For anyone who suffers from diabetes, having to maintain healthy glucose levels can become a drain in addition to the rigours of everyday life. That it is influenced by such broad factors as diet, physical exercise and stress makes managing glucose a delicate matter – and a critical one too, as low levels can lead to hypoglycemia.
Wanting to alleviate this additional burden that diabetes patients must live with, engineers at Medtronic have designed the Minimed device – a small wearable piece of technology that acts like an artificial pancreas. Minimed mimics the way a healthy pancreas secretes basal insulin to the body using modern, “smart” technology.
Minimed assesses the glucose levels of the wearer continuously, giving a clear indication of the peaks and drops in glucose throughout the day and acting accordingly. Using a small sensory node, the device is designed to predict a low period 30 minutes in advance and act accordingly, halting insulin transmission until glucose is recovered properly. Once Minimed finds that glucose levels have stabilised, insulin delivery is resumed automatically.
The wearable takes a great deal of managing diabetes out of the hands of the wearer and at once gives them more control too. It provides some peace of mind to the individual and reduces the need for costly doctor’s visits. Minimed features a user-friendly interface and a programmable notification system, alerting the wearer appropriately in different scenarios such as a noisy restaurant, while at work, or while asleep at home.