Should it Really Be Called………an Artificial Pancreas?

Artifical RealLet’s be one million percent clear from the onset: I, like the rest of the diabetes world, would love nothing better but to see a CGM communicate with an insulin pump for better control and to alarm the world when things derail.  It would, and will, revolutionize the management of type 1 diabetes.  But the more I speak to people newly into this diabetes world of ours, there is an inherent problem I’m finding with what is commonly being called an artificial or bionic pancreas.  In speaking to people at the ADA conference this week my feelings were not completely unique.  Inasmuch as many believe that a good deal of people completely ‘get it’, many also think that others might think this device will be almost like placing diabetes in automatic……and it is this thought of which I caution.

I, personally, hate the name artificial pancreas.  It isn’t.  Now it may be we get to the point of a rose is a rose by any other name but the device, as great as it will be, does not do things that a pancreas does…dispense glucagon being just one (although the plan is that the ‘bionic’ pancreas will some day).  And in looking at ways the word ‘artificial’ is used, even when looking at an artificial heart, does it really fit, as is present, in our diabetes world?

When people think of something artificial, they think of it being as close a substitute to the real thing as possible.  When these devices are hitting the market and ready to go in everyday use they will be fabulous. To me….TO ME (just me, my opinion), I think there is a better name for two electronic devices speaking to each other to monitor and dispense fluid than calling it something that it’s not; as darn good as it may become some day.  Perhaps, Integrated Insulin Delivery And Monitoring System–The IIDAMS (hmmmmmmm marketing gurus just might have a field day with THAT name;  ‘IIDAMS diabetes forever’ catch phrase….hmmmmmmm).

This is just me and I have never stated I knew any answers.  What do you think?  Do you think the name ‘Artificial, Bionic, AP, Electronic, Pancreas’, suits it?   What would you name these devices about to hit the market?
Just a thought I had…..chime in.
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What Do You Know and Use Everyday? Share with Us.

question mark little manAs I read responses to yesterday’s article, and  the so many traits that people have leaned upon to ‘get them through’ the new normal, I realized that my two emotional aspects of laughter and music has served us well, but there is another approach needing discussing and that is ‘the practical’ aspects.  

Jill is without-a-doubt the most organized person I have ever met.  Her abilities have been an incredible asset to our ‘new normal’.  Dealing with insurance companies, and appointments, and hospital visits I shutter to think what our lives would be like had we not the strength to almost always know where something is and what the next steps will be.

Jill’s ability at taking a mess and making sense of it is envious by many.  The places she has been employed have utilized that talent enormously, and so have we.  Organization goes a long way in everything that is needed for our kids even without diabetes, add diabetes to the mix, multiply by two kids, and you can see what I mean.

When I was around 12, I was a newspaper carrier.  Hard to believe there was a time when a local boy or girl would drop your newspaper on your steps and collect what was due on a Friday or Saturday; but we existed.  Every day in all sorts of weather I would deliver my newspapers. 

Before I delivered my papers, I sat on the bundle and flipped through every page reading what was happening around the world.  News.  The news was always important to me and it is to this day.  This thirst for what was new has also served us well because of the ever-changing climate in which we live.   Technology for useful management tools like the artificial pancreas (read Diabetes Mine’s great article about Ed Damiano who has clearly become the leader in this ‘bionic pancreas’ research) and of course the research for a cure is always a hot button of mine and the scientific merit of the work earning grants recently at the Diabetes Research Institute is a constant reminder of their drive to move the dial forward better than anyone else, it is the reason I continue to work there.

This thirst for what’s new also has trained me to ask questions, a lot of questions, and the right questions to know where we are going in both the day-to-day management as well as the research toward a cure.

Organization and a thirst for what’s new has served us very, very well in this journey.    We did not choose diabetes but now that it is here, we have used every resource we had, and we have been very fortunate.

What practical aspect of your life has served you well each and every day with the ‘new normal’?  Let us know.

I am a diabetes dad.

Visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.