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The University of Cambridge researchers have created an artificial pancreas to help Type II diabetes patients manage blood sugar levels. This development comes at the back of the UK’s National Health Service approving using another artificial pancreas to manage Type I diabetes. 

Artificial pancreas for Type II diabetes patients 

According to the researchers, the latest artificial pancreas powered using an algorithm increased the time when the blood sugar levels in patients are on target two times. Interestingly, the device also reduced the time spent with high blood glucose by half. This device combines an insulin pump, an off-the-shelf glucose monitor, and an app created by the researchers called CMAPS HX. This application can indicate the amount of insulin required to maintain blood sugar at optimum levels.

In past studies, an artificial pancreas employing the same algorithm has demonstrated efficacy in Type I diabetes patients including both adults and young children. Also, the artificial pancreas has been tried in patients needing kidney dialysis. However, unlike the devices before, the latest invention runs autonomously, and the patient doesn’t have to inform the artificial organ when they are about to eat. 

Efficacy of the artificial pancreas in measuring blood glucose 

For their study, researchers recruited 26 subjects and a local tea of general practitioners from Wolfson Diabetes and endocrine Clinical in Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Researchers assigned the subjects into two groups, with the first cohort trying the device for eight weeks before switching to the standard therapy of daily insulin shots. On the other hand, the second group started with standard therapy before switching to an artificial pancreas after eight weeks. 

Findings indicate that patients with artificial pancreas spent 66% of their time with glucose levels in the normal range, double that of placebo. On the other hand, those in standard therapy spent the most time (67%) with high glucose levels, which were reduced by half after they switched to an artificial pancreas. 

Interestingly average body glucose levels dropped from 12.6 millimoles per liter on placebo to 9.2 millimoles per liter when using the device. Glycated hemoglobin levels also reduced.