Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. The more common insulin-resistant Type-2 diabetes can easily be controlled with dieting and exercise. On the other hand, more than 15 percent of diabetics are afflicted with Type-1 diabetes and cannot produce insulin at all.
The suffering of the Type-1 diabetics will be alleviated by the world’s first artificial pancreas, recently approved by the FDA. Usually, the Type-1 diabetes is diagnosed in early childhood. The autoimmune disease results in the death of the pancreatic cells responsible for insulin production.
A patient of diabetes Type-1 relies on insulin injections for maintenance of the blood sugar level, which in turn needs to be monitored regularly. Research on artificial pancreas has been going on for years, and there have been quite a few attempts to develop DIY artificial pancreas as well. However, Medtronic MiniMed 670G is the first artificial pancreas device that won the FDA approval.
Medtronic MiniMed 670G has been approved for the Type-1 diabetics aged 14 or above. Medtronic MiniMed continuously monitors the blood glucose level and accordingly, administers the required amount of insulin.
Medtronic MiniMed 670G integrates the blood glucose monitoring system and insulin administration system in one device. Previously, the Type-1 diabetics used insulin pumps for injecting insulin in the system while a glucose monitor was used to measure the sugar level in the blood.
Medtronic MiniMed 670G is a user-friendly device that uses a hybrid closed loop system to measure the blood glucose level every five minutes. The blood glucose level is then automatically maintained by the autonomous injection of insulin. Another feature of the artificial pancreas device allows the patient to request insulin around mealtimes.
Medtronic MiniMed 670G was introduced in the market following 123 successful clinical trials of the Type-1 diabetics. However, FDA has advised against the risks like:
“hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, as well as skin irritation or redness around the device’s infusion patch.”
Francine Kaufman, the Chief Medical officer of the Medtronic Diabetes Group, said that the company is preparing for the commercial launch of the product.