 - Insulet Corp. released the first-of-its-kind tubeless pump, “OmniPod”. Free of infusion sets, these new types of pumps were called “Patch Pumps".

2006 - Medtronic introduced the world’s first integrated diabetes management device. The “MiniMed Paradigm Real-Time” CGM and Pump system was approved by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients.

2009 - Medtronic’s MiniMed Veo was released in the international market (excluding the US), it was the first Insulin Pump equipped with Low Glucose Suspend (LGS) mechanism. 

2014 - Abbott Diabetes Care launched the first Flash Glucose Monitoring device, Freestyle Libre.

2017 - The world’s first ever Hybrid Closed Loop insulin pump was launched in the U.S. Medtronic’s “MiniMed 670G” was the first FDA-approved device to provide automated delivery of basal insulin.

2017 - Companion Medical launched “Inpen”, the first FDA-approved smart insulin pen featuring Bluetooth technology. It allowed users to track active insulin, calculate doses, and set reminders through a mobile app.

2019 - Tandem received FDA approval for the launch of t:Slim X2. It was the first commercial Alternate Controller Enabled (ACE) infusion pump, meaning it was compatible with a variety of diabetes management devices.

👉 March 2023 Update: I've added a Brief Timeline of DIY Diabetes Looping




  1. Development and Evaluation of a Glucose Analyzer for a Glucose Controlled Insulin Infusion System (Biostator) (
  2. Diabetes: The Biography by Robert Tattersall (p151-152) (
  3. From pancreatic extracts to artificial pancreas: History, science and controversies about the discovery of the pancreatic antidiabetic hormone - Edition Jan-Feb 2011 (
  4. 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 (
  5. The Discovery of Insulin: An Important Milestone in the History of Medicine - Frontiers in Endocrinology - October 23 2018  (
  6. The history of insulin pumps, Diabetes Support Forum UK (
  7. The OmniPod Insulin Management System: the latest innovation in insulin pump therapy - PMC
  8. Insulin Pump With Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring Receives FDA Approval
  9. Innovation Milestones | Medtronic Diabetes // Medtronic Paradigm Veo may shield against hypoglycemia - Health Jockey
  10. Abbott Receives European Approval to Launch the Freestyle Libre System – Glucose Monitoring Without Fingersticks
  11. Medtronic Initiates U.S. Launch of World's First Hybrid Closed Loop System for Type 1 Diabetes
  12. Companion Medical Announces U.S. Commercial Launch of Smart Insulin Pen System
  13. FDA authorizes first interoperable insulin pump intended to allow patients to customize treatment through their individual diabetes management devices
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