Update on the iLet (bionic Pancreas)


Yeah, for those people (I am one) who can’t do anything that requires being into technology this system seems way over the top. But when I attended a session at last years TCOYD and they had a panel about close loop pump and new ones in trials, I really felt like I could. One person talked about It took four weekends to get it up and running. That is just too much for me! But when he said he went back to do it again and it was literally 15 minutes, I had to stop and think maybe I could do it. I know I could do it if I could get all the pieces needed and as stated I am not a high tech kinda person. But these systems are being designed for us low tech people. And if someone with high tech skills can do it in 15 minutes, someone like me might need an hour or two. I walked out of that session really feeling like I could do it. And I still think I could do it myself but it really is just finding that cute little pump and borrowing someone’s Apple computer for the set up. But this DIY session and watching your posts on this makes me realize anyone can do this. And one of the doctors I work with at the research center is using one right now and he loves it. (Also has a G6 and hasn’t tested in weeks!)
So once again Terry you give me hope that I can do it! When I can find a pump!


@Terry4 thanks! I’m a Mac/iphone person, so from what I’ve read think the Loop would be the way to go for me.


@Sally7 I know - it is whispering in my ear! this magic pump… I feel a bit guilty not using it right now, but trust I will.
I am liking some aspects of the tubeless pump (Pods) enough right now to keep using it but don’t feel it will be forever. (My partner preferring the lack of tubing is also a factor, surprisingly.)
Looping appeals to me more than any of the current or (soon to be) upcoming technology out there!


I don’t know if they’ve changed glucagon from years ago but it makes me vomit instantly. No, thank you!!


a full dose is pretty disgusting, Lauralt. :slight_smile: Thankfully, I’ve not had any since prior to about 1990. I’ve had it a total of 4 times IIRC. One time just before the paramedics hauled me off in an ambulance to the ER. Before I got there, I was well over 300.


Oh boy! I guess it works. Are they really putting it in the bionic pump?


I think the name “bionic” is going to excite people more than it should. It’s JUST A NAME.


Remember, the pump will dose very small amounts, unlike a full dose from our emergency kits!


18 posts were split to a new topic: Intensive Blood Glucose Control, Good or Bad


The logic to this pump is it will bring my blood sugars into line, with out the bouncing back and forth that many people with diabetes experience. The logic to this pump is the less “thinking” I would have to do day in and day out. The logic to this pump is it would be the closest we have come to what a normal pancreas does with two hormones on board doing what a pancreas would do.
Am I looking for maybe bringing my in target numbers a little higher, sure but I really am just looking for making my life easier. And since I have been pumping for a very long time, using a pump is what I have always been doing, so there is no major shift in my treatment plan. Except no more carb counting, no more math gymnastics for each meal, no more mini dosing insulin or glucose tablets. The pump will do that for me! I can’t wait!


Granted, the pump is a convenience for some aspects of managing the disease, but it seems that the majority of comments I see on this message board about pumps are complaints about the meta-disease people now have called ‘problems with managing the pump,’ in addition to the basic disease they can’t avoid, called ‘diabetes.’ The additional question now, however, is whether the pump is useful for achieving a more nearly normal blood sugar level if that has been shown to increase mortality levels for diabetics.


Yep, but the above is not solely outcome of your Loop system, but involves also strict carb counting, maybe also a diet of some kind. I am on loop since Sep 2016 and I am nowhere close to your figures - maybe because I’m not super accurate on counting carbs or because I eat a lot of bad food (chocolate, e.g.). But on the other hand it keeps me below super highs (>200) and lows.


Omnipod will become loopable soon. Just, fyi.


You are right and this is a fair point. I have been using a carb-limited way of eating since 2012. I also walk almost every day and I usually walk after I eat for best effect. I’ve made many choices that affect how my blood glucose levels respond. The Loop system is not the only reason I enjoy good BGs. But it has given me better control than I had before I started using it and it’s made my day to day life better.

I fully recognize and accept that my diabetes may be different from anyone else’s. But in the end, one of the main reasons I participate here, is because we are all human beings. We share some fundamental characteristics. What works for me with controlling diabetes may work for you.

Before I discovered the utility of carb-limited eating, I followed the experiences of others in this community. While I was slow to implement limiting carbs in my diet, when faced with a daunting diabetes complication, I chose to give it a try. And you know what? I found that my diabetes did not vary from the accounts of many members here. My BGs did become easier to control with less insulin and much less BG variability.

I cannot attribute all of my blood glucose control success to Loop. But I know it helped me and I want to share that with others. I also know that these early closed loop systems cannot keep up with indiscriminate eating, intermittent exercise, and inattentive meal insulin dosing. The glucose metabolic control I was born with was an exquisite and powerful system that could respond at a moment’s notice to keep blood sugar reined in even given poor habits. If we want to compare Loop to that then hands down, Mother Nature’s system is superior by orders of magnitude.

Thank you for raising this point. In addition to limiting carbs, I help my glucose metabolism by trying to get enough sleep every night, walking almost every day, and using the pre-bolus tactic in a mindful and deliberate way. I’m sure I could go on to list many things that I do to affect my BGs. Adam Brown writes that there are 42 things that drives glucose outcomes in people with diabetes. I pay attention to those things and try to stack the odds in my favor, when possible.

Loop is not magic. For it to work well, you do have to pay attention to more than the Loop technology. But it gives me better control with less effort than before.


Thanks! I’d heard rumors that Looping will be possible with Omnipod sometime soon! Hope it’ll work with the new PDM they’re getting ready to release… do you know anywhere to find updates re looping with it, @BK1112? Thanks!


Join Slack room related to “OpenOmni” (search on Google).


Semi on topic, I have been reading the posts in this thread about Loop, and am curious. Are there any beginner’s guides I could read? And is it possible to do with a Medtronic VEO paradigm pump? (mine is a 2016 model, the one before the 530G even, model number is 754: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetic-products/pumps/medtronic-paradigm-insulin-pump.html) I’m imagining I would need a CGM set up as well? I do have the one that came with my pump, I’d have to order new sensors though. I have been considering a Medtronic 670G, which my endo is very keen on my getting due to the hormones I take making my basal needs change frequently, but haven’t been able to make it happen yet due to having to change my insurance plan 5 times in the past year (it’s a long and frustrating story). Thanks for humoring my small sidebar! :grinning:

On topic, I myself am a little skeptical of a pump that requires two infusion sites. I think the concept of a pump using glucagon isn’t too crazy, depending on how it would be used. I could see it in the case were you have an enormous unexpected crash due to unplanned exercise, but not for regular use to achieve micro level control, since that is not how the body naturally functions; glucagon is reserved for responding to larger-than-usual glucose needs and/or situations where not enough nutrients have been consumed. However, even if it was only used in those specific situations, as I am a person that has experienced site woes on occasion, I imagine having two to worry about would only amplify the problem.

The real breakthrough I’ve been waiting for is the Viacyte implant, with encapsulated islet cells (https://viacyte.com/products/pec‐encap-vc-01), since nothing is ever quite going to match the action of insulin being produced within the body cavity vs. administered outside through subcutaneous tissue. Just my two cents! :upside_down_face:


Viacyte has been languishing for years over the problem of getting enough oxygen into the capsules for their contents to continue to function. Although it is a simple problem of biomechanical engineering to get a steady supply of oxygen feeding into a capsule, this little step has proved impossible to take over many, many years of tinkering.


Check out these links. Compatible pumps are listed in each document.

Loop - https://loopkit.github.io/loopdocs/
OpenAPS - http://openaps.readthedocs.io/en/latest/index.html
AndroidAPS - https://github.com/MilosKozak/AndroidAPS/wiki

Here’s the compatibility table copied from the Loop document listed above.

754 pumps with a certain level of firmware are compatible. Read footnote 4.


My understanding is that Medtronic no longer sells those versions of the pump. I am not sure if this is true, but I do know some people buy them from diabetes trading sites. Do you know which sites might have them and are reputable and easy to deal with?