In a world first, British children with Type 1 diabetes have successfully been entrusted to use pioneering artificial pancreas technology all by themselves at home overnight – without the careful supervision of expert researchers.
The breakthrough trial, detailed last week in the journal Diabetes Care, comes as Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF reveals UK people living with the condition are experiencing a “shockingly high” average of ten hypos a week – laying bare the urgent need for the artificial pancreas to become an accessible reality.
The University of Cambridge-devised artificial pancreas promises to dramatically improve quality of life of people with Type 1 diabetes, which typically develops in childhood. The latest trial, coordinated by the University and funded by JDRF, has shown for the first time globally that unsupervised use of the artificial pancreas overnight can be safe – while also providing exciting benefits.
Participants, all aged between 12 and 18, saw improved blood glucose control during the trial, experiencing fewer nights with hypoglycaemic episodes, generally 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.
The figure of ten hypos per week has emerged through a first ever real-time information haul of more than 10,000 UK residents with Type 1 diabetes, released to JDRF from the mySugr app. It follows the recent revelation that nine per cent of all hospital admissions for children and young people with diabetes are due to hypos.
For the full story, click here.