The “Artificial Pancreas”
By Fletcher Donohoe
The MiniMed 670g is an “artificial pancreas” which is a new technology that aims to help treat type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition that keeps the body from regulating its blood sugar levels. It is often referred to as “juvenile diabetes” because it usually shows up in childhood.
According to the Mayo Clinic, type 1 diabetes is “A chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.” Insulin is the substance that regulates blood sugar. Traditionally, people with type 1 diabetes usually have to manually inject insulin in order to keep their blood sugar at a normal level.
If blood sugar levels go too high or too low, it could be life threatening.
“Two years ago I went to a conference about it put on by the Juvenile Diabetes Association, they were so hopeful! “ Said Linda C., a local grandmother of a young boy with juvenile diabetes.
According to fortune.com, the MiniMed 6706 will not automate everything, because “The system still does require some efforts by patients, who have to refill the insulin and do traditional finger prick tests in order for the device to work.”
The company that makes the device is Medtronic, which is based out of Dublin, Ireland. The artificial pancreas is a new device, so it hasn’t seen widespread use. It is currently approved for people age fourteen and up, but it aims to reach people as young as two in the coming months. It recently got approval by the FDA, and is projected to hit the market in spring 2017.
Pictures from http://www.medtronic.com