Say No to Needles - artificial pancreas
Fighting the Sweet Tooth: Researchers create artificial pancreas, combat diabetes

Recent research has led to the successful development of an artificial pancreas system. The system uses an algorithm on a smartphone to monitor the user’s glucose levels.

It also automatically delivers the appropriate level of insulin when required. The system comes as a relief to patients of diabetes. Diabetic patients, by virtue of their disease, are required to be vigilant about their blood glucose levels.

When necessary, they must also self-administer doses of insulin. This can be done via either needle injections or an infusion pump.

The artificial pancreas, as it is being called, was developed by researchers at the Harvard University. The system consists of an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor, which must be placed under the user’s skin.

The study, published in the journal titled “Diabetes Care”, was conducted over a 12-week multi-site clinical trial.

The study analyzed the use of the artificial pancreas system over more than 60,000 odd hours.

Speaking of the study, a researcher from Harvard said that it had been the longest trial duration they had conducted.

He added that the key performance indices from the study matched those found in the shorter trials.

The system’s control algorithm is embedded in a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. The smartphone, in turn, signals how much insulin the pump needs to deliver to the user.

The system uses a wide range of variables including the kind of meals consumed by the patient and the kind of physical activity performed by the patient.

It also takes sleep, stress, and metabolism of the patient into account.

Researchers have also introduced adaptive components to the algorithm so that it can “learn” from repeated daily cycles, thus improving its efficiency.