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(NPR)   Man, tired of seeing his son struggle with diabetes, invents a "bionic pancreas" to help the boy regulate his blood sugar   (npr.org) divider line 59
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7899 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jun 2014 at 6:09 PM (5 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-16 04:52:40 PM
Hmm. Well, if his device works I'm sure some nice megacorps will steal it from him and then take it off the market in favor of their own product or jack the price up and sell it at an overinflated price to people desperate to live.
 
2014-06-16 06:12:56 PM
We have the technology. We can rebuild him.
 
2014-06-16 06:13:46 PM
Well, it took one post for hippie Commies to tell us why Capitalism is evil.  So we'll just have one of these devices for this kid and everyone else will die.
 
2014-06-16 06:14:16 PM

Weaver95: Hmm. Well, if his device works I'm sure some nice megacorps will steal it from him and then take it off the market in favor of their own product or jack the price up and sell it at an overinflated price to people desperate to live.


Very sadly this.
 
2014-06-16 06:15:20 PM
Bionic Pancreas sounds like a band.
 
2014-06-16 06:15:31 PM
His superpower is the ability to drink pure honey!
 
2014-06-16 06:15:39 PM
My son with Type I looks into this stuff.  He says they're growing healthy pancreases (pancrei) in Germany from stem cells.  This could have been happening in the US if it weren't for Bush.
 
2014-06-16 06:17:28 PM

Weaver95: Hmm. Well, if his device works I'm sure some nice megacorps will steal it from him and then take it off the market in favor of their own product or jack the price up and sell it at an overinflated price to people desperate to live.


Of course if one guy in his garage can make it, any bio-engineer angry at his company could release easy to build plans online.
/Reminds me of the guy who kitbashed a dialysis machine on rural china as he would die otherwise.
 
2014-06-16 06:20:15 PM
the SO has type 1 so you have my attention..

Insulin pumps really are a gift from FSM. It has really helped Mrs. Enya..

/never mess with a woman with high blood sugar
//you will die slowly
///of slashies
 
2014-06-16 06:21:22 PM

Snarfangel: His superpower is the ability to drink pure honey!


And whenever he does, his pancreas makes an awesome NA NA NA NA NA NA sound!
 
2014-06-16 06:21:34 PM

bigstoopidbruce: Well, it took one post for hippie Commies to tell us why Capitalism is evil.  So we'll just have one of these devices for this kid and everyone else will die.


Get some ointment for that butthurt, fella.  Nothing wrong with making a profit.  Making mega profits because you price healthcare out of the range of most people and trying to monopolize healthcare through BS patent pissing isn't capitalism it's thuggery.  Now fark off.
 
2014-06-16 06:23:14 PM

HailRobonia: Bionic Pancreas sounds like a band.


or a superhero
 
2014-06-16 06:23:23 PM

Weaver95: Hmm. Well, if his device works I'm sure some nice megacorps will steal it from him and then take it off the market in favor of their own product or jack the price up and sell it at an overinflated price to people desperate to live.


One lawsuit involving a customer who died while using the device will bankrupt him.

Doesn't matter if it was the devices fault or not, it will be an expensive battle.

And if the device does fail in the field, and it will, that may mean someone will die.

The legal liabilities of a device like this are immense.
 
2014-06-16 06:23:45 PM

thatboyoverthere: Weaver95: Hmm. Well, if his device works I'm sure some nice megacorps will steal it from him and then take it off the market in favor of their own product or jack the price up and sell it at an overinflated price to people desperate to live.

Of course if one guy in his garage can make it, any bio-engineer angry at his company could release easy to build plans online.
/Reminds me of the guy who kitbashed a dialysis machine on rural china as he would die otherwise.


If the guy isn't worried about getting rich off it, he really needs to secure one of those 'works kinda like this' patents on the process that's broad enough to cover anything similar, then release it to public domain Tesla-style.
 
2014-06-16 06:24:54 PM

thatboyoverthere: Weaver95: Hmm. Well, if his device works I'm sure some nice megacorps will steal it from him and then take it off the market in favor of their own product or jack the price up and sell it at an overinflated price to people desperate to live.

Of course if one guy in his garage can make it, any bio-engineer angry at his company could release easy to build plans online.
/Reminds me of the guy who kitbashed a dialysis machine on rural china as he would die otherwise.


Except the "one guy in his garage" is actually a professor of bio-mechanical engineering at Boston University, almost certainly using university lab time and equipment.  He's made this device the focus of his entire career.  The major hurdle the devices faces?  It's too complicated, and getting even a tiny part wrong means death.

Where did you get the idea it would be easy to build, even after designs are finalized?
 
2014-06-16 06:26:59 PM
it's nice but it ain't no cure.  you still have things sticking through your skin strapped to your body... and in this case... one more thing than the normal type 1 with a CGM and a pump.  Yeah, the addition of the glucose/glucagon pump is somewhat novel... and may help some parents sleep through the night knowing that it can 'auto correct' for lows... but I'm still looking forward to the day when they can put new insulin producing beta cells in the body and turn off the immune response that wipes them out.
 
2014-06-16 06:27:41 PM
I want a bionic arm...

i1152.photobucket.com
 
2014-06-16 06:31:23 PM

iaazathot: bigstoopidbruce: Well, it took one post for hippie Commies to tell us why Capitalism is evil.  So we'll just have one of these devices for this kid and everyone else will die.

Get some ointment for that butthurt, fella.  Nothing wrong with making a profit.  Making mega profits because you price healthcare out of the range of most people and trying to monopolize healthcare through BS patent pissing isn't capitalism it's thuggery.  Now fark off.


Can you quantify the difference?

The challenges of regulatory filing are going to add a substantial cost to mass-production of this device. It seems people want their cake (well-tasted, safe for human use) and eat it too (cheap, low margin, legal recourse in case of death).
 
2014-06-16 06:42:14 PM
So he invented an insulin pump with a CGM (continuous glucose monitor)?  What a trailblazer.  My wife has been using one for the last 12 or 13 years.
 
2014-06-16 06:49:07 PM

Fonaibung: The challenges of regulatory filing are going to add a substantial cost to mass-production of this device. It seems people want their cake (well-tasted, safe for human use) and eat it too (cheap, low margin, legal recourse in case of death).


THis. I know there's graft in medical devices, however you don't just slap together a piece of machinery and stick it in a human body and assume it's good to go. There're a LOT of regulatory hurdles in place that prevent faulty ANYTHING from getting into the body of a human. After all, let's consider: A vehicle or computer that works 80-90% of the time is perfectly acceptable. Something breaks or has a fault after the fact? Relatively little issue, recall it, repair it.

However, pacemakers? Artificial Joints? Artificial organs? if it doesn't work 99% of the time, don't even bother with it.

So, yeah, companies who go through the process of taking and streamlining the design, building the tooling, molds, and so on necessary to make it, then test it, then refine it, then test some more, amounting to millions/billions spent to develop the device are going to sell it at a price that helps them amortize the cost over time.  That's just business, and whether we were talking about a privately-held company, or a worker-owned company, I damn well expect that if i'm spending billions to develop a device and get it out there, no matter HOW many people it helps, i'm going to make that money back so I can invest in the next device to save lives.
 
2014-06-16 06:51:21 PM

Muta: My son with Type I looks into this stuff.  He says they're growing healthy pancreases (pancrei) in Germany from stem cells.  This could have been happening in the US if it weren't for Bush.


You mean except that the used progenitor cells and embryonic stem cells had absolutely nothing to do with it right?  And it was the Danes not the Germans.

But hey, don't let facts get in the way of your Bush hate.
 
2014-06-16 06:58:51 PM

abhorrent1: So he invented an insulin pump with a CGM (continuous glucose monitor)?  What a trailblazer.  My wife has been using one for the last 12 or 13 years.


His also has a glucagon pump.
 
2014-06-16 07:03:21 PM
It's gonna be hell for that kid hearing "na na na na na na" every time his pancreas kicks in.
 
2014-06-16 07:07:21 PM
Not nearly as cool as I thought it would be. Can we get some chrome and LEDs on that thing?  I want some cyberpunk, goddamnit.
 
2014-06-16 07:10:58 PM

Weaver95: megacorps will steal it from him


[Drew], tired of seeing [the world] struggle with [moderate alcoholism], invents a [cyberliver] to help [everyone drink like Cletus]
 
2014-06-16 07:20:20 PM

bigstoopidbruce: Well, it took one post for hippie Commies to tell us why Capitalism is evil.  So we'll just have one of these devices for this kid and everyone else will die.


i290.photobucket.com
 
2014-06-16 07:24:49 PM
encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

Dang,  Shoulda worked on that Bionic Pancreas thing instead of handheld TV's and such......
 
2014-06-16 07:27:18 PM

bigstoopidbruce: Well, it took one post for hippie Commies to tell us why Capitalism is evil.  So we'll just have one of these devices for this kid and everyone else will die.


Yea, he's a liberal commie. Suuuureeeee. You must have not been paying attention over the last dozen years you've been here.
 
2014-06-16 07:29:50 PM
Did anyone else thought that the kid is mildly retarded to be 15 and not being able to take care of his own health?
I mean it's something that should be routine.
Maybe going away for college shouldn't be in this idiot kid's future.
 
2014-06-16 07:33:14 PM

JesseL: abhorrent1: So he invented an insulin pump with a CGM (continuous glucose monitor)?  What a trailblazer.  My wife has been using one for the last 12 or 13 years.

His also has a glucagon pump.


Oh so you only need three insertion sets. One for the CGM, one for the glucagon and one for insulin. Sounds totally convenient.  My wife actually got rid of her CGM because it was more of a PITA than it was worth. Any time it would lose communication with the pump it would alarm. Which of course, was always in the middle of the night.
 
2014-06-16 07:42:30 PM

Muta: My son with Type I looks into this stuff.  He says they're growing healthy pancreases (pancrei) in Germany from stem cells.  This could have been happening in the US if it weren't for Bush.


Except for the bit about Bush never guiding, forcing, or whatever else anyone to not do stem cell research, sure.  Especially since for stem cells to be useful in this particular situation, you'd want them to be from yourself and not some completely unrelated fetus...funny how all these years later and people still don't get that.  the beauty of stem cell research is you can rebuild your own parts for yourself, of yourself - no chance of rejection, complications, etc.  And if it's yourself, it's not some random dead fetus - it's you.

So, yeah, except for that - Bush totally stopped it.  Single-handedly, without even doing anything.  He was that powerful.
 
2014-06-16 07:47:33 PM
Worst superhero ever
 
2014-06-16 08:06:12 PM

IamAwake: Muta: My son with Type I looks into this stuff.  He says they're growing healthy pancreases (pancrei) in Germany from stem cells.  This could have been happening in the US if it weren't for Bush.

Except for the bit about Bush never guiding, forcing, or whatever else anyone to not do stem cell research, sure.  Especially since for stem cells to be useful in this particular situation, you'd want them to be from yourself and not some completely unrelated fetus...funny how all these years later and people still don't get that.  the beauty of stem cell research is you can rebuild your own parts for yourself, of yourself - no chance of rejection, complications, etc.  And if it's yourself, it's not some random dead fetus - it's you.

So, yeah, except for that - Bush totally stopped it.  Single-handedly, without even doing anything.  He was that powerful.


Except for, you know, banning funding on the research.

Bush's ban limited government funding for research on embryonic stem cells - which have the potential of curing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson's - to already existing stem cell lines. Federal dollars could not be used to start any new cell lines or to conduct research on any newly derived cell lines.
 
2014-06-16 08:07:45 PM
Please, there isn't any new technology on display here.  It's just a couple insulin pumps ties to a CGM system, and one of the insulin pumps is filled with the opposite of insulin.  Systems similar to this already exist, all that doesn't exist is a closed loop system.  The reason a closed loop system doesn't exist isn't a technological hurdle, it's purely liability.  Once you take all human intervention out of the system and it's automatically responding to high blood sugar with a shot of insulin, your liability shoots through the roof.  It needs extensive testing and FDA approval gets really farking difficult.

And really, the addition glucagon is kind of a cheap hack.  If his software was better at managing insulin injections, the kid's blood sugar should never go low in the first place.  So he throws more hardware at it with more software to counteract the other piece of hardware that occasionally overshoots.  Admittedly it's a difficult problem, but he's adding complexity and risk to an already complex and risky system.
 
2014-06-16 08:09:23 PM
Which Bush are we talking about?

W?

H.W?

or the baked beans guy?
 
2014-06-16 08:14:48 PM

The6502Man: Which Bush are we talking about?

W?

H.W?

or the baked beans guy?


No one cares about HW, and if we want an opinion from the beans guy, we'll ask his dog. Guess that leaves one.
 
2014-06-16 08:17:30 PM
There is already one "artificial pancreas" on the market and others in development. This is not new except for employing two hormones instead of one. But the basic idea is not only not new, it's already commercialized.
 
2014-06-16 08:18:31 PM

Rezurok: Please, there isn't any new technology on display here.  It's just a couple insulin pumps ties to a CGM system, and one of the insulin pumps is filled with the opposite of insulin.  Systems similar to this already exist, all that doesn't exist is a closed loop system.  The reason a closed loop system doesn't exist isn't a technological hurdle, it's purely liability.  Once you take all human intervention out of the system and it's automatically responding to high blood sugar with a shot of insulin, your liability shoots through the roof.  It needs extensive testing and FDA approval gets really farking difficult.

And really, the addition glucagon is kind of a cheap hack.  If his software was better at managing insulin injections, the kid's blood sugar should never go low in the first place.  So he throws more hardware at it with more software to counteract the other piece of hardware that occasionally overshoots.  Admittedly it's a difficult problem, but he's adding complexity and risk to an already complex and risky system.


There is in fact a closed loop system approved as of last September in the U.S.
 
2014-06-16 08:19:13 PM

Animatronik: There is already one "artificial pancreas" on the market and others in development. This is not new except for employing two hormones instead of one. But the basic idea is not only not new, it's already commercialized.


But wait how is that bad and how is it Bush's fault? Please clarify.
 
2014-06-16 08:19:21 PM

Savage Belief: Except for, you know, banning funding on the research.

Bush's ban limited government funding for research on embryonic stem cells - which have the potential of curing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson's - to already existing stem cell lines. Federal dollars could not be used to start any new cell lines or to conduct research on any newly derived cell lines.


Isn't it true that like 99% of the stem cell successes have been with NON embryonic stem cells?
 
2014-06-16 08:26:09 PM

The6502Man: Savage Belief: Except for, you know, banning funding on the research.

Bush's ban limited government funding for research on embryonic stem cells - which have the potential of curing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson's - to already existing stem cell lines. Federal dollars could not be used to start any new cell lines or to conduct research on any newly derived cell lines.

Isn't it true that like 99% of the stem cell successes have been with NON embryonic stem cells?


Probably. I was just countering a moran.
 
2014-06-16 08:27:22 PM

Jeng: Weaver95: Hmm. Well, if his device works I'm sure some nice megacorps will steal it from him and then take it off the market in favor of their own product or jack the price up and sell it at an overinflated price to people desperate to live.

One lawsuit involving a customer who died while using the device will bankrupt him.

Doesn't matter if it was the devices fault or not, it will be an expensive battle.

And if the device does fail in the field, and it will, that may mean someone will die.

The legal liabilities of a device like this are immense.


This is why we can't have nice things


Lawyers fark them all
 
2014-06-16 08:28:49 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: Animatronik: There is already one "artificial pancreas" on the market and others in development. This is not new except for employing two hormones instead of one. But the basic idea is not only not new, it's already commercialized.

But wait how is that bad and how is it Bush's fault? Please clarify.


Bush didn't lie and tell everyone that broccoli was his favorite food, causing truckloads of broccoli to be dumped in front of the white house and millions of children to develop diabeetus.

Oh wait that was his dad.
 
2014-06-16 08:32:14 PM
As a father, all I can say is;

STOP DUSTING WHEN IM READING INTERNET ARTICLES, DAMMIT!

/seriously, CSB
 
2014-06-16 08:36:47 PM

The6502Man: Isn't it true that like 99% of the stem cell successes have been with NON embryonic stem cells?


So 99% of the stem cell success have been with stem cell lines that one can get funding to work on?
 
2014-06-16 08:39:22 PM

Four Horsemen of the Domestic Dispute: [encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com image 300x168]

Dang,  Shoulda worked on that Bionic Pancreas thing instead of handheld TV's and such......


It wouldn't have helped. Cancer doesn't respond to insulin/sugar treatments.
 
2014-06-16 08:40:54 PM

Animatronik: Rezurok: Please, there isn't any new technology on display here.  It's just a couple insulin pumps ties to a CGM system, and one of the insulin pumps is filled with the opposite of insulin.  Systems similar to this already exist, all that doesn't exist is a closed loop system.  The reason a closed loop system doesn't exist isn't a technological hurdle, it's purely liability.  Once you take all human intervention out of the system and it's automatically responding to high blood sugar with a shot of insulin, your liability shoots through the roof.  It needs extensive testing and FDA approval gets really farking difficult.

And really, the addition glucagon is kind of a cheap hack.  If his software was better at managing insulin injections, the kid's blood sugar should never go low in the first place.  So he throws more hardware at it with more software to counteract the other piece of hardware that occasionally overshoots.  Admittedly it's a difficult problem, but he's adding complexity and risk to an already complex and risky system.

There is in fact a closed loop system approved as of last September in the U.S.


If you're talking about the minimed 530G, to my understanding that's only closed in the sense that it will stop insulin delivery if the user has low blood sugar, but it will not initiate insulin delivery on its own.  It's a step in the right direction, but there's not much risk implementing a system that is only able to stop insulin delivery when things are going badly.  The manufacturer doesn't have to make any guarantees that it will stop delivery, and the user is still liable for requesting too much insulin to begin with.
 
2014-06-16 08:47:31 PM

pippi longstocking: Did anyone else thought that the kid is mildly retarded to be 15 and not being able to take care of his own health?
I mean it's something that should be routine.


Well, from what his dad said, who is, you know, a professor of biomechanical engineering,

"'It's intimidating when you start considering the list of things that influence blood sugar,' he says. 'Emotions and physical activity, if you're healthy. You can't possibly take into account and balance all those things. And sometimes you get it right. And often you get it wrong.'"

I had a friend with Type-1 diabetes. He eventually died of renal failure that it caused, and he had received a donor kidney from his father. Diabetes can be a biatch to manage. Granted, it didn't help that he liked to go out to the bars, but still, even when behaving, it was difficult to get right.
 
2014-06-16 09:29:32 PM

Rezurok: Animatronik: Rezurok: Please, there isn't any new technology on display here.  It's just a couple insulin pumps ties to a CGM system, and one of the insulin pumps is filled with the opposite of insulin.  Systems similar to this already exist, all that doesn't exist is a closed loop system.  The reason a closed loop system doesn't exist isn't a technological hurdle, it's purely liability.  Once you take all human intervention out of the system and it's automatically responding to high blood sugar with a shot of insulin, your liability shoots through the roof.  It needs extensive testing and FDA approval gets really farking difficult.

And really, the addition glucagon is kind of a cheap hack.  If his software was better at managing insulin injections, the kid's blood sugar should never go low in the first place.  So he throws more hardware at it with more software to counteract the other piece of hardware that occasionally overshoots.  Admittedly it's a difficult problem, but he's adding complexity and risk to an already complex and risky system.

There is in fact a closed loop system approved as of last September in the U.S.

If you're talking about the minimed 530G, to my understanding that's only closed in the sense that it will stop insulin delivery if the user has low blood sugar, but it will not initiate insulin delivery on its own.  It's a step in the right direction, but there's not much risk implementing a system that is only able to stop insulin delivery when things are going badly.  The manufacturer doesn't have to make any guarantees that it will stop delivery, and the user is still liable for requesting too much insulin to begin with.


It is a "first step" true, not fully automated, but it is the first device to incorporate a closed loop in any form. In principle the same technology can be used in a complete "artificial pancreas" setup.

I think that mechanical pumps will always have inherent limitations, no matter how many safeguards they put in place.
 
2014-06-16 10:12:54 PM
i.dailymail.co.uk
 
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