An Argentine improves the quality of life of those suffering from diabetes
We Argentines have to our credit medical inventions that were celebrated throughout the world for saving thousands of lives all over the planet. Perhaps the most emblematic is the by-pass, technique developed by Dr. René Favaloro. But she’s not the only one. In fact, these days, we can celebrate once again, especially those who suffer (or have a family member) with diabetes.
It is a development of an interdisciplinary group of CONICETscientists, who achieved, for the first time in Latin America, an algorithm that automatically regulates the levels of blood glucose.
Insulin (a fundamental protein in the regulation of blood sugar) is produced in the pancreas. If for some reason the organ fails and does not produce it, sugar rises and diabetes appears. Therefore, those who they suffer from it, they should (sometimes several times a day) measure their sugar levels and supply the insulin artificially if necessary. AND This is where the invention appears.
Developed by Dr. Ricardo Sánchez Peña (CONICET senior researcher) and his team of collaborators, the ARG (Automatic Regulation Glucose), whose acronym wink at our country, the algorithm allows automatic regulation without requiring patient intervention.
How does it work and why does it improve the quality of life of those with diabetes?
The device is composed of by a meter that is “installed” under the skin and another that is a kind of “pump” (which also works subcutaneously) that injects the amount of insulin the body needs according to the measurement that is done. This technology already existed, the novelty is its own algorithm, which is nothing more than a software that reads by Bluetooth the glucose meter and sends the signal to the pump to launch the insulin into the bloodstream.
That is, at the time in the one that is needed (usually after eating), will be the algorithm the responsible for the measurement and subsequent leveling of sugar. Patients may finally stop measuring (in severe cases up to 5 times a day) and keep an eye on how much and how to inject according to what they ate. He system measures and regulates every five minutes 24 hours a day. In addition, measurement, being based on mathematical models, will be not only more immediate but more precise.
All our admiration and our appreciation to Argentine scientists, who to their knowledge add passion and creativity, which allows them to this kind of achievements celebrated all over the world. Another opportunity to remember why state funding for Science and Technologyis so important. I hope it’s a subject we all agree on, beyond the side of the rift we choose to stand on.
Hipólito Azema nació en Buenos Aires, en los comienzos de la década del 80. No se sabe desde cuándo, porque esas cosas son difíciles de determinar, le gusta contar historias, pero más le gusta que se las cuenten: quizás por eso transitó los inefables pasillos de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Una vez escuchó que donde existe una necesidad nace un derecho y se lo creyó.
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