NEW RESEARCH INTO diabetes care has found that a so-called “artificial pancreases” can be nearly 20% more effective in keeping blood sugar at the correct levels.
The studies were undertaken by specialists at the University of Cambridge and looked at the effectiveness of closed-loop insulin delivery systems.
Closed-loop systems are relatively new and in many cases prototypes, the devices constantly monitor a patient’s glucose levels and deliver an appropriate amount of insulin if required.
They’ve been described at the “next revolution” in diabetes care because they administer insulin without any input from the patient.
Many overnight laboratory tests have found that the closed-loop systems are effective in reducing the risk of hypoglycaemia (dangerously low blood sugar) in patients with type 1 diabetes.
This new study published in The Lancet journal instead focused on how the devices perform outside the lab, in free living conditions over the course of 28 nights.
The analysis included 40 participants with type 1 diabetes, 24 adults and 16 adolescents for 28 nights, meaning that a total of 7,619 night hours were measured.
By way of comparison, the subjects also used a sensor augmented therapy in which they are required to adjust an insulin pump manually.
The results found that the proportion of time when that blood sugar was in the desired range between midnight and 08:00 was 18% greater during closed-loop trial.
It was also recorded that the time the patients spent in the unsafe hypoglycaemic range was also reduced.
The authors of the report concluded that the use of unsupervised closed loop delivery systems is “feasible” and will be developed over the next decade.
“The next decade will see closed loop systems progressively entering clinical practice and helping in the management of type 1 diabetes,” the report reads.
“Our current priority is to demonstrate benefits of closed loop systems when used over several months and in various sub-populations.”