Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or when body cannot effectively use insulin that it produces. According to WHO 5-10% of estimated 382 million people worldwide with diabetes are Type 1. Until now there is no permanent cure or treatment available for Type 1 diabetes. Under these situation Israel which has surfaced as pioneer in many medical device innovation has contributed to healthcare with yet another invention, which has been named by its founders as “Beta Air”.
What we will cover in this segment is; a snapshot on this breakthrough which addresses a lot of issues for type 1 diabetic patients and long to make their life much simpler than compared to their todays state. We would touch base with various line items which would provide readers with an insight on the technology and its background.
1.About the company ?
Beta-O2 is one of the many Israel medtech start up which is focused towards addressing healthcare issues and has targeted diabetes as its core focus. This “device from future ” looks to change the face of diabetic therapy by providing patients with everything they can ask for ; to live a life without worrying about glucose level measurement and injection shots .Company was founded in 2004 and has walked miles to come up with this breakthrough technology, that answers long standing issues of Diabetic patients.
2.About the device?
Beta-Air [βAir] is implantable bio-reactor which is used for treatment of type 1 diabetes. It has hydrogel which has impregnated pancreatic endocrine cells which replicate the bodily function of pancreas, of sensing glucose and releasing insulin and glucagon.
3.How is it implanted?
The device is implanted through minimal non invasive procedure which is two hour task, post which patient might be monitored for good number of hours before he is dispatched from the hospital.
4.What is the device functionality ? What are the bottlenecks that it addresses in comparison to its counterpart modes of therapies?
Device basically wipes of two main activities from the routine of type 1 diabetic patient which is monitoring the glucose and injecting insulin shots, surprised, so was our medical device trends team when it first heard about the device. It is leap forward in future of medtech, while some are investing heavily on improvising the mode of insulin delivery, this device wipes the concept of manual injectors and has brought automation with its “artificial functional pancreas” discovery.
Two of the major areas that this device answers through its operational functionality is Immunosuppressive pharmacological treatment and deterioration of living cells due unavailability of sufficient oxygen to keep them alive. Currently pancreatic endocrine cells could be transplanted into the system of patients however the host body’s immuno response could prove fatal for the patient body, and hence therapies involve the aid of immunosuppresants. Further it is very difficult to maintain the oxygen supply to these cells. Beta-Air [βAir] wipes this problem clean, by providing ideal host atmosphere which acts like a blanket to the pancreatic endocrine cells from bodies Immune system, further, its add on components could be used once in 24 hours to feed in oxygen to the live cells.
Device provides with a paradigm shift in diabetic therapy which involves glucose level measurement and insulin shot to automatic detection and injection.
5.Where does it stand in regulatory path?
Device has shown good Preclinical and Clinical outcomes and is still gathering some more data before hitting commercialization phase.
6.What are do’s and dont’s for patients?
Certain patient protocol such as once in 24 hour air refill is required for Beta air. As the device runs on living cells which require oxygen the aforementioned act is an mandatory task. Replenishing segment is very easy to use and takes just two minutes for process completion. Further in case of any issues it has an inbuilt alarm which gets triggered indicating an issue that needs to be looked into.
7.What is lined up in future for this device?
As far as its future beyond diabetes, it is tremendous technology, as the hydrogel can not only contain pancreatic endocrine cells but other cells too. It would be too soon to comment on its other applications however as of now this innovative device has given a lot to think about ” How fast medtech is innovating, and how this innovation can make current technologies obsolete.
To summarize about the device and company here is quote from company website:
Just imagine type 1 diabetes patient not worrying about taking injections and measuring glucose. Imagine diabetic patient to eat when he wants , to exercise when we wishes, this is future that Beta O2’s Beta air envisions to create .
Source: Beta O2 [ http://www.beta-o2.com ]
Medical Device Trends (http://medicaldevicetrend.com/)