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Artificial Pancreas: Diabetes Autopilot for Monitoring, Insulin

Image: Artificial Pancreas: Diabetes Autopilot for Monitoring, Insulin
(Medtronic)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Jul 2016 11:59 AM

An "artificial pancreas" awaiting federal approval could help diabetes suffers by automating the process of monitoring blood sugar levels and delivering insulin, reported Newsweek.

Medtronic, the company making the smartphone-sized MiniMed 670g, has filed an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. Based in Dublin, Ireland, the company has already received approval to use the machine in several other countries, including the United Kingdom.

The MiniMed 640G comes with a new insulin pump, a simple user interface, full-color screen, and a remote bolus that is all waterproof, according to a Medtronic statement.

"Severe hypoglycemia can have devastating effects on people with diabetes and even milder episodes can really impair quality of life," said Dr. Pratik Choudhary, consultant in diabetes at King's College London and one of the lead investigators in device's European User Evaluation last year.

"The more we can do to minimize the impact of hypoglycemia, the better we can make lives of people with diabetes. That is why patients in our user evaluation really loved MiniMed 640G with SmartGuard technology, because it effectively and unobtrusively reduced hypoglycemia." 

Bloomberg said that while advances in diabetes treatment have made it easier for sufferers to monitor and inject insulin, the MiniMed 670G would virtually take those duties out of the hands of the patients.

Patients using the device must recalibrate the device with a finger-stick reading every 12 hours, along with changing the glucose sensor every seven days, and refilling the insulin pump every three days, noted Bloomberg.

"Patients are working 24 hours a day now," Richard Bergenstal, executive director of Park Nicollet's International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis, told Bloomberg. "We want them to get control without spending every hour of the day worrying about their diabetes or preparing for the next event."

Medtronic bought MiniMed Inc. in 2001 for $3.7 billion and has been building on the technology since, according to Bloomberg. The FDA's tough guidelines have led companies to introduce technology overseas first before coming to the United States.

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An "artificial pancreas" awaiting federal approval could help diabetes suffers by automating the process of monitoring blood sugar levels and delivering insulin.
artificial, pancreas, diabetes, monitoring, insulin
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2016-59-06
Wednesday, 06 Jul 2016 11:59 AM
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