To Test Artificial Pancreas, Kids With Diabetes Hit The Slopes

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Kids with Diabetes on Ski Trip
Kids with diabetes had fun in Breckenridge, Colo. last week while testing out an artificial pancreas.

Kids with diabetes -- and their parents -- say they face a constant battle trying to make sure their blood sugar levels don't get too high or too low. Now some companies are developing a technology called an artificial pancreas, which monitors and delivers insulin automatically so kids and their parents don't have to.

Last week, researchers at the Barbara Davis Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus were joined by 16 kids on the slopes of Breckenridge to test one of those systems, which was designed by the University of Virginia along with TypeZero Technologies, LLC. in Charlottesville, Va.

The system combines two already available technologies -- an insulin pump and a glucose monitor -- with a new cellphone platform that talks between the two. The cell phone sends a message to increase insulin when the glucose levels go high and to reduce it when the levels fall.

The study's final results won't be ready for awhile but initial findings were positive, said Dr. Greg Forlenza of CU Anschutz, who spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.