I recently started using Loop, a hybrid closed-loop artificial pancreas (AP) system. I encountered some start-up difficulties with two consecutive infusion site failures and miserable numbers. I put in another style infusion set yesterday and my metabolic world changed. I woke up this morning to this overnight CGM trace:
yellow line=140 mg/dL, red line=65 mg/dL
Time in range = 100%, time hypo = 0%, standard deviation = 8 mg/dL, average BG = 103 mg/dL
I have had success approaching this performance without an AP but these kind of lines are hard for me to repeat. Consistency is a big challenge. Loop made dozens of decisions during the night moving my basal rates up and down. All I did was sleep! I’m thinking that Loop can provide that missing ingredient, consistency.
I have struggled with T1D for almost 33 years. It has taken a bite out of my life’s energy that I would have never given up willingly. This experience rises well above any of the diabetes technology that I have tried over the years. It engenders hope to the extent I had not thought possible. Outside of an outright cure, this is the best thing to ever appear in my diabetes world.
Unfortunately, the AP is not commercially available but the earliest commercial versions are only about six months away from introduction. Ambitious experimenters may find help in various online communities.
I’ve heard and read many hopeful treatment ideas during my 33 years of living with this beast. They sound promising and credible but until today, each and every one of them lingered at that ephemeral five-years distant horizon. Smart insulin and encapsulated beta cells are two that attracted my attention. The artificial pancreas, however, is here today!