Sep 29, 2016

FDA clears first-ever artificial pancreas for automated insulin delivery

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Monitoring blood-glucose levels and injecting insulin to keep them in a safe range is a never-ending headache for sufferers of type 1 diabetes. A number of research projects have made promising steps recently to promise easier ways of doing things, and now this type of convenience is set to move out of the lab and into the real-world. For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a so-called artificial pancreas designed to both monitor and inject insulin automatically, requiring minimal input from the user.

In a healthy person, beta cells in the pancreas secrete vital insulin, which in turn regulates blood-sugar levels. But for sufferers of type 1 diabetes, this process breaks down along the way, requiring them to administer finger-prick blood tests to keep tabs on their insulin levels and inject the hormone as required.

For years, scientists have been exploring better ways to keep the condition in check. These have included implanting beta cells, tracking glucose levels through contact lenses and ways insulin can be delivered via a capsule rather than a needle. But perhaps the most attractive solution is what is known as a closed-loop system, which seeks to automate both monitoring and administration of insulin to dramatically reduce the burden on the user.

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  1. Royse says:

    In July of 2015, it was discovered that I had type 2 diabetes. By the end of the month, I was given a prescription for Metformin. I stated the ADA diet and followed it completely for several weeks but was unable to get my blood sugar below 140. With no results to how for my hard work, I panicked and called my doctor. His response? Deal with it. I began to feel that something wasn’t right and do my own research. Then I found Rachel’s blog . I read it from cover to cover and I started the diet and by the next morning, my blood sugar was 100. Since then, I have a fasting reading between the mid 70s and 80s. My doctor was so surprised at the results that, the next week, he took me off the Metformin. I lost 30 pounds in the first month and lost more than 6 inches off my waist and I’m able to work out twice a day while still having lots of energy. The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods.