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RE: [IPk] Re: glucowatch

>Why does it all take so long?


How many billion do you have? MiniMed was established by Alfred Mann 20
years ago specifically to develop the artificial pancreas. It's become a
successful profitable company, and has been taken over by an even more
successful profitable company. Enormous progress has been made. But nobody
has been able to bring anything reliable to the market place. Disetronic
are trying. But their DiaPort (which delivers insulin direct to the portal
vein where it should go) has not yet won widespread use. Animas are trying.
They have an implanted sensor, so it doesn't matter what your skin is
doing. But no product has reached market. Others are trying. They are
spending millions between them. But as we are seeing with GlucoWatch, when
you bring the product to the market place, it does not perform as required.
The GlucoWatch will not give you your bg at the awkward times when you most
need it: when you are exercising, when you are having a bath, when you have
run for a bus and got all sweaty, or even - heavens above - when you have
got all sweaty because you are having a hypo!

I was very excited when NASA decided they also needed constant bg
monitoring for their handful of astronauts, and NASA=$$$, but still nothing
successful has appeared.

There's always that elusive thing: regulatory approval. The assurance that
under some obscure conditions the product will not fail and kill you. How
does the pump decide that the unusual readings it's getting from the
GlucoWatch should be responded to (you've drunk a bottle of Lucozade...) or
should be ignored (you spilt the Lucozade on the watch...)? These are very
real situations that even Anthony's finest algorithms may be powerless to
distinguish between, short of sounding an alarm 10 times a day when
anything interesting happens.

I don't mean to be pessimistic, and I have great hope for the near future,
but there is golden rule in medicine that new exciting projects generally
deliver about 10% of what was hoped for.

Pigs' beta-cells anyone?


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