Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hero Status

For some reason I envisioned the artificial pancreas as being an internal thing: I thought they removed the pancreas and replaced it with technology.

I know. I'm weird. How would you load it with insulin? You wouldn't, that's how.

It's actually an external device.

It's a good thing I wasn't on the team working on this because I
would have screwed it up royally.
Right now it's going thorugh human trials. The continuous glucose monitor on the right monitors the blood sugar. It then communicates instructions to the insulin pump on the left, telling it to increase or decrease the insulin being delivered to the patient. This actually looks very similar to what many diabetics are wearing right now, but at this moment they don't have the whole communicating-together thing. A person still has to read the CGM and then make insulin adjustments on the pump.

But this is why we support JDRF. They funded the research which led to the development of the artificial pancreas, and they fund the research that is making the trials possible. And while we are still years away from this being a reality for any diabetic, we are also years from where we started: when diabetics "managed" thier disease by not eating sugar and had a 1-year life expectancy from diagnosis.

Help us support JDRF: share this blog, tell people about the show, and come yourself. That way on that day in the future, when you meet someone wearing an artificial pancreas, you can say, "I helped fund the research that made that possible." Trust me, you will be a hero.

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