Medtronic leads race for “artificial pancreas”

[MedCity News, March 31, 2010] Medtronic Inc. has received Food and Drug Administration approval for the company’s second generation diabetes management system that allows patients to better monitor blood sugar levels and adjust insulin therapies. Some experts say a closed loop system might benefit only the most serious diabetic patients, those with complete pancreas failure. The rest could use less expensive treatments, said Dr. Harold Katz, an endocrinologist with Allina Medical Clinic in St. Paul. “The majority of Type 2 (diabetes patients) don’t need it,” Katz said. ‘How much better does [the system have to be compared to other treatments] to justify putting in a $10,000 device?” What’s needed are large studies that examine the technology’s cost/benefit to patients, he said. Read the full story online at MedCityNews.com.

Medtronic Inc. first gained fame by developing devices that could zap an errant heart back into rhythm without the patient doing a thing. Now the medical device giant wants to apply the same approach to the wayward pancreas.Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved Medtronic’s Revel technology, the company’s second generation diabetes management system that allows patients to better monitor blood sugar levels and adjust insulin therapies.

Posted on March 31, 2010 in Allina Health ClinicsMedCityNewsOnline

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