The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Medtronic's MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump, which is also a glucose monitor. This is the first device to deliver insulin as well as monitor glucose levels in the blood. The MiniMed takes blood glucose every five minutes and gives 288 readings per day.
It consists of two components, one of which is an electrode inserted under the skin. This gives continuous readings that can trigger off a release from the other component, which is an insulin pump. This device aims to give patients a better control over their blood glucose levels and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes related complications like vision loss, kidney failure, need for amputation or even cardiovascular disease. "As this is the first integrated insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system ever approved, we feel this new therapy will revolutionize the way patients manage their diabetes and will improve their lives," said Robert Guezuraga, president of Medtronic Diabetes. It is estimated that diabetes affects 21 million Americans and this figure in only set to boom. The disease costs the US economy $132 billion as treatment costs.