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Study: 'Bionic Pancreas' Aids Type 1 Diabetics

A "bionic pancreas" can help people with type 1 diabetes control their disease with fewer incidents of low blood sugar, 2 new studies find. The "pancreas" is a device that includes two pumps. One delivers small doses of insulin to keep blood sugar from going too high. The other delivers glucagon, another hormone, to prevent hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar). A smartphone wirelessly receives reports from a continuous glucose (blood sugar) monitor. An app on the phone controls the pumps and adjusts them based on blood sugar levels. One study tested the pumps on 20 adults. The other study tested them on 32 teenagers at a diabetes summer camp. People wore the devices for 5 days. On another 5 days, people wore normal insulin pumps. For both adults and teens, average daily blood sugar was lower with the new device than with the pump.

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