Nearly 900 people with type 1 diabetes in England are testing a potentially life-changing artificial pancreas. The device uses a sensor inserted beneath the skin to eliminate the need for finger-stick testing and prevent life-threatening hypoglycaemic episodes, which happen when blood sugar levels fall too low. It continuously checks the readings, and a pump automatically changes the amount of insulin required. However, because the number of carbohydrates consumed at mealtimes must be manually entered, the hybrid method is not completely automated. The National Health Service (NHS) in England says this is the world’s first statewide technology test that comes 100 years after the first diabetic patient received insulin injections.

Almost 400,000 citizens of the United Kingdom have type 1 diabetes. The pilot program has enrolled 875 people, totaling 1,000 people anticipated to participate. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will review the results and determine where the technology should be utilized more widely. 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.”