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'Bionic' pancreas shows promise in diabetes test

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Guest post by Nathan Seppa

Five-day tests of a “bionic pancreas” in adults and adolescents with type 1 diabetes bolster earlier findings showing that the wearable devices can maintain blood glucose levels without the need for finger pricks or insulin shots. The device includes a glucose monitor attached to the skin that tracks blood sugar and sends readings to a smart phone. The phone then directs an insulin pump on the belt to inject the hormone or its counterpart glucagon as needed.

The wearable devices act in concert, sensing insulin needs and delivering  it to keep blood glucose under control —  without the wearer needing to think about it, a Boston team of researchers reports June 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine and at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco.

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