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What Does Wii Have to do With Treating Diabetes?

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What does the Nintendo Wii have to do with new technology for treating diabetes? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. STMicroelectronics is one of the companies that makes the Micro Electro Mechanical System or MEMS technology that enables the controllers in the Wii to detect motion making game play so much fun. Now that MEMS technology is being used in what is called a Nanopump in partnership with a medical device manufacturer in Switzerland. STMicro's Stefano LoPriore, business development manager for the microfluidic division, says the result is an ultra small insulin pump that can be worn by diabetic patients as a patch instead of injections or a belt worn insulin pump..

"The breakthrough with this device that we will be developing and industrializing is that the size of the pump is much smaller than existing versions that are now on the market. So for example, it would be possible to conceal it under your clothes with a huge psychological benefit. Now you don't have a medical device in full display attached to your belt let's say. And on top of this, the precision of the injection of insulin is about one order of magnitude better than existing systems. Which means it is possible to mimic much more closely what the pancreas normally does in a non-diabetic patient. And this has potentially enormous benefit for the health of the patient."

The Nanopump will have to undergo testing before receiving approvals, but we are told, may be on the market by the end of next year. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.