Could You Be Using an Artificial Pancreas Soon?

After decades of development and testing, the artificial pancreas is set to undergo the final phase of safety tests in early 2016. This means that if all goes well, a new option could be on the horizon for type 1 diabetics.

What Is the Artificial Pancreas?

The artificial pancreas is a device that will work much like a regular pancreas.

"Our foremost goal is to establish a new diabetes treatment paradigm: the artificial pancreas is not a single-function device; it is an adaptable, wearable network surrounding the patient in a digital treatment ecosystem," said Boris Kovatchev, Ph.D., director of the UVA Center for Diabetes Technology.

This would eliminate the need for finger pricking, multiple insulin injections and other daily requirements for diabetes management.

The Two Trials

The trials will test how effective the artificial pancreas is at measuring and controlling blood-sugar levels, as well as the risk factor for hypoglycemia. This is the first time these tests will be performed on human bodies, and these trials will tell if the device is truly ready for public use.

“Day to day, hour to hour, the various stresses that impact the human body change the way it responds to insulin-controlling glucose," said Francis Doyle III, co-investigator of the study. "Physical stresses, anxiety, hormonal swings will all change that balance. To be able to control for those factors, we need to see longer intervals of data. This is the first trial where we’ll be looking at multi-month intervals of time.”

Photo: Mobi Health News