Oct 21, 2016 | Updated: 09:37 AM EST

Smartphone System Treats Type 1 Diabetes By Acting As Pancreas

Jan 13, 2016 02:47 AM EST

Type 1 diabetes patients are always under constant needles and manual injections of insulin for their treatment. However, a recent announcement declared that a new smartphone system can now be used to treat Type 1 diabetes automatically and effortlessly.

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A team of researchers from the University of Virginia is finally releasing the product of a decade worth of development and more than 20 years of research to nine locations across the United States and Europe in order for it to be tested on 240 patients. The small device that is called "InControl," comes with a tiny sensor and wearable insulin pump that delivers insulin automatically to the body when the blood sugar levels hit an alarming rate. This so called 'digital pancreas' can be worn in various parts of the body, such as the arm, leg and abdomen. The device will monitor the body's sugar level every 5 minutes through the use of a pen drive-sized blood-glucose sensor. By using a built-in algorithm, the device will go through the gathered data and determine whether the body needs an insulin dose. If it does, the synced-in smartphone and the app itself will send a signal to the insulin pump that can be hooked on the clothes of the patient.

According to lead researcher, Boris Kovatchev, director of the Centre for Diabetes Technology at the U.S. University of Virginia, they have worked on the device since 2006. They also have proven that it is not only possible but can also run on smartphones that weren't that much bigger of an option that time. Francis Doyle III, dean of Harvard's Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and collaborator on the project, stated that if the device is working, the patient will not even notice that it's there. However, even though the hype about the device is already building up, the researchers clarified that they still have to make further studies, trials and experiments about it and note that can last up to 4 years.

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