Target: Robert Califf, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration
Goal: Commend the approval of a new insulin system that will drastically improve the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes.
A new insulin delivery system will make life much easier for thousands of Americans who live with Type 1 diabetes. The device is being called the “artificial pancreas” because of its ability to predict when a person’s blood sugar is getting low and prevent the drop, as opposed to current systems that are only able to respond when blood sugar levels are already too low.
Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not make enough insulin. People living with diabetes must replace that insulin using pumps or injections multiple times a day. This process is prone to errors, especially where varying food intake and exercise are concerned. Incorrect amounts of insulin result in high or low blood sugar levels, which can cause organ damage for the former and unconsciousness for the latter.
The “artificial pancreas,” Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G, is a hybrid that allows for communication between its glucose monitor and insulin pump (products that are currently on the market completely separately). Users will still need to signal an estimate of the carbohydrate count before they eat, allowing the device to calculate how much additional insulin is needed. But, if the count is off, the artificial pancreas can tell and can correct it automatically. This means that those with Type 1 diabetes will be able to go through their day without constantly having to think about the disease, and — the most drastic improvement of all — will be able to sleep through the night without fear that their blood sugar will drop dangerously low while they slip. This huge improvement in quality of life deserves to be recognized. Applaud the approval of the 670G.
Dear Mr. Califf,
Thank you for your approval of Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G, the “artificial pancreas” that will mean a significant rise in the quality of life for so many people living with Type 1 diabetes.
The 670G is groundbreaking in its ability to connect glucose monitor and insulin pump. This communication is a safer, easier way for those with Type 1 diabetes to regulate their blood sugar levels, automatically correcting if a count is off on a meal and predicting when glucose levels are dropping to prevent dangerously low blood sugar. The biggest benefit of all when it comes to the daily life of those living with the disease is that the 670G will allow them to sleep through the night. Because of its ability to simultaneously monitor and regulate glucose levels, this device means an almost normalized overnight blood glucose level, so people can go to bed without fear of their blood sugar dropping dangerously low while they’re asleep.
This device will change the lives of many Americans for the better. Living with a chronic disease is not easy, but access to this device will greatly reduce the constant burden. I applaud you for approving this historic milestone.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne