They're suggesting it "might be ready for regulatory approval in five years".
Armed with software that uses ongoing blood sugar readings to determine hormonal needs, researchers report initial success using an automated “closed loop system” that basically mimics the workings of a healthy pancreas, scientists report in the April 14 Science Translational Medicine.
“The technology exists right now for this closed loop system,” says study coauthor Steven Russell, an endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
They're suggesting it would be a "pager-sized device" and would include a dual-pumping mechanism for insulin and glucagon (to raise the blood sugar, if needed). An "under the skin" sensor would transmit real-time glucose readings to the central computer chip that controls the pumps.
Initial studies with a very small group of eleven subjects have been encouraging. Plans for longer-term testing under a wider array of situations are being made.