27 July 2008

Artificial Pancreas 1.0

The future of diabetic management is developing:
Such a mechanical pancreas could greatly reduce the need for fingersticks and injections of insulin that diabetics must now endure several times a day, researchers told a meeting this week at the National Institutes of Health.

"I think we are on the brink of a first-generation artificial pancreas," said Dr. Roman Hovorka of Britain's University of Cambridge, who is testing some experimental devices with components by Abbott Laboratories and Medtronic, the No. 1 maker of insulin pumps and continuous monitors.

Hovorka's team has been testing devices in patients with type-1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease caused when the body mistakenly destroys the insulin-making cells in the pancreas.

A continuous glucose sensor is implanted under the skin, and transmits blood sugar readings to a monitor. A computer calculates the right dose of insulin, which is delivered by an insulin pump --- something many patients already wear.

His team is ready to send some patients home with the device, but has to work out the logistics of keeping a nurse full-time in each volunteer's home, just in case.
~ Reuters, 26 July 2008

No more painful finger-pricks, then?

No more need to list, record and constantly monitor blood sugar levels?

The wearable mini-computer sensor will determine the 'when' and the 'how-much' therapeutic management parts of diabetic decision-making.

So, does this mean they can already overeat or miss a meal and not get worried with rollercoaster blood sugar levels?


Again, we have to wait and see if it will work.
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