Artificial pancreas effective in type 2 diabetes: trial 24 January 2023 An artificial pancreas that combines an off-the-shelf glucose monitor and insulin pump with an app developed by Cambridge scientists has been successfully trialled by people living with type 2 diabetes. The device doubled the amount of time people were in the target glucose range and halved the time people spent experiencing high glucose levels. The app, known as CamAPS HX, utilises an algorithm that predicts how much insulin is required to keep a person’s glucose levels within the target range. Image caption: Artificial pancreas technology. Credit: Charlotte Boughton The team has already demonstrated that an artificial pancreas run by a similar algorithm is effective for people living with type 1 diabetes, from adults through to very young children. They have also successfully trialled the device in people with type 2 diabetes who require kidney dialysis. This new version, trialled for the first time in a wider population living with type 2 diabetes (not requiring kidney dialysis) is a fully closed loop system. The version for people with type 1 diabetes requires them to report that they are about to eat so that the artificial pancreas can adjust insulin levels accordingly, but the latest iteration functions automatically. Dr Charlotte Boughton from the Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge, who co-led the study, said, “Many people with type 2 diabetes struggle to manage their blood sugar levels using the currently available treatments, such as insulin injections. The artificial pancreas can provide a safe and effective approach to help them, and the technology is simple to use and can be implemented safely at home.” The app also reduced levels of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). Glycated haemoglobin develops when haemoglobin joins with glucose in the blood, becoming ‘glycated’. The higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. After the control therapy, average HbA1c levels were 8.7%, while after using the artificial pancreas they were 7.3%. Dr Aideen Daly, also from the Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, said, “One of the barriers to widespread use of insulin therapy has been concern over the risk of severe ‘hypos’ — dangerously low blood sugar levels. But we found that no patients on our trial experienced these and patients spent very little time with blood sugar levels lower than the target levels.” Feedback from participants suggested that participants were happy to have their glucose levels controlled automatically by the system, and nine out of 10 (89%) reported spending less time managing their diabetes overall. Users highlighted the elimination of the need for injections or fingerprick testing and increased confidence in managing blood glucose as key benefits. Downsides included practical annoyances with wearing of devices, and increased anxiety about the risk of hypoglycaemia — which the researchers said may reflect increased awareness and monitoring of glucose levels. The team now plan to carry out a larger study to build on their findings and have submitted the device for regulatory approval with a view to making it commercially available for outpatients with type 2 diabetes. Study in Nature Medicine – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-022-02144-z This article is republished from Hospital + Healthcare. Read the article here.