National Diabetes Week was launched this week, by unveiling the 280 a day campaign, which highlights the large numbers of Australians who develop the disease every day.
The daily reality for people diagnosed with diabetes, is a schedule of multiple finger pricks and painful, insulin injections to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
The good news is that a new invention, the Smart Insulin Patch could mean that the inconvenience and pain become history.
Researchers from the University of Carolina and NC State have developed a tiny square patch, covered in 100 miniscule painless needles loaded with insulin and glucose-sensing enzymes.
The new method sees the patch noticing when blood levels are too high and releasing the glucose-sensing enzymes to counter the risks associated with high levels. This could also eliminate the imprecise nature of the current method that relies on sufferers injecting the correct amount of medication.
“The hard part of diabetes care is not the insulin shot, or the blood sugar checks, or the diet but the fact that you have to do them all several times a day every day for the rest of your life,” said co-senior author John Buse. “If we can get these patches to work in people, it will be a game changer.”
The results of tests are very promising for people with Diabetes Type 1, although still quite preliminary, having only been tested on mice.