Can a bionic pancreas improve management of type 1 diabetes? Elizabeth Tracey reports


A so-called bionic pancreas helped people across the age range manage their type 1 diabetes more easily, a recent study reports. Johns Hopkins diabetes expert Rita Kalyani says the device is much simpler to use than currently available insulin pumps.

Kalyani: The bionic pancreas only requires the user to enter body weight. Then it has an algorithm that calculates the amount of insulin that it gives continuously and qualitatively gives insulin at mealtimes too, and the user just has to input I’m eating more than usual, the usual amount, or less. There’s much more that is done by the bionic pancreas compared to currently available devices. What this study found in about 200 participants is that those in the bionic pancreas group actually had a 0.5% decrease in their hemoglobin A1C that was significant.  :32

Kalyani says that since rates of type 1 diabetes are rising worldwide, such a device would be very helpful to people with the condition. A decision on approval by the FDA is likely soon. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.