Community Future of MedTech

Game Changer, Closer to the Artifice Pancreas

The average snooze button lets you sleep in for an extra five minutes. In that short amount of time, one person in Australia will have developed diabetes. This means that, on average, 280 Australian’s will develop diabetes every day.

As a disease, diabetes costs the national economy an estimated $14.6 billion annually. Fortunately, Australia is also home to some of the most advanced diabetes technology in the world.

  • Here’s the gist: Research shows that insulin pump therapy can reduce the frequency of severe hypoglycemia as well as improve quality of life. For the first time in Australia, a device has been brought to market which automatically adjusts the delivery of insulin to people living with type 1 diabetes.
  • An artificial pancreas, you say? Called the Medtronic MiniMed, the hybrid closed loop insulin pump system imitates the hard work of a healthy pancreas – monitoring glucose levels and sending data to the pump. Calculating the amount of insulin needed and automatically delivering it, the technology allows the patient to be more present in their daily lives.

Automating the management of blood glucose levels, the device embodies patient-centric innovation. According to Diabetes Australia, choice and access are two key pillars for supporting people living with diabetes and this device provides exactly that.

Requiring minimal input – its another amazing example of how technology can be utilised to take over the task of critical bodily functions.

With type 1 diabetes representing around 10 per cent of all cases, this new device is a game changer according to Professor David O’Neal who was one of the first Australian researchers to trial the device locally. Whilst the disease remains incurable, it’s evident that, in the meantime, innovation can lead patients closer to autonomy over their everyday life.

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