CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The University of Virginia has done its fair share of helping type one diabetics. It is working closely with JDRF, the leading global organization funding research for the disease. They’re hoping to make more advances soon.

At a presentation Thursday, UVA hosted JDRF as they shared their advancements in technology to benefit patients with type one diabetes. 

Across the country, 1.5 million people live with the disease, and more than 700,000 of them live in Virginia. 

“People used to think of it as a kid disease, kids grow up. I was diagnosed when I was 13 and now here I am,” said Aaron Kowalski, CEO of JDRF.

He explains that he and his brother both have type one diabetes, but his brother has a more severe form.

“The advances that UVA has driven he’s benefiting from and has changed his life and my family’s life for the better,” said Kowalski. 

UVA has played a big part in the research. 

“The UVA artificial pancreas project, which was started in 2005 with the support of JDRF and is the first system within the hospital. And this here is where we are now,” said Boris Kovatchev, the director of the UVA Center for Diabetes Technology.

About 400,000 people around the world are already using the newest system.

What started out as a large computer, is now a simple device smaller than a cell phone. Over the last 17 years, great progress has been made, but the researchers say they aren't done yet. 

“We want to be a sensing company not only to measure the glucose but to measure other electrolytes, lactate, ketones, potassium, sodium, other things that are already important for basic electronic assistance,” said Dr. Daniel Chernavsky,  the senior director for Medical First.

Additionally, diabetics who are covered by Medicare got some good news recently. The Inflation Reduction Act caps the cost of insulin to $35 a month for such patients.