Type-1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, caused when the body mistakenly destroys pancreatic cells that produce hormones like insulin and glucagon that control blood sugar. High glucose levels damage tiny blood vessels, which in turn can lead to blindness, heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. People can lose toes, feet or legs to amputation. When levels fall too low, patients can pass out and even die. Most people with type-1 diabetes must constantly check their blood sugar throughout the day, administering insulin according to what they are eating and how much they are exercising.
A cellphone-sized device that automatically takes care of checking a patient’s blood sugar and delivers lifesaving insulin as needed has been approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Patients with Type-1 Diabetes will be able to hook up the device and skip the regular finger pricks to constantly check their blood sugar. Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G system includes a sensor that measures glucose levels under the skin; an insulin pump strapped to the body; and an infusion patch with a catheter that delivers insulin. This first-of-its-kind technology can provide people with type 1 diabetes greater freedom to live their lives without having to consistently and manually monitor baseline glucose levels and administer insulin.
The 670G will launch in spring 2017 in the US, with international approval in some regions expected in summer 2017.