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World’s first artificial pancreas app now available to people with type 1 diabetes in UK

Published: 16 March 2020

Researchers supported by NIHR have announced the commercial launch of the world's first licensed artificial pancreas app for people with type 1 diabetes.

The app works with a glucose monitor and an insulin pump to automatically deliver insulin to people with the life-threatening condition. The app is the first artificial pancreas system to be licensed for use in pregnancy, or by young children.

Type 1 diabetes is a life-threatening condition that has a life-long impact on those diagnosed with it and their families. It occurs because the pancreas no longer produces insulin. Insulin helps the body to keep blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low.

Currently there are 400,000 individuals in the UK who have type 1 diabetes, 29,000 of them children. Many rely on a routine of monitoring sugar levels via finger-prick blood tests and insulin injections to stay alive.

The CamAPS FX app works with an insulin pump and a glucose monitor to automatically deliver insulin via a complex algorithm. The automation will be particularly important at night, when many people with type 1 diabetes experience potentially dangerous low blood glucose levels.

In addition to the management of the insulin pump, the app also uploads the user’s blood glucose measurements seamlessly to Diasend, an online platform, allowing their diabetes team to provide more personalised care.

The CamAPS FX app is backed by 13 years of clinical research carried out by diabetes researchers at NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.  Initially, the app will be supported by a small number of UK diabetes clinics and is available on subscription for UK users to download onto Android phones via the Amazon Appstore.  

The research team will work to continue to bring this technology to all who need it via the NHS. Key to this will be the generation of data from new users to support the case for NHS provision.

Professor Hovorka, Professor of Metabolic Technology at the University of Cambridge, said: “This is a major stepping stone towards providing widely available, clinically proven, and user friendly artificial pancreas technology to people with type 1 diabetes.

“Our aim is to alleviate the ever-present burden of type 1 diabetes and improve health outcomes. This is the outcome of hard work, with more to come. We are indebted to all who are helping us on this journey.”

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