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The future is nigh!

October 18, 2014 | 4:00 pm

Today, Nikki and I went with Samuel & Grace (Lily-Anne was on a drama group trip) to Lincoln. Not to visit the Cathedral or old city, both of which would’ve been nice.

Instead, to go to a JDRF Type 1 Discovery Day – specifically to see The Artificial Pancreas…

Whats the Artificial Pancreas, I hear you ask? Well, its actually a fancy name for a collection of three things:

- An insulin pump
- A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
- A controlling computer programme

Two of these three things, Samuel already has – the pump and the CGM. It’s the third thing that’s the important bit. The computer programme that is being worked on at the minute will talk to the other two parts of the system and have them work together, to keep a Type 1 Diabetics blood glucose (Bg) levels in range.

At the moment, this control is done by Samuel. He looks at his Bg’s on his CGM then adjusts the insulin delivery on his pump, if needed. At night, Nikki and I take over, getting up in the night to check and, if necessary, correct.

The software algorithms on the controlling computer programme are being developed to take over this control automatically.

If the software can do this reliably and safely, then Nikki and I won’t need to check Sam in the night. He will get better sleep, and we’ll get to sleep through the night!

The guest speaker at the JDRF Discovery Day was Lynn Dunion from Leeds. Her 13 year old daughter Laura has been on the Artificial Pancreas trial for the last three months, and they brought it with them.

You can see them in his video, as they were recently featured on ITV news.

The system looks to be very effective and very reliable. Over the three month trial Laura’s Bg levels were kept steady and safe at or around 6 every night. The trial actually ends tonight and they have to give it back, but it sounds like the development of this new solution is coming along very nicely.

The most interesting news came at the end. Lynn and Chris Normington from JDRF are estimating that this will be on the market in as little as two years!!!

What??? Yes – two years! UNBELIEVABLE!

Up until recently, I believed this was coming eventually but hoping (and nothing more) that it would arrive before Sam went to University in four years time. There won’t be anyone to test him at night once he goes to Uni!

Well, after today, it looks a lot more likely that this won’t be an issue.

That will mean I will sleep a lot better tonight…

- at least until I have to get up to check Sam!!!


Posted by Gareth

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