Bionic Pancreas Q&A Part 1: Can the Bionic Pancreas Achieve a Low A1C?

On September 12, 2013, the Glu Team welcomed principal investigators and study participants of the Beacon Hill Study of the Bionic Pancreas to answer questions from the Glu Community. The video at the bottom of this article is the full-length answer to the following question, “For those of us who have A1C of 5, will the Bionic Pancreas be able to achieve that type of A1C?”

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Highlight Responses

Ed Damiano, PhD, Principal Investigator

There are people out there that get average A1Cs lower than 6 and will do better, better in the sense of average blood sugar than what the device [Bionic Pancreas] can achieve. But the price they pay for that is a lot of effort, no assurances overnight to run such an aggressive low mean and lots of hypoglycemia.”

“People with type 1 diabetes eat pounds and pounds of carbohydrates medicinally every year. This is something we are going to get away from almost entirely with the use of glucagon.

Steven Russell, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator

There is no evidence that getting A1Cs below that (6.5–7.0) provides any benefit in terms of preventing complications. Once you get down to that level (A1Cs below 6.5–7.0) the risk of getting eye damage or kidney damage is essentially the same as someone without diabetes.”

“I think sometimes people with diabetes hold themselves to a very unrealistic standard. They are trying to do better than a normally functioning pancreas does. Then they beat themselves up when they don’t succeed.”

Mick Davison, MD, Study Participant

A1C is an average it’s just an average in every individual. I see a lot of people with great A1Cs and you look at the blood sugars and there is a standard deviation of 100. And that is not the way we were intended to operate.”

Bill Woods, Study Participant

My nurse who doesn’t have type 1, her blood sugars aren’t 100mg/dl all day long. So I think that is a little bit more of the reality of it too. I mean who really is 100mg/dl all day long?”



Part 2 of the series continues here.

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