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A group of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is using technology from the industrial engineering field to develop a device that could improve the insulin test results of individuals with type 1 diabetes.
The artificial pancreas they are creating uses algorithms taken from predictive control systems used in oil refining to gauge an individual's need for insulin. The device would then respond by automatically injecting more of the hormone.
This would mark a major advancement in artificial pancreas technology. The devices have been around for years, but they were unable to respond to changes in users' blood sugar levels. This meant that individuals still had to regularly conduct insulin testing on themselves by pricking their fingers.
However, the Rensselaer device could eliminate this need. By automatically testing and delivering appropriate levels of insulin, individuals with type 1 diabetes may be able to gain better control over their blood sugar levels and free themselves from frequent testing.
The fact that type 1 diabetics must test their blood sugar several times each day to make sure that it is within a healthy range is considered one of the greater barriers standing in the way of effective blood sugar control.
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