This story describes the development of "artificial pancreas" technology. Despite a lack of data on safety or efficacy, the story unwisely presumes eventual clinical use and its potential to significantly improve the lives of kids with Type 1 diabetes.
The report would have been stronger if it had followed a few best practices:
There is nothing wrong with reporting about early research into treatments, especially for a serious disease affecting children. But the story needs to maintain a skeptical distance, and do diligent reporting, to ensure readers get a realistic view of the technology and its promise.
While the artificial pancreas technology is still in prototype, two elements of it–the insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor–are currently used. As a matter of course, the costs of this technology should be cited.
We are not given a clear sense of how many people have been tested on this technology, but if the story can confidently state that "Experts say the technology will revolutionize treatment of type 1 diabetes and may help people with advanced type 2" then it should be able to cite some data at this point.
The story does not explore the possible risks of the developing technology.
The story does not cite any evidence of safety or efficacy of the developing technology.
No overt disease-mongering.
The story quotes four medical sources, one of whom is directly linked to a device maker.
But the report fails to note whether any of the other sources, including the central figure, has a financial conflict of interest. A story about a developing technology with potentially significant economic payoff should clarify the status of each source.
The story makes clear that the current treatment regimen, even with the two existing hardware devices, is demanding and difficult.
It explains that diet is important to controlling Type 1 diabetes.
The story makes clear that the "artificial pancreas" technology is not available and is likely to be years away from implementation.
The story does an excellent job of distinguishing between the existing hardware elements of the "closed-loop" system and the software currently under development.
There isn’t any evidence that the story relied solely or largely on a news release.