During the development of the Mars Viking spacecraft, researchers also developed technology to monitor the health of astronauts. This technology included a system to monitor the blood sugar of a person. The system was adopted to create a small, implantable insulin pump that monitors and treats individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes, also known as Type 1 diabetes.
This technology is now referred to as Programmable Implantable Medication System (PIMS). PIMS is the size of a hockey puck, encased in titanium shell, and holds about 2 ½ teaspoons of insulin. It is implanted into the body and delivers precise amounts of insulin over long periods of time. In November 1986, the first PIMS was implanted into a patient at John Hopkins Hospital. These implantable and external insulin pumps have helped insulin dependent diabetics lead healthier lives.
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