An Artificial Pancreas
People with type 1 diabetes may soon be able to set their insulin doses by smartphone. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University are testing a "bionic pancreas," a pump that goes under the skin that, when paired with an app and a small chip, tracks blood glucose levels and adjusts amounts of insulin and glucagon on its own. In a small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, among 20 adults and 32 adolescents who were told that they could eat as they wish, the system maintained glucose levels in the acceptable range 79% and 75% of the time, respectively, vs 58% and 65% of the time when participants used their regular monitoring systems. A follow-up study is planned followed by a submission for FDA approval in 2017.