About 900 patients with type 1 diabetes in England are testing a potentially life-changing artificial pancreas. The device utilizes a sensor embedded beneath the skin to eliminate the need for finger-stick tests and avoid life-threatening hypoglycaemic episodes, which occur when blood sugar levels drop too low. It continuously monitors the readings and a pump adjusts the quantity of insulin required automatically. However, the hybrid method is not completely automated, as the number of carbohydrates consumed at mealtimes must be manually inputted. “This technology has the potential to transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes, improving both their quality of life and clinical outcomes,” Diabetes UK Chief Executive Chris Askew said. According to the National Health Service (NHS) in England, this is the world’s first statewide test of the technology, and it comes 100 years after the first diabetic patient received insulin injections.

In the United Kingdom, almost 400,000 people have type 1 diabetes, a condition where the body cannot generate insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. The pilot test currently has enrolled 875 individuals, totaling 1,000 people expected to participate. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will review the findings and decide where the technology should be used more extensively. It followed NICE’s suggestion that all people with type 1 diabetes in England be offered continuous glucose monitoring via a skin sensor. Prof. Partha Kar of NHS said: “Having machines monitor and deliver medication for diabetes patients sounds quite sci-fi-like, but technology and machines are part and parcel of how we live our lives every day.”