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This Technology Could Be the Permanent Solution to Diabetes

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The picture below shows a woman wearing an early prototype of a bio-artificial pancreas (BAP) at the European Center for the Study of Diabetes on July 3, 2014, in Strasbourg, eastern France.

Diabetes kills more Americans every year than AIDS and breast cancer combined, according to the American Diabetes Association. Now the 1.25 million Americans who suffer from Type 1 diabetes might have a ray of hope on the horizon: A hybrid close-loop insulin delivery system that began rolling out last May.

The technology, essentially an artificial pancreas, is expected to become more widespread this year as more patients demand the technology and more insurers reimburse the system. It uses computer algorithms to automatically and continuously deliver an adequate supply of insulin to the body. Approved by the FDA, it enables direct communication between a glucose monitoring device and an insulin pump to stabilize a person’s blood glucose level.

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Ultimately, that could be good news for people with Type 2 diabetes, which is much more common.

“This will be of great use to people with Type 1 diabetes, but we think it will spread quickly to the millions of people with Type 2 as well,” says Roizen.