He is the most interesting man in the world.
The "he", fyi, is Ed Damiano...a biomedical engineer turned Artificial Pancreas guru, and father of a type 1 child with diabetes. (and a speaker this year at Friends for Life. Perhaps he has been other years, but I've been kind of out of the loop. I was excited to hear his talk this year, to find out exactly how the Massachusetts clinical trials are going. (very well, apparently. On track to submit to the FDA in 2016, perhaps on time to be approved in time for his son to go off to college in 2017). And I was impressed by his drive (and smarts), but namely, I needed one very important question answered before I threw my approval to this particular artificial pancreas attempt.
NEWS FLASH: THERE ARE MULTIPLE ARTIFICIAL PANCREAS TRIALS GOING ON ALL OVER THE US, AND THE WORLD. I'VE GOTTEN A BIT TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT MEDTRONICS VEO SUSPEND(NO THANKS, DON'T TRUST IT) AND YES, EVEN DAMIANO'S. THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA HAS A VERY PROMISING ONE, THAT MIGHT JUST BEAT THE SOCKS OFF DAMIANO
Back to the topic at hand..oh yes, Damiano's trial. His system uses a dual chamber glucogon/insulin combo, and releases each, as needed. (other systems are solely focused on the insulin/suspend parts) My concern would be as to whether or not getting all that glucagon might make the user sick/nauseated, which Damiano assured me that the amount of glucogon released in the "microspurts" was only 1/8 of a standard glucogon dose and hadn't made anyone sick, to date.(I knew of a person in his trial who had gotten sick,and she assumed it to be from the glucogon. She had to drop out.) I mean, I guess a functioning pancreas does just that(release glucagon as needed) so it's not exactly a foreign substance to the body. (long term studies on this are still unknown though) By the end, I was thinking alot more highly of his AP then previously. (glucagon plus insulin just makes sense, and MIGHT keep the bg more stable then just insulin. But I dunno, because UVA's is also one sweet piece of technology and at this point I think I'd take any AP that was given to me) His system differs in one other key regard...it adjusts to the changing needs of the user. (not "fixed" on insulin: carb ratios and the like. Life is fluid, insulin needs are fluid, everything is always changing. And if my brain was an artificial pancreas I could do a heck of a lot better with managing my diabetes.(there are always so many variables that need adjusting for)
That session, regardless of my particular opinion, had every person in the room really excited and ready to go and sign up the very next week.(I get that, I do. It is cool beans, and if I lived around there I'd probably also want to be involved). But my involvement has been/and will be with the UVA project. (and then, I got an email from a clinical coordinator at UVA...which led to me being more excited for their project, then for Damiano's.) Still, anyone who has a desire to be in a clinical trial (esp. an AP one) should be.
Tomorrow I'm going in for a screening study. I'm excited to be a part of making a better world, for everyone with diabetes. (regardless of who wins this "AP" battle.)
(cross fingers and toes that I'll get in! I think the only thing that might preclude me from that, is whether my thyroid tests are in-range. I've been pretty bad lately over taking my thyroid pill.)