Monday, May 17, 2010

Robotic Pancreas: One Man’s Quest to Put Millions of Diabetics on Autopilot

Faster please.

So began phase II of Brewer’s life. He would become advocate-in-chief for bringing to market a breakthrough technology that has been promised for decades: a fully automated, self-regulating artificial organ — mechanical and electronic rather than biological — that would sense blood-sugar levels continuously and release just the right amount of insulin at just the right time without the need for any action, or even awareness, on the patient’s part. Good-bye to many-times-daily blood tests. Farewell to insulin injections containing back-of-the-napkin dosages and inevitable hours of feeling ill. Good riddance to the risk of slipping into unconsciousness and an untimely death. Brewer would start the race to build a technological fix for diabetes. The biggest obstacle? Bureaucratic logjams.

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