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Another Successful Trial for the Bionic Pancreas

After three years living with diabetes, it’s become more or less second nature to count carbs, figure out insulin doses, and generally have to think about what I’m consuming and how my blood chemistry is behaving. That doesn’t mean I’m fully in control — far from it, sometimes — but I don’t think about how much I think about diabetes. Which now that I think about it, is a lot.

Which is why a recent trial of a “bionic pancreas” that’s currently in development is so exciting. For five days, a group of kids at the Barton Center’s diabetes summer camps had the chance to wear a mashup of pumps, CGM, and iPhones that almost completely took over the management of their blood sugars. For that week — which I’m sure ended far to soon for the participants — they were able to eat what they wanted, play as hard as they wanted, and best of all, not have to worry about how to deal with all the extra variables that factor into their daily lives. And the icing on the cake? (Yes, that’s a deliberate sugar pun, sorry.) The bionic pancreas kept their blood sugar in far tighter control than they would have been able to manually.

I look forward to the day this becomes commercially available, and Ethan and I can stop thinking about how to keep a rein on this beast called Diabetes. There are so many other things I’d rather use my brain power on.

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