For diabetes patients, managing blood sugar levels through insulin pens, needles or pumps is a necessary hassle -- but it might be far easier to handle going forward. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first automated insulated delivery device for type 1 diabetes, Medtronic's MiniMed 670G. The gadget uses a sensor to detect glucose levels under your skin every 5 minutes, and supplies just enough insulin to keep your blood sugar stable. While you do have to trigger a manual insulin dose after meals, you generally won't have to be as involved in the process as before.
The technology isn't flawless. A trial only showed that the 670G works for 14-year-olds and older, so you'll have to wait for subsequent tests to see if it's safe for children aged 7 and up. It's demonstrably more effective at maintaining safe blood sugar levels, but it's not so effective that you'll always be in your target range. And of course, this doesn't help with type 2 diabetes, which is far more common -- you're stuck with conventional solutions in that case. Nonetheless, this is a big step toward a day when diabetes is more of a minor nuisance in daily life than a constant presence.