Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of “So, You Think You Know Diabetes”! Now, last week, we covered pumps, the current technology in insulin care. And at the end, I said that I was going to come back this week and cover…
Well, here I am. And the future is getting ever closer to becoming the “now”. Introducing…
Yes. There is new and upcoming technology called the artificial pancreas that is supposed to do much more than what the insulin pump currently provides diabetics. Are you standing there with a confused look on your face. Here, let me explain.
In 2006, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) started the Artificial Pancreas Project in 2006, in order to eventually come to the ultimate goal of having a fully functional artificial pancreas that can take a lot of the work and worry out of diabetes management. Slowly, but surely, little advancements in the science have pushed this goal ever closer. Starting with the development and usage of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) (which the FDA first approved in 2004 for patient use), to the development of the “closed-loop system” that is showing promise in clinical trials.
Speaking of, you probably just looked at “closed-loop”and went “huh?”. Easier to explain. Simply: In order for an artificial pancreas system to function completely like a healthy human pancreas, it has to be able to completely automatic in the release of insulin. That sounds promising, doesn’t it? I know it does for me. That’s where the FDA comes in.
Meet the Medtronic MiniMed 670G Hybrid Closed-Loop System. It’s the latest advancement in artificial pancreas technology. The reason why it’s a hybrid closed-loop system is because it’s not completely automated. It only will administer the basal dosage; not calculate and deliver bolus dosages for mealtimes and other corrections. But, this is just the beginning. Technology continues to advance further along, and there will come a time in the not-so-distant future that a system like this will be able to do both basal and bolus deliveries, with little manual corrections from the diabetic.
This is a topic that I’m really going to follow for probably the rest of my life. After being a main support pillar for a diabetic for seven years, diabetes awareness has become part of my focus in life. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this series for you to read today.
I hope this gets both diabetes and non-diabetics excited for the future. I’m including a read below. It’s going to be rather lengthy, thick, and full of a lot of medical and legal terminology that will make even an expert’s head spin. But, I think it’ll be worth reading through it. So, until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.