World-first artificial pancreas app monitors/delivers insulin as needed

March 23, 2020

Type-1 diabetics, who need to constantly monitor their blood glucose levels and administer insulin if necessary, may find their disease easier to manage now that scientists at the University of Cambridge, UK,  have launched the world’s first artificial pancreas smartphone app for sufferers of type-1 diabetes. The CamAPS FX app requires a specific kind of insulin pump (a Dana RS) and glucose monitor (a Dexcom G6) to work with a complex algorithm built into the app to automatically deliver insulin as needed.

The new app is licensed for use by adults and children alike, and is said to be the first artificial pancreas system licensed for use by pregnant women and children one year old and above. Unlike this, artificial pancreases manually handle the testing of blood glucose levels and the administration of insulin, sometimes through implantable microcapsules or needles, for example.

The CamAPS FX app will first be available to Android users who attend a small number of diabetes clinics in the UK, though the Cambridge scientists who developed the app hope that it will one day be available to type-1 diabetics worldwide and work with a wide range of pumps and glucose monitors.

Fiona O’Reilly, who used the app as part of a clinical trial, said of the “freeing” system, “It is the closest I have been to living without the burden of type-1 diabetes since I was diagnosed, which is a fabulous feeling – I feel less fearful of hypoglycaemia and less ashamed of the fact that I find achieving good glycaemic control so tricky.”

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