Kids with Diabetes Benefit from Artificial Pancreas
An artificial pancreas developed by researchers at the University of Virginia Center for Diabetes Technology allowed young children with type 1 diabetes to better control their condition, according to a pilot study. The artificial pancreas is designed to monitor and regulate blood sugar levels automatically, reducing the need to check glucose levels and inject insulin manually and preventing hypoglycemic events.
The artificial pancreas technology uses a reconfigured smartphone that runs advanced algorithms and is wirelessly linked to a blood sugar monitor and an insulin pump worn by the person with type 1 diabetes. It is also connected to a remote monitoring site. For the study, researchers monitored 12 children between the ages of five and eight with type 1 diabetes for 68 hours using the artificial pancreas and for 68 hours using their standard at-home treatment regimen.
According to researchers, study participants had lower blood sugar levels and averaged more time within their target blood sugar range without an increased risk for hypoglycemia while using the artificial pancreas. Additional studies—perhaps monitoring children for longer periods of time—are needed. Clinical trials providing final testing for the artificial pancreas for people over the age of 14 with type 1 diabetes are also being conducted.
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