Advent of Artificial Pancreas Technology Will Alter Lives

Innovative technology could help people with Type 1 diabetes who can’t control their condition, and it will be made available to them. Additionally, the aid is going to be provided with little human involvement.

With the technology being referred to as a step toward an artificial pancreas, an independent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) committee has endorsed the use of hybrid closed-loop systems for regulating blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes.

The technology sends data to an insulin pump that is worn on the body, which uses the information to perform a mathematical calculation to determine how much insulin has to be given to the body to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. It successfully enables people with type 1 diabetes to live normal lives without having to constantly check their blood glucose levels.

Patients are frequently in danger of long-term consequences like blindness, amputations, or renal issues when type 1 diabetes is not effectively controlled.

If a patient’s long-term average blood glucose levels indicate they are at risk of long-term health problems and are unable to control their condition despite using an insulin pump or real-time or sporadically inspected continuous glucose monitoring, NICE has recommended that they be offered the technology. Patients who are expecting or who are contemplating becoming pregnant are also eligible because blood sugar levels are more difficult to control at that time.

Some people with type 1 diabetes struggle to control their illness, even when they are doing everything their diabetes team has asked of them, said interim director of medical technology at NICE, Mark Chapman. Without a cure, this technology is the best treatment to help them manage their diabetes.

Their committee has examined the empirical data produced by the NHS and the proof provided by randomised controlled trials, which suggest there are obvious benefits to promoting the use of the technology. To guarantee that cost-effective pricing can be agreed upon that is fair to taxpayers, they look forward to engaging with NHS England and industry, he added.

Approximately 105,000 people in England will have access to the technology. In the meantime, it’s estimated that about 278,000 people in England and Wales have type 1 diabetes.