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Health

Artificial pancreas for diabetics moves a step closer

Thursday 04/October/2018 - 11:11 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
An artificial pancreas is a step closer to helping hundreds of thousands of type 1 diabetes patients cope with the condition، as the Daily Mail said.

Doctors trialled the new insulin system on dozens of patients and found it helped improve their blood sugar control - and worked better than insulin injections.

The closed-loop insulin delivery system، as it is called، both monitors blood sugar levels and automatically injects insulin when patients need it.

Similar devices are already used by type 1 diabetes patients in the US، but none have yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Charities now hope the technology will be rolled out in the UK، which could spell the end to painful finger prick testing and injections.
University of Cambridge researchers tested the artificial pancreas on 46 patients and compared them to 40 who use existing insulin pump technology.

Insulin pumps monitor people's blood sugar levels and warn them when it gets too low or high، so they know whether to inject insulin or eat more.

But the artificial pancreas - which is worn on a belt - can both monitor blood sugar and inject insulin automatically if blood sugar gets too high.

The device also allows patients to add doses of insulin manually، for example when they are about to eat a big meal.

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas in the healthy people and allows the body to absorb sugar from food to be used for energy.
But people with type 1 diabetes do not make insulin in the pancreas so have to inject it in medicinal form. Some 400،000 people in the UK have type 1 diabetes، while the figure is around 1.2 million in the US.

In the 12-week Cambridge study، patients using the artificial pancreas spent almost two thirds of their time (64 per cent) in the ideal range for healthy blood sugar.

Whereas people using existing technology spent 54 per cent of their time in the ideal range and they spent، on average، two hours and 24 minutes longer with dangerously high blood sugar.

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