Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Artificial Pancreas Bluetooth Based at JDRF T1 Now Conference

Here it is!! This is a shot (I only got one chance, so excuse the glare) of a smartphone that has an artificial pancreas program installed. It uses Bluetooth to take data from your CGM and your pump (Bluetooth enabled...hello Medtronic?) and combines the data into a program that can determine whether you need more insulin or less.

It watches your blood glucose and that gives micro blouses if you are trending high, or micro-suspends the pump to stop delivery of insulin in you are trending low. I wish I had the chance to get shots of all the screens, but one screen shows the CGM data in a graph and also how the pump is told to react, so you see the micro-blouses like a bar chart by hour/minute and also how the pump will suspend for short periods with the bar graph that goes below the line. So you see everything.

On this screen you can see it is connected to the CGM and the pump. You can see the "Closed Loop" is active. You have screens for adding food, medications, or exercise. He explained that much like autopilot on a plane, as captain, you want to take off and land the plane yourself, so you are active in the process of blousing for meals. But, if you are like my tween and forget, the AP will watch you trending high and bonus to keep you in target range. This is harder for your body than just planning and blousing, but let's say that pizza was really 45 carbs and not 60? The AP will watch you dropping and suspend insulin delivery to stabilize you. I bet that may not be enough in some cases, but what a help.

Tom Brobson, National Director for JDRF, who showed me this device, told a story about how when he got this thing, he went straight to a burger joint and ordered a huge burger and a huge order of fries. He said he took about 2 units of insulin for that huge meal and watched what would happen. You know what? He never got above 150 or so. The AP worked great at trending and anticipating his bodies needs.

The unit he was showing us was in a simulation mode now. But THIS is exciting. When he used the functioning device, he used it with his Omni Pod and his Dexcom G4 Platinum, both Bluetooth enabled.

While I had Mr. Brobson's attention, I proceeded to have a little rant about the FDA and Medtronic Minimed. More about the results of that conversation in my next post, but I feel better.

Monday, March 4, 2013

JDRF T1 Now Conference: I learned a lot!

Wow! I learned an awful lot at this conference. I totally enjoyed hearing Tom Brobson, JDRF National Director, talk about the artificial pancreas he got to wear. I'll talk about technology in my next post with a photo of his cell.

But really the biggest boost I got was from Dr. Stephen Ponder, who talked about how to get the most out of your CGM and how to time you meals with that constant flow of CGM information.

 OK, long timers, who thought that when "faster" acting insulin was invented in the 90s (Novolog, etc.) that that meant we could take insulin as we sit down to dinner?

I grew up the "Regular" insulin, which meant I had to take my insulin 30 minutes before I ate. I was under the assumption, probably falsley planted by my doctor or diabetes educators of long ago, that the new insulin would work in about 10 minutes. So, I thought, "Ahh! Time to eat my pasta dinner, better take insulin for the 45g of carbs." Well, 15 years later, I find out I was kinda wrong and CGMs help us see why.

Dr. Ponder explained that if you take insulin 20 minutes before a meal, you can see on your CGM that a slight bend downward in your blood sugars happens at 20 minutes post insulin and THAT is when you should start eating.

So, yesterday was my husband's birthday and I did a little experiment with this new process. I took insulin 20 minutes, maybe 25, before we sat down to eat surprise donuts! Yep. Donuts. My blood sugar never went above 165. How cool is that!

I also learned that when you correct a high, you shouldn't see much in terms of results for at least two hours. It seems awful silly that I didn't know that. I mean I did know it, but no one ever said to me, "You won't see results for two hours." I just experienced it. There is something so valuable about hearing a doctor or professional give you concrete information about something you have experienced intrinsically for more than two decades. Is that weird? To be so thrilled with info I generally knew, but now have specifics on and can apply to my management?

More on the horizon of diabetes care in my next post. Lot's of info that I'm trying not to get my hopes up about, cause it would be too awesome!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Attending the JDRF T1Now conference in Austin

JDRF Director, Tom Brobson speaking now. Will post thoughts later.