Home » Trending Health News » New “Bionic Pancreas” Makes Life Easier for Diabetics

New “Bionic Pancreas” Makes Life Easier for Diabetics

Here’s some good news for people with diabetes: a new, so-called “bionic pancreas” could help them monitor blood glucose levels without ever having to give annoying (and sometimes painful) blood samples.

The bionic pancreas was developed by researchers from Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital. It involves hardwiring a smartphone to a glucose monitor and two pumps that continuously monitor blood sugar levels, sending reports to the smartphone every five minutes. This means a small, quarter-sized glucose monitor must be implanted under the skin in the abdominal area. The external pump is then attached to the monitor with an adhesive. If the device detects that insulin or glucagon is required, it can administer doses automatically.

The system is adored by kids with type 1 diabetes, which affects young people. Those dealing with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar levels on a constant basis and must carefully evaluate the health impact of every food item they’re thinking of eating.

“It is like a dream for a diabetic,” noted 13-year-old Christopher Herndon, who tested the device last summer. “It takes away the responsibility. It takes away the high blood sugar and the low blood sugar. It prevents damage to the body and it makes you feel better all the time.”

Christopher’s mother, Kristina Herndon, was equally impressed with the bionic pancreas. The elder Herndon, like her son, has long grown tired of dealing with type 1 diabetes in the traditional way. “You have to face this 24 hours a day, seven a week,” Herndon said. “There is no vacation from it.”

So far, tests have been impressive. Recent studies have shown that every young person trying out the bionic pancreas was able to maintain healthy blood glucose levels without having to manually draw and test blood.

Unfortunately, the system is still some ways from wide release. New, more advanced and rigorous tests will begin this week.

“We still have a couple of years of work ahead of us,” noted Dr. Steven Russell, who’s been working on the bionic pancreas device for several years. “Getting the price down will be a big factor. The glucagon alone costs $160 a day right now.”


More on ActiveBeat
  • 10 Treatments for Diabetic Nerve Pain
    Diabetes is caused by an increase in blood glucose levels, or hyperglycemia. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
    Trending Health News
  • 8 Ways to Manage Insulin Sensitivity
    Do you spend a lot of time exercising and eating well with no payoff? If you’re scratching your head over your weight loss plateau you may be suffering from low insulin...
    Trending Health News
  • Foods That Can Help You Manage Diabetes
    Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that all share one common trait: high blood sugar levels that, if left untreated, can lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney...
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Safe & Healthy Snacks for Diabetics
    Being diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can be scary and intimidating. The good news is that it’s really not all that difficult to build a healthy and delicious diet plan...
    Trending Health News
  • Study Finds Increased Risk Of Diabetes In Psoriasis Patients
    April Armstrong and a number of her colleagues from the University of California have just completed a review of 27 previous studies on psoriasis and have found a link to diabetes.
    Trending Health News
  • New Risks For Diabetics: Foot Ulcers Connected With Heart Attacks, Stoke, and Death
    A new large-scale study has shown that individuals with diabetes who develop foot ulcers are at greater risk of dying prematurely compared to those who have not experienced these...
    Trending Health News
  • Diabetes Treatment Options
    If you are diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of the type, the aim will be to minimize the elevation of glucose (or blood sugar) without causing levels to dangerously...
    Trending Health News
  • What is Diabetes?
    Approximately 23.6 million people in America have diabetes, a serious, metabolism disorder and a condition that will affect the rest of their lives.
    Trending Health News
  • Diabetes Signs & Symptoms
    We’ve already established that diabetes in each of its forms impacts insulin (either in it’s production or response) and the body’s ability for utilizing energy.
    Trending Health News
  • Diabetes Resource Center
    Overview Diabetes is a chronic medical condition marked by the body’s inability to regulate insulin levels, which can lead to excessive blood sugar.
    Trending Health News
  • 7 Vital Diabetes 'To Dos' from your Endocrinologist
    If you have Type I or Type II diabetes, you're well aware that care and management of your chronic disease is a daily task.
    Trending Health News
  • Vitamins and Minerals That Help Diabetics
    Today, there are few health problems capturing the attention of the American people like diabetes, and particularly type 2 diabetes.
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Health Conditions that Go Hand-in-Hand with Psoriasis
    August is Psoriasis Awareness Month. A time when we do our best to help educate and dispell myths surrounding the chronic skin condition. Psoriasis sufferers are among 7.
    Trending Health News
  • 6 Health Problems Associated with Too Much Sleep
    Generally, we live in a world where we're used to being told to get more sleep. However, even though medical professionals espouse the value of getting regular, quality shut-eye to...
    Trending Health News
  • 10 Recommendations for Diabetes Health Maintenance
    Diabetes is a family of diseases marked by high levels of glucose in the blood, or hyperglycemia.
    Trending Health News