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Researchers Say 'Bionic Pancreas' May Lower Risk of Hypoglycemia Among Diabetics

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers say a newly-developed "bionic pancreas" may provide better control over blood sugar and limit hypoglycemic episodes in diabetic patients.

The device was created by Edward Damiano, whose son has Type-1 diabetes. The standard treatment is constant blood sugar measurement and use of an insulin pump. Deciding that there must be a better way, Damiano created the "bionic pancreas" which continuously monitors a patient's blood sugar every five minutes using a smartphone app. The device then delivers insulin if sugars are too high or glucagon if blood sugar levels are too low.

The device was tested in 20 adults and 32 adolescents, each of whom was allowed to eat whatever they wanted. They were closely supervised during the trial, which determined that the patients saw a lower average blood sugar reading, but also lower rates of hypoglycemia, a major concern for diabetics, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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