Diabetes: In Search Of A DIY Bionic Pancreas

Type 1 Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas affecting the bodies' ability to produce insulin, which is vital in converting sugar into energy for the cells on our body. It's usually diagnosed in childhood. Before the advent of synthetically produced insulin, diabetic children could and did die quite often.

Today, glucose monitoring is vital to keeping things in balance. This Wired story paints a fascinating picture of concerned parents trying to come up with a viable bionic pancreas - some method of monitoring and administering insulin round the clock (other than waking up their child for a needle stick every few hours).

The monitoring part is already available, and can be run as a smartphone app and persistence is certainly part of the makeup of these concerned parents and tinkerers.
For now, the FDA is fine with these DIY medical device hackers: “We believe it’s a good thing to have this data available on a cell phone for a parent who is not near their child,” says Courtney Lias, director of the division that oversees glucose monitors and other devices at the FDA. So long as people are using the technology for themselves, she added, “It’s unlikely we would do something.” But beware of sharing: “As soon as they start distributing that or making it more broadly available, that’s where we become more concerned.”

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