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Bionic Love

July 8, 2014

Last year at FFL I attended every emotionally beneficial (to me) session. Each night, talking to my friends, they would tell me about FDA this, or Bionic Pancreas that, or basal/bolus solutions and I was all “I talked to people.” Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. But I wanted to learn this year. I wanted my head to hurt from the knowledge, and let me tell you, it does.

Here is what I knew when I went into this session:

  • Everyone loves it.
  • You wear 2 pumps and a CGM. One is filled with insulin and one glucagon.
  • The participants could do anything without worrying. Exercise, food, etc.
  • They were encouraged, if not required to eat a high fat/high carb diet. These are foods that are the hardest to work with, so how would we know if it’s actually working if we ate the perfect diet.

From the first moment I stepped into the room, I was captivated. Not only is Ed Damiano a brilliant researcher/developer, but he also is a powerful presenter. I tried to take as many notes as possible, and hopefully I can summarize this for you as well.

Ed Damiano

Ed Damiano

  • This is not a cure. Read that on repeat. This. Is. Not. A. Cure.
  • It’s a tool; it is a far superior tool to what we have now, but it is just a tool.
  • The algorithm needs to know how to adapt to changes within the body, such as sickness.
  • This is one of the only systems which doesn’t need to know about a patient’s current insulin therapy program. It only needs to know a person’s weight.
  • The current iPhone device will only be used through the trials, it will not be a part of the final product.
  • Beacon Hill Study: Average carb content per day was 260g (based on photographs of food anazlyzed by nutritionist at the end of the study)
Mean Glucose on Bionic Pancreas

Mean Glucose on Bionic Pancreas

  •  Camp Study (adolescents) conducted at Clara Barton Camp & Camp Joslin
  • One kid rested his on top of a cinder block wall, and it fell in the middle. The sensor was still able to read and the devices were still able to work through the wall. (Awesome, even if not planned test)
  • Graphs prove that patients are much more conservative with blood sugars overnight at home (couldn’t get a picture of all the slides)
  • Home Study will take place in 2015 with a goal of Hypoglycemia 0-1% of time. (My gut reaction was “do you know how much weight I could lose?! All the parents at my table looked at me shockingly.)
  • The goal of the home study is when the receiver will transfer to a dedicated medical device, and all be contained in one device:
"Nobody wants me to not be ambitious"

“Nobody wants me to not be ambitious”

The end of the presentation was a plug, because they have run out of money. If you fill a room with hope, and then tell them it’s over, you know they’re going to hand over everything they have. Keep in mind, I’m just me and love my life but am NOT swimming in money. The Bionic Challenge wants each family to raise $5000 by September 1. I have no belief that I will reach this goal. However, ANYTHING YOU CAN GIVE HELPS, and it’s tax deductible. If you are interested in donating to this amazing technology, I will send you the information on how to do it! (Did I mention work stops if they don’t reach this goal?)

My Questions

  • Is this system waterproof? Based on how it seems to work, it would never come off, so I assume yes. Can’t assume.
  • How will this bode for my scar tissue? I know that Ed isn’t thinking about me specifically, but I know I’m not the only one with this issue, and is there a way to get around it?
3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2014 4:51 PM

    I’ve seen Dr. Damiano speak a few times now, but your write-up reveals some new things I hadn’t heard about before. Bummer about the money. If you send me the info, I’ll see if I can scrape something together.

  2. Katy permalink
    July 8, 2014 9:47 PM

    I wished that I had remembered to ask about the glucagon component—even if I can’t get my hands on a bionic panc. in 2017, I’d love a vial (or two or 3) of pre-mixed, shelf-stable glucagon!

    I loved this presentation too.

  3. Melissa permalink
    July 8, 2014 10:36 PM

    Thanks! This is the report I’ve been waiting to hear about from FFL. Please send me info on how to donate. I thought with the Helmsley Trust that they were good to go but maybe not. Hopefully JDRF is all over this.

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