Researchers working on device to control blood sugar in Type 1 diabetics

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SALEM, Va (WDBJ7) Help could be on the way for people with Type 1 diabetes to help control their blood sugar. A company called Type Zero is working on a "smart phone based" device that will control blood sugar with a cloud based system.

On Thursday night, the researchers who are working on the device were in Salem at a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation "Fund a Cure" gathering. The lead researchers talked about the system they hope will help diabetics.

The device is called InControl; It would automatically control insulin delivery. For example, when you exercise it will know what to do to keep your blood sugar in check.

"It's improving technology. We have cell phones that not only make calls, you can surf the web, you can Snapchat, you can do so many things," said Type Zero Chief Medical Officer Dr. Daniel Chernavvsky.

Now Dr. Chernavvsky and other researchers at the University of Virginia are working on smart phone technology to help diabetics keep their blood sugar in control.

"It checks your concentration of sugar in your body every five minutes," Dr. Chernawsky said.

That information is sent to the device.

"And that tells an insulin pump or an insulin pen how much insulin you need," Dr. Charnawsky said. "That way particularly for kids or families they don't have to do the calculations. That makes their life much easier."

The InControl device is in the development phase. Meanwhile, another artificial pancreas made by Medtronic has gained Food and Drug Administration Approval and will be available this spring to patients through a doctor's prescription.

Coming up later this month on WDBJ7, anchor Jean Jadhon tells the story of two local people who've been using the artificial pancreas in clinical trials to find out how it's changed their lives.