What is bionic pancreas? How is it changing diabetes care?

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, which is the hormone your body makes to let glucose get into cells and create energy. It is most commonly observed in children and is also referred to as juvenile diabetes.

A study that was published in New England Journal of Medicine on September 29, 2022. an academic team, headed by Dr. Steven Russell at Massachusetts General Hospital and funded through the US National Institutes of Health has developed an insulin-delivery system that was automated called bionic pancreas. This gave a new chance for the treatment that deals with type-1 diabetes, which was not within sight up until now. “This device, known as a bionic pancreas, only needs the user’s body weight upon setup. The user still needs to enter meals, but with an estimate of carbohydrate amount (more, less, or the same as typical). All other aspects of insulin delivery are completely automated,” an NIH statement stated.

The study included more than 300 people, aged between 6 and seventy-nine years old, who had type 1 diabetes within the first part of 2021. “No episodes of diabetic ketoacidosis, a lifethreatening complication of diabetes, occurred in either study group. There was also no significant difference in the rate of severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) between the groups,” the researchers emphasized the health risks of bionic pancreas.

The bionic pancreas may aid in managing day-to-day type 1 diabetes more manageable, which will improve the health, researchers have said.

A bionic pancreas is comprised of three parts: a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and a computer program that determines the amount of insulin required and an insulin pump. The insulin pump can be carried on a belt, placed in a pocket, or attached straight to the skin. The device assists in monitoring the blood glucose levels of your body continuously and reduces the chance of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.

Emergence of #WeAreNotWaiting Diabetes DIY Movement

The #WeAreNotWaitingDigs DIY (Do It Yourself) Movement is a grassroots, patient-driven movement in the community of people living with diabetes. It was born out of the issues faced by people living with diabetes, who were dissatisfied with the slow pace of development and innovation in technology for managing diabetes and the limitations of commercial solutions.

In the year 2015, Dana Lewis, an independent researcher from Seattle, Washington developed a algorithmic code and tried it. At present, about 30,000 people make use of the open-source technology used for automatic insulin delivery (AID) and is available on AndroidAPS for smartphones.

In January 2023 in 2023, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regulatory approval for Tidepool Loop, an AID system that is based on an open source algorithm, for the very first time. According to accounts, AID Tidepool Loop has over 750,000 active users.

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