UVA Health discovers "fake pancreas" for children with diabetes
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS)-- A machine called "the fake pancreas" has been found to work in young children with Type 1 Diabetes.
This morning UVA Health published the findings of a study that found an artificial pancreas, also known as a smart insulin pump, will improve the quality of life for children ages 2 to 6 with type 1 diabetes.
“Basically it’s a smart pump. And that smart pump, instead of delivering that preprogram profile, will change insulin every 5 minutes based on the perceived need of the patient. So, if the glucose of the child goes up a little bit then the system will increase the amount of insulin just the right amount so that we resolve that trend without creating a low blood glucose,” said Marc Breton, Associate professor at the School of Medicine at UVA
This machine is already available to children 6 years old and up. Although this was found successful in the study, it will take the approval of the FDA to get this machine on the market for 2 to 6-year-old children.
The fake pancreas will also limit drops in the child’s blood sugar during the night.
“So hypoglycemia at night which is a very big concern of parents of young children with diabetes. And often leads to the parents waking up several times a night to check on what’s going on,” Brenton adds.
In this study, UVA also found that telehealth is a manageable way to transition patients to this device. In the beginning, they were given no choice due to COVID-19, but now they are looking at reaching people who otherwise might not have had this option of treatment.