Inspired by a DIY artificial pancreas, one company plans to deliver a similar system by 2019

Type 1 diabetes can be difficult to manage, especially in children. This is due to many variables that influence their blood glucose levels.

For this reason, parents everywhere have long sought to find new and better ways to deal with their children’s diabetes. This was also the case for Kate Farnsworth, a Canadian mom who created an artificial pancreas for her daughter, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 8. Now 15, Farnsworth’s daughter still uses a version of the DIY system her mom built two years ago. Since the pump needed for the system was donated to her, the whole system ended up costing only $250.

After years of diabetic patients building needed systems themselves, a leading tech medical company has announced it will build a closed loop technology that will automate insulin delivery by 2019.

In August 2018, Dexcom acquired TypeZero Technologies, which was founded in 2015 as a spin-off of University of Virginia closed loop technology research. Together, Dexcom and TypeZero will build an artificial pancreas by early 2019.

TypeZero is developing a smartphone run app algorithm which communicates with a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump to automatically adjust basal and bolus insulin as needed.

One very important advantage of this system is that users won’t be locked into any specific product brand. Dexcom declared it will not be pushing a Dexcom CGM or any other pump model to eventual customers of the new system.

It will be a “plug-and-play” diabetes tech – one in which patients choose devices and tools.

“This creates just the opposite of locking people in, it opens up so much opportunity,” says JDRF Chief Mission Officer Aaron Kowalski, who has been a leader in ushering in Artificial Pancreas development for more than a decade now.

The rise of chronic diseases coupled with the need to find more technical solutions to deliver quality care is fueling the digital transformation of healthcare. Chronic disease management presents a major opportunity for companies ranging from the likes of Dexcom to healthcare startups, ultimately helping patients live healthier lives.

Learn the tips and tricks to effective online reputation management for doctors