What are the limitations of technology for diabetes?

A machine can’t predict human behavior from moment to moment, nor can it reliably predict the future. The best any machine can do is respond or react. Current artificial pancreas (AP) technologies used to treat diabetes still lag far behind a healthy working pancreas. Over time this will improve as they are created with super fast-acting insulin preparations to better match insulin to food. There’s also the future possibility of a stable glucagon reservoir which will help reverse a trending low blood glucose.

Blood sugar sensors are still limited by result time. Currently, there’s a small lag time between what is measured in blood and under the skin and the results. Researchers continue to investigate fully implanted glucose sensors placed deeper within the body.

Someday, many or perhaps even all of these barriers will be overcome. However, until we are presented with a highly reliable and effective totally closed-loop artificial pancreas, people with diabetes will need to learn to manage their blood sugar levels in response to changes (sugar surf) as a complement to blood sugar meters and continuous glucose monitoring.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.