Groundbreaking ‘Artificial Pancreas’ Offered to Type 1 Diabetes Patients

Tens of thousands of children and adults living with type 1 diabetes across England are set to receive an “artificial pancreas” in a world-first initiative being rolled out by the NHS.

The new device, rolled out from Tuesday, continually monitors a person’s blood glucose, then automatically adjusts the amount of insulin given to them through a pump.

Local NHS systems will start identifying eligible people living with type 1 diabetes who health chiefs believe could benefit from the Hybrid Closed Loop system – sometimes called an artificial pancreas.

There are currently 269,095 people living in England with type 1 diabetes.

The technology will mean some people with type 1 diabetes will no longer need to inject themselves with insulin but rely on technology to receive this life saving medication.

It is said to also help prevent life-threatening hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemia attacks, which can lead to seizures, coma, or even death for people living with type 1 diabetes.

NHS England has provided local health systems with £2.5 million to start identifying patients that can benefit.

The mass rollout of the artificial pancreas builds on a successful pilot of the technology by NHS England, which saw 835 adults and children with type 1 diabetes given devices to improve the management of their condition.

Each year, the NHS in England currently spends around £10 billion a year – around 10% of its entire budget – on identifying and treating diabetes.

Dr. Clare Hambling, National Clinical Director for diabetes said: “This is another example of the NHS leading the way in healthcare, rolling out these groundbreaking devices across England over the next 5 years.

“This transformative technology holds the power to redefine the lives of those with type 1 diabetes, promising a better quality of life as well as clinical outcomes.

“Type 1 diabetes is an easily missed diagnosis so if you are concerned about symptoms – the 4Ts – going to the Toilet, passing urine more frequently, with Thirst, feeling Tired and getting Thinner (loosing weight), please come forward for support.”

Professor Partha Kar, NHS national specialty advisor for diabetes, said: The national roll out of Hybrid Closed Loop systems is great news for everyone with type 1 diabetes.

“The device detects your glucose levels, transmits the readings to the delivery system, known as the pump, which then initiates the process of determining the required insulin dosage.

“This futuristic technology not only improves medical care but also enhances the quality of life for those affected”.