Artificial Pancreas Revolutionizing Diabetes Treatment: “I Never Dream This Would Be Developed in my Lifetime”

Around 900 patients with type 1 diabetes in the UK are being tested for an artificial pancreas that may change their lives. 

It will remove the necessity to do finger-prick tests and reduce the risk of hypoglycaemic attacks which can be life-threatening due to the blood sugar levels dropping too much.

This tech uses a sensor placed under the skin. It will monitor the levels at all times and a pump will adjust the necessary amount of insulin. 

Massive Influence on Families, Say Parents of the Kids Involved 

The six-year-old Charlotte from Lancashire is one of the more than 200 kids who’re using this hybrid closed loop system. Her mom, Ange Abbott, says this has made a huge impact on the family. 

Before this system, they did everything manually. At night, they set the alarm every two hours to make the finger pricks and insulin adjustments so that they resolve the ups and downs of her daughter’s blood sugar levels. 

Around 400,000 people in the UK suffer from type 1 diabetes. In this type of diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that regulates the levels of sugar in the blood. 

According to NHS England, this is the first nationwide test of this tech globally and it happens 100 years after the first patient with diabetes got injections of insulin. 

Innovative Tech that Will Bring Positive Changes in Patients with Diabetes Type 1 

This hybrid system isn’t 100 percent automated due to the need for inputting the number of carbs consumed at meals. According to Dr. May Ng, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Ormskirk District General Hospital, this innovative tech has major potential. 

According to Professor Partha Kar, NHS national specialty adviser for diabetes, having machines monitor and provide the meds for diabetes patients may sound sci-fi, but tech and machines are part of our daily lives today.

Dr. Ng emphasizes that this is fantastic because she’s been practicing for 25 years in kids with the condition and this will change the game. It’s exciting that this will better their quality of life and their blood glucose readings will be within the target scope.

Ange is happy that Charlotte can go back to being the kid she was because there will not be a need for constant monitoring. 

She’s a girl who loves sleepovers with her friends; however, they had to put a pause on these after her diagnosis since others were unable to manage the girl’s diabetes. 

After this tech, she can go out on social occasions without her parents necessarily being there. 

A Liberating Feeling  for People with this Condition, Says Another Patient

27-year-old Yasmin Hopkins from London also got an artificial pancreas as part of the pilot program. 

She got diagnosed 15 years ago and had a hard time keeping her blood sugar levels optimal. She considers this new tech freeing and when she wakes up, she can do a normal day’s work or go on a walk with her dog without constantly worrying. 

Before this tech, she felt like she feared a risk of some permanent diabetes complications, but now, she doesn’t. When blood sugar levels aren’t controlled, people with diabetes are at a high risk of damage to their kidneys, nerves, eyes, and heart. 

To this date, 875 patients have become part of the pilot that is planned to include up to 1000 people. The results will be assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence which plans to roll out the tech widely.