Children with type 1 diabetes have been able to use pioneering artificial pancreas technology, developed at the University, for the first time overnight at home without the supervision of researchers. All the previous artificial pancreas trials, in hospitals and in home environments, have seen researchers strictly monitor patients. This latest trial, funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, has shown for the first time that unsupervised use of the artificial pancreas overnight can be safe.
Participants in the trial, all aged between 12 and 18 saw improved blood glucose control during the trial, experiencing fewer nights with hypoglycaemic episodes, known as “hypos”. A hypo occurs when the blood glucose level of someone living with type 1 diabetes falls dangerously low. Without proper treatment, it may cause unconsciousness and even death.
Dr Roman Hovorka (IMS), who is leading the UK effort to develop an effective artificial pancreas, said “The study is an important stepping stone for the wider use of an artificial pancreas. We have shown that overnight home use is feasible and beneficial – allowing people to live their life more freely.”
More information about the study can be found in the journal Diabetes Care.
Image: “Diabetes” Credit: Alisha Vargas