JDRF Artificial Pancreas Advocacy Campaign

by Leighann on October 20, 2011

Join me this week for a few PSA’s about ways to raise awareness, raise money, and find support.

Disclaimer: None of this constitutes medical advice, nor do I guarantee that my layman explanations are accurate. I urge you to do reading and research on your own.

While I was at the Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum earlier this year, Dr. Francine Kaufman talked about the closed loop system including a bit about overnight low glucose suspend. In very basic terms, a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump would talk to each other. In the overnight hours, if blood glucose levels fell below a threshold (as set by the patient at the advice of their health provider), the pump would suspend delivery of basal insulin. A concern is that A1c levels could increase because patients are not receiving basal insulin for a period of time. Studies have shown that this is not the case.

Why is low glucose suspend important for parents? Because you might get more sleep!

As I understand it, low glucose suspend is tied into the overall artificial pancreas concept. Once again in very basic terms, the artificial pancreas would, according to settings entered by the patient (again at the advice of their health provider), deliver insulin as needed, on it’s own, and without the patient or caregiver needing to take action. The continuous glucose monitor and the insulin pump work together making decisions based on a complex series of algorithms.

I for one am excited about the advancement of this technology. It could prove to be the next best thing to a working pancreas. But there are hurdles to be jumped. Hurdles also known as the FDA.

I definitely want any medical devices that keep my child alive to be safe. Very safe. But sometimes the FDA drags its feet and slows the process.

If you would like to urge the FDA to act a bit more swifty, then you can sign the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Petition.

From the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Petition:

An artificial pancreas represents the most revolutionary advance in treating type 1 diabetes since the discovery of insulin. This device, now under development, will dramatically change the lives of people with type 1, allowing them to maintain tight control of blood glucose levels, thereby significantly reducing the risk of life-threatening fluctuations and freeing them of much of the daily burden of managing their disease.

The speed with which an artificial pancreas reaches patients in the United States will be determined by crucial guidance to be issued by December 1st by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA needs to hear from you that type 1 diabetes families are watching, we are waiting, and we are urging that the agency seize this moment to lead, and not stand in the way of bringing this innovative and life saving device to market.

Further Reading

JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project

JDRF Artificial Pancreas Petition

JDRF’s Juvenation Blog

Bennet Dunlap of Your Diabetes May Vary (Bennet always has thoughtful information about new technology and the FDA.)


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stoyan October 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I think that yes, we would really need to see what the diabetes community thinks about this project, and if they are ready to accept it as a potential cure or a superior form of treatment for diabetes.

On a personal level, I do not trust technology gully with everything – let alone something as important as keeping my blood sugar levels under control. It seems kind of scary at this point. But if it is explained thoroughly and in terms that everyone can understand, and we are made aware of what, if anything, can go wrong, and what to do in such a situation, then possibly. In any case, more information is needed.


2 Stoyan October 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Oh and forgot to mention – we actually have a survey at the JDCA that allows people to share their views on the artificial pancreas: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/artificialpancreas


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