More than 1 million children and adults in the United States have type 1 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that about 5%Trusted Source of all people who have diabetes have type 1. Type 1 diabetes can significantly impact a person’s life, as people need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly to ensure they do not become dangerously high or low. Currently, people with type 1 diabetes measure their blood sugar levels by pricking a finger several times a day or wearing a glucose monitor. Depending on the measurements, they may have to administer insulin using an injection or insulin pump.
But a new form of technology trialed recently showcased in the New England Journal of Medicine could replace these conventional methods. The trial looked at a particular type of artificial pancreas, or closed-loop control. These devices continuously monitor and regulate blood glucose levels. When the monitor detects that a person needs insulin, a pump releases the hormone into the body. The trial involved the use of the Control-IQ system—a new type of artificial pancreas that uses algorithms to adjust insulin doses automatically throughout the day.
“By making management of type 1 diabetes easier and more precise, this technology could reduce the daily burden of this disease, while also potentially reducing diabetes complications including eye, nerve, and kidney diseases,” says Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
The results showed that the blood sugar levels of the people who used the Control-IQ system were in the target range for an average of 2.6 hours per day longer than previously. Those using the SAP therapy saw no notable change throughout the trial. Vitally, the system also improved the participants’ blood glucose control overnight as well as during the day. This is a crucial advancement for people whose levels drop significantly when asleep.
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