The morning I found out I was accepted to participate in the Beacon Hill Study for the bionic pancreas I think I screamed. I was required to complete two-hour screening process, including a physical exam, EKG, and a fasting BG with some other blood tests, but I didn’t care. For once in my life I was ecstatic to have my finger pricked and blood drawn. Needless to say I was excited when I heard the news that “I was in.”
As you might have read in my blogging on Glu, in my twenty-five-year tenure of diabetes, I was never active in participating in studies and trials. However, after five days of blissful eating and drinking, I would jump at the next opportunity to live guilt-free. The goal of the trial was to test out this system using two pumps to automatically release either insulin or glucagon, based on the current trends read wirelessly through a CGM. Each day I tested something different with the device: eating gelato, a glass of red wine, exercising without setting a temp basal rate, or prepping a workout with carbohydrates. I didn’t have to think or feel guilty about the decisions I made, and it was amazing.
I had an opportunity to talk about what it was like for a feature in this month’s issue of Diabetes Forecast. They have a great description of what it was like to be in the study, how the system works, and the next steps as the FDA works with scientists and industry to make this a reality as soon as possible. You can check out the article here.
We all have the opportunity to take part in studies and trials and offer insight into companies trying to make systems like the bionic pancreas a reality someday for the millions of us living with diabetes. Glu provides opportunities to get involved as well, and you can participate in several upcoming projects this year. As a community, we have a lot of knowledge to offer overall—not just to researchers, but to those around us. Random comments and questions are an opportunity to educate those around you. This month, we’re focusing on some of those opportunities to get involved and build support and discover helpful resources.