While there are many potential permanent cures for diabetes type 1, some scientists are developing better ways of controlling the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Ed Diamano, a biomedical engineer whose son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11 months, has created “a digital pancreas that automatically regulates sugar levels in the blood via a smartphone”. The user has a glucose monitor underneath their skin, which measures the glucose levels every 5 minutes and sends a signal to an iPhone app that calculates the amount of insulin that is required to balance the blood sugar. The app then sends a signal to insulin pumps carried by the diabetic to administer the dose via a catheter. While this system cannot cure diabetes, it can give diabetics a rest from keeping their blood glucose levels in check and can give them a glimpse of a life without diabetes.
Moreover, this system has been tested out on both adults and young people: in one study, 20 adults wore the device for five days in a hotel, while in another study thirty-two young people, aged between 12 and 20, tested the device at a camp for diabetic children for five days, and the device performed incredibly well in controlling the participants’ blood sugar levels.
Overall, I believe that this new device might be a good solution for people with type 1 diabetes while they are waiting for a permanent cure.