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Now, smartphone to help treat diabetes

Now, smartphone to help treat diabetes - Researchers in US have developed a system that can treat Type 1 diabetes automatically and easily, with the help of a smartphone. With this system, people suffering from diabetes might soon be able to ditch constant finger pricks and manual insulin injections - if they own a smartphone.

According to the researchers, a smartphone, combined with a small sensor and wearable insulin pump, can stand in for pancreas, monitoring blood-sugar levels and delivering insulin as required.

The system works with a readily available blood-glucose sensor - about the size of a flash drive - that can be worn in a variety of places on the body, such as the leg, abdomen or arm.

The sensor reads blood-glucose levels every 5 minutes and wirelessly reports the results to a specially designed app on a nearby android smartphone.

The app's algorithm assesses the data and wirelessly controls a discreet, wearable insulin pump, which can be hooked to a belt or other piece of clothing. The pump has a needle that delivers insulin into the blood stream.

The goal is to keep blood-glucose levels at a specific target number. This makes it easy to under- or over-shoot that specific target during manual blood-sugar management, and it means an automatic system has to frequently tweak levels.

The researchers have come up with an enhanced version of the smartphone app algorithm that does not aim for a specific blood-glucose number, but rather a "zone."

Francis Doyle III, dean of Harvard's Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said these patient-specific short ranges of healthy blood-glucose levels are easier targets that can be stably maintained, avoiding constant adjustments that can lead to swings.