Fluonic Receives NIH Grant for Insulin Flow Measurement Technology

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-- Digital health and information company looks to aid artificial pancreas systems for diabetes treatment --

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant in the amount of $150,000 to Fluonic, Inc.

Fluonic, Inc., is a digital health and information company that provides monitoring of infusion drug delivery with patented flow measurement and control technology. The NIH grant will support a Fluonic study to demonstrate the applicability of its flow measurement technology to ambulatory insulin delivery so that insulin pump manufacturers can incorporate the technology into artificial pancreas systems.

The long-term objective of diabetes treatment is to improve the life of diabetes patients by creating an artificial pancreas. This artificial organ substitutes for the role of the biological pancreas by automatically controlling the insulin pump, explains Jim Kasic, CEO of Fluonic. The performance of an artificial pancreas, however, can be inaccurate because insulin pumps cannot directly measure the amount of insulin they deliver to the patient, and can lead to patients to experience out-of-control glucose levels.

Fluonic’s simple, disposable VeriFlow flow sensor can integrate directly at the injection point of the patient, precisely record flow rates with one percent accuracy, and provide this critical information to the artificial pancreas control, says Kasic. In Phase I of the NIH-funded study, Fluonic will demonstrate the applicability of the sensor for insulin delivery and design a portable sensor unit. The company will build and test the unit in Phase II.

Using its patented flow measurement technology, Fluonic will optimize the design of its device for the unique flow characteristics of ambulatory insulin pumps in the study, according to Kasic. Fluonic also will optimize the design for minimization of power consumption to demonstrate compatibility of the sensor with the portable battery requirements of an ambulatory artificial pancreas.

“The NIH study is an excellent opportunity for Fluonic to demonstrate its cost-effective, scalable solution for a problem that has afflicted the health care industry for more than 30 years,” says Kasic. Even prior to the artificial pancreas challenge, insulin pumps had limited capability to confirm that they are delivering the correct insulin dose, Kasic explains. Hours may have gone by before an error could be detected. An artificial pancreas makes the problem all the more critical because of the freedom it has to make automatic decisions, he adds.

“This study is part of Fluonic’s ongoing mission and work to create a new standard of care, taking the questions and guesswork out of infusion drug therapy.”

Fluonic, Inc. (http://www.fluonic.com)
Based in Boulder, Colo., Fluonic, Inc., is a digital health and information company that provides monitoring of infusion drug delivery with patented flow measurement and control technology. The company’s technology solves the problem that the $10 billion drug infusion market cannot accurately measure the flow of medication from infusion pumps to patients, particularly very low flows. Flagship products and systems include the VeriFlow sensor and SURE+ system, which provides the precision and reliability of durable pumps at the cost of disposables.

Research reported in this news release was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43DK103415. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Aimee Bennett

Jim Kasic