Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fantasy Diabetes Device

Today's DBlog Week topic is "Fantasy Diabetes Device." Sort of like fantasy football, but with more blood.

Anyway, this reminded me of the time I was asked by a research organization what sort of improvement I’d like in diabetes technology. So many things swirled through my mind – make stuff smaller – can I get a Pump Shuffle next to my iPod? Make stuff cheaper. Develop an artificial pancreas that works. Maybe a cure. Maybe insulin or a monitoring system covered by the government, a constant monitoring system that didn’t cost $50 for three days and was still inaccurate. But I’m a smartass. So in my mind, I just told them to make me a test strip that wants to LIVE, that isn’t designed to hurl itself directly into the bottom of my purse forever. No, it’s a real problem...a test strip without a death wish would be nice.

In reality, here is what I want: I want my device to take pics/scan my food and make a carb calculation to help me with my diabetes management. (If we’re talking wild fantasy, it will then remove at least half of the carbs and fat from the food while still leaving all the mass and flavour.) Then, I want it to test my blood glucose by scanning my finger, without a strip. If a strip must be involved, it is drawn back into the machine and is either incinerated or refurbished for reuse, so I never have to buy another one.

After it does this, my device will make the calculation of what insulin I need, and automatically deliver it. It goes without saying that the device is 100% accurate at all times and has no margin of error. The device will sense automatically when I am low if it is within ten feet of me, and make the necessary corrections. And it will occasionally flash affirmations about how well I’m doing. The device will be the size of a lipstick, and the pump will be either implantable or no bigger than a cartridge. It will be completely silent when I need it to be, such as when I am performing or watching theatre. My device is awesome.

You want to know the sad thing, though? Besides the carb-counting and removal abilities, my fantasy device still isn’t really as good as just having a functional pancreas.


1 comment:

  1. Re: Fantasy device...
    You know we have artificial heart-lung machines, artificial kidneys, joints, hips, legs, arms, skin, even brains! (It's called an iPad 3 - hubby says that implanting one will take some doing, however! ;) I personally program and operate a machine that recreates the Universe as it existed a few milliseconds after the Big Bang itself! So your "Fantasy Device" -- Hubby refers to it as an "artificial Pancreas" is not so far fetched. The JDF is actually funding the development of such a device. (JDF- Juvenile Diabetes Foundation - one of the few, very few, fund raising orgs that IS NOT a fraud) Hubs also says that Pancreatic transplants have a poor success record, BUT there is exciting stuff being done with stem cells in recreating Islet of Langerhans cell structures that can be implanted. And when its ready, his surgical robots will do it!