If finger pricks, sugar ranges, and blood insulin shots are never far from the forefront of your thoughts, have faith, diabetes patients: the FDA has recently approved the first artificial pancreas – a hybrid closed-loop system that comes with an insulin pump along with a continuous glucose monitor. This astonishing creation will not just instantaneously stop the insulin pump in case the patient’s blood sugar level drops too low, but can even predetermine the decrease, which will help prevent it before it happens.
This amount of automation opens a brand new world for people with diabetes, eliminating the need to be on never ending alert, including the fear of 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 majority of research. “The diabetes isn’t gone, but [wearers] can think about it less …This is a historic milestone.”
While certainly there are still improvements to be worked through, like the amount of time necessary for the insulin delivered to work and the accessibility of the CGM component, for most diabetes patients, the improved quality of life to be realized is significant.
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