According to the Associated Press, a new study may bring a significant advancement to the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes: a “bionic pancreas.”
As people with type 1 diabetes struggle to maintain normal blood sugar levels, resulting in major consequences if the levels reach too high or low, a study of the “bionic pancreas” shows that diabetes patients may be able to more effectively and easily control their blood sugar levels by using the new product.
The “bionic pancreas” used during the study was a system of two pumps that were connected to tubes reaching just under the person’s skin. This system is further connected to an iPhone application which monitors the person’s blood sugar levels and informs them if there is a problem. Of the two pumps, one can release insulin to lower blood sugar and the other can release glucogon to raise it.
The participants of the study who tested this device included 20 adults and 32 adolescents. During the study, the participants were better able to monitor their blood sugar levels by using the “bionic pancreas” than by monitoring their levels manually.
An even greater perk of using the system was that people didn’t have to prick their fingers.
Christopher Herndon, a 13-year-old in the study, told the Associated Press that “it is like a dream for a diabetic. It takes away the responsibility. It takes away the high blood sugar and the low blood sugar. It prevents damage to the body and it makes you feel better all the time.”
This week, researchers are conducting another study using the device. A definitive trial is set for 2016.