Overnight home use of artificial pancreas ?feasible and beneficial?
The artificial pancreas promises to dramatically improve the quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes, which typically develops in childhood. All previous artificial pancreas trials, in hospitals and in home environments, have seen researchers strictly monitor patients. The latest trial, funded by JDRF, has shown for the first time that unsupervised use of the artificial pancreas overnight can be safe.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a hormone which regulates blood glucose levels. High levels of glucose can seriously damage the body's organs. People with type 1 diabetes currently rely on multiple insulin injections or pump infusions every day; a child diagnosed at the age of five faces up to 19,000 injections and 50,000 finger prick blood tests by the time they are 18.
Participants in the trial, all aged between 12 and 18, saw improved blood glucose control during the trial, experiencing fewer nights with hypoglycaemic episodes, generally known as