For those who suffer from diabetes, life can be different in a number of ways. For some, that means having an insulin pump installed full time. Today’s devices are rather small and can often be hidden underneath clothing so that it isn’t even known that they are there. In return, blood sugars can be effectively regulated. The initial insulin pumps weren’t so small, however, often being the size of a backpack. They were initially invented by Dr. Arnold Kadish in 1963.
Even though there was a tremendous amount of treatment power that came with the invention of the insulin pump, it took nearly 20 years for it to begin hitting the commercial market. Testing of insulin pumps didn’t even begin until the 1970’s and the first commercial pumps, nicknamed the “Big Blue Brick,” were made available in 1978.
Although Kadish isn’t on record of having developed other inventions, there have been a number of innovations in the treatment of diabetes that have come from his work. Here is just a brief look at some of them.
1. Smart Watch Monitors
One of the biggest dangers that a diabetic faces is low blood sugar that occurs at night. When a diabetic is asleep, it is difficult to monitor blood sugar numbers and hypoglycemia is a frequent problem for those who suffer with this deceive. Some believe the average person faces two episodes per week while sleeping and one severe incident per year. With smart watch monitors, blood sugars can be watched throughout the night and sound an alert if blood sugar levels become too low.
2. Artificial Pancreas
Developed in England, the artificial pancreas is a device that’s about the size of a watch that is implanted into a patient’s abdominal cavity. It releases insulin directly into the bloodstream and it is refilled with a short tube that passes through the skin. Although this invention hasn’t been approved as of yet, human trials of the artificial pancreas are planned to begin in 2016. It is a revolutionary step forward because it is essentially a new insulin pump, but attached inside the skin instead of outside.
3. VEGF-B Treatments
The typical first steps to treating diabetes are to get people newly diagnosed onto healthier diet plans. This means eliminating the high fat foods and restricting calories while increasing exercise levels so that the fatty deposits that are creating insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetics can be reduced. With the discovery of VEGF-B, which is a protein that is already in the body, treatments have been discovered that will help to reassign where these proteins deposit fat so that it doesn’t keep accumulating in all of the wrong places.
4. Breathable Insulin
Although this treatment option was discontinued in 2007 because there wasn’t much interest in it, breathable insulin was a remarkable invention because it put what would normally be in a needle into a breathable powder. It was only on the market for a year, but the 11 years of research that went into the development of this diabetes treatment option looks to be the foundation of future innovations and inventions within this field.
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