More than 150,000 people with type 1 diabetes will be offered an “artificial pancreas” device on the NHS....READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

Users will no longer need to rely on finger-prick blood tests or injecting insulin to control their blood sugar levels. The “game-changing” wearable device will be offered if someone’s diabetes is not adequately controlled by their current pump or glucose monitor.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has approved it after studies showed it to be better at keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy range – cutting down the risk of devastating complications.

The artificial pancreas, also called a closed-loop system, works via a continuous glucose monitor sensor attached to the body which transmits data to a body-worn insulin pump. This pump then calculates how much insulin is needed and delivers the correct amount via a tiny tube under the skin.

Artificial pancreas illustrated here transmits data to the body-worn insulin pump

Prof Jonathan Benger, chief medical officer at Nice, said: “By ensuring their blood glucose levels are within the recommended range, people are less likely to have complications such as disabling hypoglycaemia, strokes and heart attacks, which lead to costly NHS care. This technology will improve the health and wellbeing of patients, and save the NHS money in the long term.”

Around 400,000 people are currently living with type 1 diabetes in the UK, including around 29,000 children. It is a genetic disease and different to the more common Type 2 form which is linked to unhealthy lifestyles.

Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to eye and kidney problems, nerve damage, and in extreme cases foot amputations, heart attacks and strokes.

Nice said it has agreed with NHS England that all children and young people, women who are pregnant or planning a
pregnancy, and those people who already have an insulin pump will be first to be offered an artificial pancreas as part of a five-year roll-out plan.

The technology will then be rolled out to those adults with an average HbA1c reading of 7.5% or more and those who suffer abnormally low blood sugar levels. Nice guidelines recommend people should aim for an HbA1c level of 6.5% or lower.

Prof Benger added: “With around 10% of the entire NHS budget being spent on diabetes, it is important for Nice to focus on what matters most by ensuring the best value for money technologies are available to healthcare professionals and patients. Using hybrid closed loop systems will be a game changer for people with type 1 diabetes.”

Nice said that, due to the need for extra staff alongside specialist training for both patients and staff, it had accepted a funding variation request from NHS England for a rollout over five years. Final guidance is expected to be published in December….CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>


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