A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), has developed an 'artificial pancreas' that shows greater Efficacy in controlling blood glucose levels in children compared to other current technologies.
Specifically, this artificial pancreas' helps very young children with type 1 diabetes. This research has been published in the prestigious 'New England of Medicine'.
Thus, the researchers explain that the use of this 'artificial pancreas' is safe and offers greater efficacy in controlling the levels of glucose in the blood with respect to other types of current technologies.
Glucose control in children
Currently, the treatment of type 1 diabetes in very young children is a challenge for medicine. And there are different factors such as the variability of the necessary insulin levels or the response of each child to treatment.
According to experts, children are especially at risk of having dangerously low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) and dangerously high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia.
In this sense, some previous research works have linked prolonged hyperglycemia in type 1 diabetes with a lower IQ and a slower development of the brain.
Thus, the current technology used for blood sugar control requires parents to constantly check their child's glucose levels; to later manually adjust the amount of insulin administered by the pump.
They develop an effective 'artificial pancreas'
Given the current problems regarding the treatment of children with type 1 diabetes, Professor Roman Hovorka and his team have managed to develop 'CamAPS FX'; an application that in combination with a glucose monitor and an insulin pump acts as an 'artificial pancreas'.
Thus, this application helps automatically adjust the amount of insulin you deliver based on predicted or real-time blood glucose levels. This is a breakthrough that could open a new path in the field of treatment for small patients living with type 1 diabetes.
To be more exact, this 'artificial pancreas' is a “closed-loop hybrid system”. That is, the child's caregiver must administer insulin at mealtimes. However, the rest of the time the application algorithm works automatically.
In addition, it is necessary to clarify that to date there are no commercial versions of closed-loop systems, such as the one developed by this team of researchers to better regulate glucose.
Parents, happy with this discovery
With all this, Professor Hovorka points out that «'CamAPS FX' makes predictions about what it thinks may happen next based on past experience. Learn how much insulin your child needs each day and how it changes at different times of the day. From there, it adjusts insulin levels to help achieve ideal blood sugar levels. Apart from mealtimes, it's fully automated, so parents don't have to continually monitor their children's blood sugar levels.”
This 'artificial pancreas' has been tested in different research works, offering excellent results. In this regard, the researchers explain that “parents have described the 'artificial pancreas' as something that has changed their lives, since it has allowed them to relax and spend less time worrying about glucose levels from your children, especially at night. They tell us that it gives them more time to do what any 'normal' family can do, play and do fun things with their children.”
The best news is that 'CamAPS FC' works effectively in older children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. In addition, this device has already started to be marketed by CamDiab, a spin-off company founded by Professor Hovorka .