Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Medicine Build Technology

Artificial Pancreas Shows Promise In Diabetes Test 75

An anonymous reader writes A cure for Type 1 diabetes is still far from sight, but new research suggests an artificial "bionic pancreas" holds promise for making it much more easily manageable. From the article: "Currently about one-third of people with Type 1 diabetes rely on insulin pumps to regulate blood sugar. They eliminate the need for injections and can be programmed to mimic the natural release of insulin by dispensing small doses regularly. But these pumps do not automatically adjust to the patient's variable insulin needs, and they do not dispense glucagon. The new device, described in a report in The New England Journal of Medicine, dispenses both hormones, and it does so with little intervention from the patient."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Artificial Pancreas Shows Promise In Diabetes Test

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Marketing hype (Score:5, Informative)

    by jvp ( 27996 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @03:07PM (#47248175)

    Yep. I'm a *big* fan of my insulin pump, but the included "Constant Glucose Monitoring" device that the pump's company touts as "FDA-approved artificial pancreas!!one11eleven!!" is anything but. It's measuring interstitial fluid, which is *randomly* accurate in *random* people at *random* times. It can neither be trusted, nor should be. And I've since stopped using the CGM side of the pump.

    The tech that they're talking about in this article is the same idea: measure interstitial fluid and make insulin decisions based on that. Bad. Ju. Ju.

    We need some way of measuring blood glucose levels from, ya know, actual *blood*, without the risk of causing infections. Until we get that, no bueno. Just pass on it.

  • by OSULugan ( 3529543 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @03:15PM (#47248219)

    To be successful, this kind of a device will need substantial improvements in Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices. I used one of these 2 to 3 years ago, and it required a finger-stick reading to "calibrate" it at a minimum once every 12 hours, but recommended 4 times a day. Even with this calibration, the algorithm in their software didn't adjust to this as truth data, and would continue to read quite different values. Many times this was in the 60-80 point (mg/dL) range. When you're trying to control blood glucose into a range of 80-120 mg/dL, having an error so great is a significant challenge. Granted, this was likely 1 generation old technology, but from what my endocrinologist (who's also a pump wearing diabetic) tells me, the newest generation isn't much better.

    I can't imagine what the device would do when you factor this error in along with the algorithm trying to account for situations such as eating, without having additional input from the user.

    Oh, and one last hurdle: A newly placed sensor for the CGM devices generally take a period of 1 to 2 hours to acclimate, then need a "calibration", before the data is useful. What does a diabetic do during this time period (which needs to occur once every 3 days)?

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson