Skip to main content

American Diabetes Month 2015: Day 23 - Closed Loop systems

Day 23, I wanted to continue the discussion on the closed loop systems.

What is a closed loop system?

A closed loop system is a complete system that takes feedback from a sensor of sorts and automatically respond to that feedback.  Some examples of closed loop systems include: self-driving cars, airplane autopilot, cruise control, vacation e-mail message auto-reply, etc.  While for each of these some of the sensors are pre-programmed things (autopilot, cruise control, email auto-reply) the ones that are not pre-programmed plans are still very much in development.

Why don't you want a closed loop system?

Of the above examples of closed loop systems, the only one that really comes close to what MIGHT be necessary to convince me is self-driving cars.  Look at all of the money that has been invested in that by the big-name companies like Google, Ford, Tesla, etc.  I look at the amount of money that's been spent on that and figure it'll take as much, if not more to get the sensors and the loop to get to a point where I MIGHT feel comfortable with using it on my body.  The problem with closed loop systems and the current sensors is the issue that I've explained previously.  The sensor data is almost entirely useless for the first day because of the calibration steps and the lag between blood glucose and subcutaneous glucose.

What has currently been done?

Currently, there are very few systems that will close the loop between any action being taken and any sensor data being gathered.  The only current system that was being used was to stop the insulin pump in the event of a low blood glucose from the CGM.  One of the issues I have with this is that stopping the insulin pump when a low blood sugar is reached, it's likely too late for anything to fix that situation, just not make it any worse.  Right now, the current state of closed loop systems are similar to what's available for my current car, which notifies me when I'm crossing a lane without signaling the lane change, or if there is someone in my blind spot.  My car doesn't take any actions, much like my insulin pump doesn't take any action to halt the delivery of or deliver any additional insulin.  But there is one insulin pump (that I know of) that currently does.  I've said before that I want more clinical trials, and research before I use it myself, and will continue to hold that philosophy.  I just haven't seen enough progress being made in the items that I use to constitute trusting a closed loop system just yet.

Popular posts from this blog

Expect the Unexpected #dblogweek

Today marks the first day of dblogweek for 2017 and today's topic is "Diabetes and the Unexpected" which seems quite apt for this disease in general.
Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random.  What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens?  Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected? 

4,018 days

4,018 days ago, my life was changed forever by a visit to a clinic in order to get a yearly physical. When I went in, I had blood drawn and went back to my day. When I returned home that night, after supper, there was a call from the hospital (not uncommon, my Dad worked there) and I was sent to pack my belongings and go to the ER immediately. I had been diagnosed with diabetes, my blood sugar in the tests (and hence the alarm) was 860 mg/dL and with that, my life has been different every day since.

I've blogged about this in the past: and In the end, this year isn't much different, I'm celebrating by baking the Diabetic's worst enemy (Pizza) and going on with the day like normal.  It is especially strange this year, because 4,018 days ago was also a Monday, and I'm not sure, but I think this is the first time since my diagnosis that it ha…

Breaking Down the Cost of Diabetes #dblogweek

Today marks the second day of dblogweek for 2017 and today's topic is "The Cost of a Chronic Illness" which I feel like I've covered before, but it would appear it's only thinking of the cost that I've done, not writing about it.
Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?