What Can the New Artificial Pancreas Mean for Diabetes Management?
There is good news when it comes to the management of type 1 diabetes. The good news is that an artificial pancreas might replace the insulin trackers that those with type 1 diabetes use.
A team of Italian and American researchers piloted a new artificial pancreas system. This artificial pancreas system shows improvements in 2 key measures of people who have this condition.
When it comes to the management of type 1 diabetes every new step and research is important.
More About the Research
In a 12-week trial and up to 60,000 hours of use of the new artificial system the participants showed notable improvements in the 2 key measures.
During this trial, around 30 participants with type 1 diabetes went with their usual daily routine. But, at the same time, this new artificial system monitored their sugar levels. And also automatically adapted the settings to insulin delivery.
This trial was led by Eyal Dassay and Frank Doyle of the Harvard John A.Paulson SEAS, i.e., School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This trial showed positive effects and lowered the time in hypoglycemia and the HbA1c, i.e., hemoglobin A1c.
How This Works
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in people whose body is not able to naturally make sufficient amounts of insulin. Also that this leads to high blood glucose levels.
Those with this chronic condition need to monitor their blood sugar levels. Often there is a need to self-administrate doses of insulin through infusion pump or needle injection.
This artificial pancreas mimics the sugar regulation function of a healthy individual. Its closed-loop system has an insulin pump and continuous sugar monitor which is placed under the skin of the user.
There is an advanced control algorithm in Bluetooth which is connected to a smartphone. It signals the amount of insulin the pump needs to deliver to the user based on different variables such as metabolism, meals consumed, stress, physical activity, and sleep.
The basis of this algorithm is actually on a strategy which was initially introduced by Doyle and Co. in 1996. The algorithm might learn from the repeated cycles on a daily basis and allow individually customized treatment for patients.
Opinions of the Researchers
According to SEAS professor, Frank Doyle, this is the longest trail, and it is actually a testament regarding algorithm and its robustness which the key performance indices were from the shorter trials.
He also said that before the trial the disciplined group had good HbA1c levels and after the trial, these levels were even lower.
Dassau and Doyle led and directed daily supervision of this 12-week trial which took place in Cambridge, Mass. However, the project team extended not only across the country but also the world.
This includes Claudio Cobelli from the University of Padova, Italy, Jordan Pinsker from William Sandum Diabetes Center, Santa Barbara, Claif, also Boris Kovatchev of University of Virginia’s Center for Diabetes Technology and Ananda Basu at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.