Thursday, August 5, 2010

There's an A.P.P for that!

It seems my blog is fairly cyclical...sometimes dabbling in the space/science side of things, and sometimes more into the diabetes/personal side of things...and lately, well, as you have read, it's been on the diabetes/personal side. And today is no exception.

I should preface this post with the fact that I have signed up for several e-mail communications telling me all about advances in Diabetes technology because, well...I'm an engineer. Several e-mails have passed by my eyes with the catch phrase "artificial pancreas" in the subject line, and once past my eyes they promptly wind up in the e-mail "trash bin." But today I decided to delve a little deeper into this artificial pancreas idea, and I was pleasantly surprised!

The term is the "Artificial Pancreas Project" ...aka...APP...no, not those things on your iPhone, more like a suped-up insulin pump that allows the user nearly Diabetes-free thoughts. It is still in the early stages of development, but already it has been shown to lower A1Cs and manage carbohydrate intake autonomously. Tom B. Brobson, one of the study's participants, blogs about his experience with APP here.

The system is able to test blood sugar, administer insulin automatically for meals or raised blood sugars, modify basal rates for periods of time and administer a glucose-raiser for those low blood sugar episodes. Mr. Brobson talks about being "free" from Diabetes devices (not touching a pump or pricking his finger) for an entire afternoon and evening. And while I know I will never be "normal" again, this taste of freedom has me salivating already.

Ironically, I thought it was funny when he mentioned being "remote telemetered" from another room for all his stats. It's kinda like my job, except its a person instead of a helicopter.

I hope and pray that more research dollars are spent towards this promising new technology. As much as I love my pump, I would love even more to have an Artificial Pancreas (which also sorta includes a pump, but requires less thinking)!! Oh...and this guy probably would like one too...I'm just sayin'...


Go Bret!

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