How far off is the Artificial Pancreas (AP), well, that is a good question, lets talk it over and see if we can paint a good picture. Second questions is; why do we need it? Simple answer, it’s better than what we have now, I.E. MDI and insulin pumps/continuous glucose monitors. I hate to break the news to anyone, but a cure will not be here anytime soon. My guess is it’s more than 10 years away (I want sooner, like this fall, that’s a pipe dream). In the meantime I want my girls to have the best available technology to help them (help us) manage their betus (diabetes). That would be the AP.
The first US clinical trial has begun last month at UVA school of medicine. Along with a few other medical schools researchers hope to enroll 120 patients in this trial. Now this is exciting! 120 people will provide a lot of data necessary to continue to develop this technology.
Another issue in moving the Artificial Pancreas ahead is the FDA. Sorry to report this but is true. The LGS (low glucose suspend) is available in 40 other countries, but not the United States. This is an easy upgrade to current insulin pumps where it will shut off the basal rate when blood glucose trends head toward dangerous levels. The LGS is the first step toward the AP because this will allow the CGM and the insulin pump to communicate.
Pancreum has become another company working on the AP. I’m really intrigued by their design when I look over their pictures. It looks like a Pod, but not disposable. It has a 32 bit processor and they make the claim it’s faster than any other device in the field. I have found no news on clinical trials that are concrete. If you want news on that, keep an eye on their website and social media accounts.
I could go on talking, going into more detail, but I’m better off letting you click on the link. There you can read and make your own assertions about this technology and it possibilities. I can imagine the day, in the next few years, where my 2 girls with Type 1 Diabetes will be wearing an Artificial Pancreas.