If sugar ranges, finger pricks, and blood insulin shots aren’t far from the tip of your thoughts, take heart, people suffering from diabetes: the FDA has recently approved the first manufactured pancreas – a hybrid closed-loop system that comes with an insulin pump accompanied by a continuous glucose monitor. This fabulous invention does not only rapidly stop the insulin pump in case the patient’s blood glucose level falls too low, but can even anticipate the drop, which will help prevent it before it happens.
This kind of level of automation opens an exciting new world for diabetes sufferers, decreasing the need to be on consistent alert regarding their condition, including concern with overnight sugar lows.
“You get almost normalized overnight blood glucose. For people with Type 1 diabetes, that’s massively important,” states Aaron Kowalski, chief mission officer for the JDRF, which has funded the bulk of research. “The diabetes isn’t gone, but [wearers] can think about it less …This is a historic milestone.”
While right now there are still modifications to be worked through, including the length of time necessary for the insulin delivered to take effect and the accessibility of the CGM component, for many, the improved quality of life to be realized is important.
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