Artificial Pancreas with current CGM technology?

September 21, 2009

My doctor has lately been telling me that Minimed/Medtronic is going to close the loop very soon now in providing an artificial pancreas based on today’s CGM and pump technology. Given my own experience, as well as the responses I’ve gotten to my post Continuous Glucose Monitoring with Medtronic/MiniMed Updated, I find this rather difficult to believe. I’m curious whether anyone reading this blog would actually trust their lives to CGM technology telling your pump how much to pump, removing yourself from the loop. However, this peer reviewed article seems to confirm his comments.

Personally, even if I have a way to override this, I would be very uncomfortable with it. For starters, I find the device to accurately track my blood glucose about 80-90% of the time at most. Then, there’s the issue of the 15-20 minute lag. Further, I sometimes have issues with slow insulin absorption, especially during long drives. Unless they combine this with their old implantable pump technology that delivers insulin into the renal vein and unless they find a way to continuously monitor blood glucose rather than interstitial glucose, I think I’m going to have to pass on this.

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Diabetes Tight Control

September 27, 2007

I have had Type I Diabetes since 1988. I have been pumping Humalog since 1998. My hemaglobin A1C tends to be in the 5.5 – 5.9 range. I have had A1Cs as high as 6.3 and as low as 5.4, not counting my long honeymoon period.

The reasons to maintain tight control and to improve whatever level of control each of us has have to do with the Diabetic Control and Complications Test (DCCT) that was performed years ago. That long term test of varying levels of control proved the intuitively obvious. Better control reduces diabetic complications. It also quantified it. Those in the tight control group saw a 50% reduction in all diabetic complications except one. For retinopathy the reduction was 60%. Tha’s a 60% reduction in the chances of going blind. That’s huge. It also proved that it was not a simple tight control yes or no type question but that improvements in control at all levels reduced risks of complications. So, that’s some serious incentive for maintaining the tightest control we can, whatever that is for each of us.

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