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Artificial Pancreas Could Move Forward Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

First Posted: Feb 09, 2017 04:03 AM EST
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It was recently announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that it is finding four last-stage clinical trials for artificial pancreas, which could automate blood sugar control for diabetics. If everything goes according to plan, the groups could seek for approval from authorities.

This kind of treatment could make it possible to eliminate the need for daily finger pricking, especially considering the need for blood sugar control for people with this condition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration already approved the first artificial pancreas device in the United States, but those using the said device will still need to manually inject insulin after they eat.

TIME noted that ideally, these devices should no longer require human input, which is what the studies are aiming for. While these devices are said to vary in their approach, they all aim to limit the amount of time diabetics and their caregivers have to manage blood sugar level changes.

NIH also said that the artificial pancreas is an integrated system that could replace the reliance on testing by fingersticks. Dr. Guillermo Arreaza-Rubin, director of the NIDDK's Diabetes Technology Program, said, "These studies aim to collect the data necessary to bring artificial pancreas technology to the people who need it. Results from these studies could change and save lives."

All four research problems will be conducted in larger groups over longer periods of time in 2017 and 2018. These are in largely unrestricted conditions, with participants being allowed to live at home and monitor themselves, also going about their normal lives, with remote monitoring from the research staff.

The trials are made possible with the help of the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes, and aims to support research to prevent and cure type 1 diabetes. For more information regarding the study, visit the NIDDK website www.niddk.nih.gov.

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