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Story behind Not Just a Patch

Pete Lomas: diabetes innovation

Welcome back to T1 Dialogues, the podcast that delves into the world of type 1 diabetes and shares inspiring stories from specialists and individuals who are making a difference in the world of diabetes. We’re thrilled to announce that Pete is back on air, shaking off the cobwebs and embarking on a new chapter with Jackson (@jackabetic) as a co-hosts. In our latest episode, Jackson wastes no time “flipping the script” and turns the spotlight on Pete Lomas, a remarkable individual with an incredible journey.

During the podcast, Pete generously shares his personal story of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He shares this journey, revealing the highs and lows that ultimately led him to creating the CGM patch brand, ‘Not Just a Patch’. Pete’s relentless pursuit of creating ‘a better patch’ has resulted in the recent development of the new AIR patches.

As someone with a medical background, Pete understands the critical importance of community support. He emphasizes his commitment to the cause by actively supporting “Insulin 4 All” and offering financial support grants to specialists and clinics that go above and beyond in assisting the diabetic community. Pete’s impact extends beyond his entrepreneurial endeavors, as he has also launched a stylish insulin pen cooling case through Penguin Cooling Case ( ), addressing both functionality and fashion for those managing diabetes.

As an innovative thinker, Pete is currently working on a ground-breaking diabetes management technology company, the details of which will be announced at a later date. 

We have transcribed the podcast below.
Listen to it here: Diabetic Entrepreneur – the story behind Not Just a Patch by The T1Dialogues (
Watch the interview: 

Diagnosis Story 

I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for 17 years, I got diagnosed when I was 30 years old. I was living in London at the time um I was working really hard. I was enjoying my work but when I look back I do wonder if the stress associated (to living and working in London) was anything to do with it (being triggered with type 1 diabetes). Its just a question that I have. I was also training for the London Marathon and it was kind of winter time, so it was quite chilly. My memories of that time was that in the mornings (on my way into work) I’d go to this shop and I’d get a juice that was like the size of half my body – it was like like a fresh juice – cold and sugary and I’d sit at my desk and I would suck it down and i didn’t (it seemed normal) but I was peeing excessively. I thought the juice was healthy and hydrating.Then my eyesight all of a sudden got blurry and I remember because I’ve always had great eyesight. Particularly back then. And I remember thinking what the hell’s going on. I went to an optometrist and he did an eye test. He’s like yep, you need glasses and I was like okay, I need glasses now, but I still didn’t really put anything together and I wasn’t concerned about anything.

When I was talking to a mate back in Australia randomly, I mentioning how much I was drinking and how much I was peeing and my blurry vision. He was like Pete either you’ve got rabies or you’ve got diabetes. I think he was joking about the rabies, I don’t think they’re the symptoms.

So I went into Boots, a local pharmacy chain and picked up a (blood glucose) test kit I tested myself and I was off the charts. I went into my GP like the next day or something (not worried) because I felt fine. I (believed) I was skinny because I was training for the marathon, because I was running quite a bit, however, when I went to the GP she tested me, and was like “yeah you’ve got diabetes and you need to go to the hospital now.”

I felt fine so I said to her “look I’ve got a busy day at work, I feel fine, I’ll go after work because I’ve got stuff I need to do”

She was like “well if you don’t get a taxi to the hospital I’m going to call an ambulance.
You shouldn’t even be sitting up awake right now”

I went to the hospital they’re like ‘yep you got diabetes’.
They said “don’t eat honey and here’s some test strips and some Insulin good luck” and that was really it. I didn’t really have any much engagement with the healthcare system after that. The Healthcare System the UK is great and it’s always there if you need it but I just got on with it.

Yeah that’s my story anyway

When you say you got on with it did you run the marathon?

Yeah, sort of. The marathon that was in April, I finished it and it was my first marathon. I think I did like 3 hours 20 minutes, which I was a bit disappointed with because a guy in the office I worked in he did 3 hours and he was old and overweight. 

Jack: Well you have a great excuse…

Pete:  I don’t think (being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes) was an excuse at all. I mean Steve Redgrave was an Olympic rower so I don’t think having diabetes is really an excuse.
nd then you’ve got Jack Trigger over there in the UK who’s a solo around the world yachtsman…

But these guys aren’t diagnosed before they race.

True, true, true.  When I think back when I wonder how the hell did I run a marathon without a CGM? I think I did 3 marathons, all without a CGM.  I think about it now and go; “wow” it’s kind of a scary prospect just to be alive for a day without a CGM. These days the idea of not having a CGM on makes me anxious, you’d be running in the dark (not knowing your blood glucose reading). What I did was run with a little blood glucose testing kit and also had people around with test kits and I’d stop and test. I trained quite a lot, so through the training you figure out how much short a long acting insulin to have how much to drop it down to. I think back then my long acting (insulin) was really low. My daily long acting was like around 15 units or something so for the marathon I think I went down to like five units (long acting insulin) or something like that. I also carried lots of sugar with me lots of those little sugary sachets and drank every sugary drink I could get.

I’m glad you survived because you uh went on to create not just I did I did so tell me about that you you know you saw my little I guess documentary of trying to figure out when he sensors on yeah how did you come about this and then launch not just the patch

Not Just a Patch

The idea was my own original idea. I was wearing a (FreeStyle) Libre and started swimming more, I was also doing yoga it (FreeStyle Libre sensor) was getting loose. It used to bug me that between day 7 and 10 the edges would start lifting up. Even if I didn’t do much the edges would just start lifting up and I was paying (full price) back then and that was $200 a month or $100 a pop, every two weeks. So the expense and the annoyance, so by like day 10 you’d be getting anxious. I’d be constantly monitoring it, checking on it, feeling it. Most of the time – even if I wasn’t that active – the edges would lift and by day 11, 12, 13 it would stop working. It was actually rare that it got to day 14 and was fully functional. 

I dealt with that for maybe a year or so and when I started swimming, as I was training for like some swimming stuff, I couldn’t do 20 laps without it (FreeStyle Libre sensor) coming off.

This coupled with me listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast… I was listening to Tim Ferriss because like he’s in the ‘startup’ world. You learn stuff. The interesting thing is you listen to that stuff because you hope it might spark something.

In December when I listened to that podcast… You know that time of year when you reflect and you’re like right, New Year like (its time to do) something different. With this podcast and the fact that I’d been taping down my CGM everyday that I woke up one morning in January and decided to commercialize on the (CGM) patch idea.
Making a patch was an independent thought, so the reason that’s a good thing is that starting your own business bloody hard work. There’s copycats out there now but if I was a copycat if I was someone who saw someone else do it and just wanted to copy the idea, I just wouldn’t have the energy. I wouldn’t do it. I’d half-ass it. So I think that’s the good thing that it was an independent thought. I brought something to market that was a brand I really believe in and I was just motivated to get it out into the world.

Now we’re now selling 65 countries. We’re well known in Australia. I think we’re pretty well known in the community in general now. It’s really rewarding to think I built a brand that is pretty much well known in the community. Our CGM patch is in like 5,000 Walgreens and like 3,000 CVS stores in the US. Business is growing and I love it.

This is a great segue because you’re still innovating the patch.

yeah, yeah. The ‘Not Just A Patch’ name came about because I didn’t want to just make a patch. I know people have fun with the name, but it’s not just a patch because it’s about community and it’s about like giving back to the community. We give back. It’s about fun and perspective. What I advocate for is fun and perspective. I like to try and encourage people (with diabetes) to be optimistic to think that there are people out there worse off. So I am committed to evolve the designs and materials.

But god it’s hard work. We’ve just going to have to make better patches. That’s what Not Just A Pach: AIR is about. I personally like it because it’s softer, much lighter and thinner. When it sets it sets stronger than the average CGM patch.

AIR patches

To summarize from the transcript;
Pete goes on to acknowledge the challenges of developing a perfect CGM patch due to the skin’s unpredictable reactions to various substances. However, he emphasizes the need to keep innovating and striving for a better patch. Not Just a Patch’s latest development, the AIR patches, use a softer and lighter material that offers a more comfortable experience.

AIR patches packaging

Pete then discusses the Grants Funding Program program, which is focused on supporting healthcare professionals in the diabetes space. Having worked in the healthcare field for a long time, Pete expresses his concern for the underappreciation of healthcare professionals, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Not Just a Patch has established the grant program to provide financial support to diabetes nurses and healthcare professionals. The grants aim to assist those making a significant impact in the diabetes space. The funding can be utilized for diabetes-related purposes such as career education or clinic improvements. For more information or to apply visit

The combination of continuous innovation and community support shines through as Pete discusses the development of AIR patches and the grants program, both of which are geared towards improving the lives of individuals living with diabetes and the healthcare professionals who serve them.

Penguin Cooling Case

Pete recalls how the idea for the Penguin Cooling Case came to him while using a Frio case. Inspired by the water-absorbing crystals technology, he envisioned a cooling case that not only functioned well but also had an appealing design. The evaporative case works by wetting the crystals, allowing them to absorb water and when its damp it can maintain a lower temperature inside the case, keeping the insulin pen cool. So Pete created the Penguin Cooling Case, an aluminum case with an aesthetic design that offers a practical and stylish solution to keep insulin pen cool during outings to fancy restaurants or dates. While designing the product posed some challenges, Pete is satisfied with the result and is already planning improvements for future versions.

Penguin Cooling Case

To learn more about the Penguin Cooling Cases visit

The wrap up

In their closing words, Pete and Jackson express their gratitude for the listeners and invite them to provide feedback on the podcast and to suggest potential guests for future episodes. They reveal their intention to release episodes on a monthly basis and hint at the possibility of increasing the frequency. Pete appreciates having a co-host, finding it more enjoyable and less daunting than speaking alone to the camera. Jackson expresses his excitement and gratitude for being part of the podcast. The duo encourages listeners to tune in, subscribe, rate, and share the podcast with others.

And between you and me, there is a hidden bonus at the end of the YouTube video that didn’t make it into the podcast.