Pavilion Health Today
Supporting healthcare professionals to deliver the best patient care

‘Artificial pancreas’ rolled out to type 1 diabetes patients

The NHS is rolling out a new device, known as an ‘artificial pancreas’ to tens of thousands of children and adults living with type 1 diabetes.

The NHS is rolling out a new device, known as an ‘artificial pancreas’ to tens of thousands of children and adults living with type 1 diabetes.

The Hybrid Closed Loop system continually monitors the person’s blood glucose and automatically adjusts the amount of insulin given to them through a pump. The rollout means some people with type 1 diabetes will no longer need to inject themselves with insulin.

This technology can also help prevent life-threatening hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemia attacks, which can lead to seizures, coma and even death.

70% of study participants say artificial pancreas improved their quality of life

The introduction of the new technology follows on from a successful pilot scheme which included more than 800 children and adults with type 2 diabetes.

Data from 448 people aged 17 to 78 found that HbA1c reduced by an average of 17.4mmol/mol (or 1.7%), and time in range increased by an average of 28.3%. Encouragingly, they also found that these improvements happened across all ages, with little difference between age groups.

The researchers also asked 120 people from the pilot about their experience of using the Hybrid Closed Loop system. More than 70% of people said the device improved not only their blood sugar levels, but also their quality of life.

Gemma Lavery, 38, from Plymouth, received an artificial pancreas as part of the NHS pilot. She describes the device as a “game changer” that allowed her to find a sense of normality.

Gemma said: “I no longer have to worry about work related stress affecting my blood glucose levels as the closed loop helps to sort this out before it becomes a problem.

“I can have a full night sleep without worrying about regular low glucose levels hindering my morning routine and I have found that my diabetes is more stable.”

NHS will begin to identify eligible patients this week

NHS England has provided local health systems with £2.5 million so they can begin to identify eligible patients.

NICE, who approved the technology in December 2023, recommends the devices should be rolled out to children and young people under 18 with type 1 diabetes, pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, and adults with type 1 diabetes who have an HbA1c of 58 mmol/mol (7.5%) or higher.

Health Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “People living with type 1 diabetes face the constant stress of needing to monitor their blood glucose levels to stay healthy and avoid complications. This new technology will ease the burden on patients and allow them to manage their condition more easily, without needing to draw blood or wear a continuous glucose monitor.

“This is a great example of how we are harnessing the latest technology to make people’s lives better; improving outcomes, reducing serious complications, and making care simpler.”

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more ...

Privacy & Cookies Policy