Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Richard Pacelle, professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, to find some answers.
Jeffrey Brewer is a former dot-com entrepreneur who is now on a mission to have an artificial pancreas built. He believes it would help his son, Sean, and others with Type 1 or juvenile diabetes.
Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which is brought on by diet or lifestyle, Type 1 can never be cured – only treated; it requires endless blood sugar tests and insulin injections.
The artificial pancreas has three parts: a continuous glucose sensor/monitor (CGM), a computer (noted as the control-algorithm on the diagram) and an insulin pump.
The CGM monitors blood sugar levels, then relays that information to a computer, which calculates how much insulin a person needs using complex algorithms. The computer then instructs an insulin pump attached to the person’s body.