The global increase in numbers of people with diabetes draws attention to new developments in closed-loop insulin delivery systems, aka the artificial pancreas. Even though the etiology differs between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, day-to-day management is generally the same. We recently wrote about Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G hybrid closed-loop system’s published results from a real-world data study that show the system kept hospitalized type 1 diabetes patients in healthy ranges significantly longer than self-administered shots.
A new study at the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that type 2 diabetics in hospitals also have better glycemic control with closed-loop systems. Type 2 patients in noncritical care hospital units typically are not treated with closed loop systems. However, there is an increasing rate of hyperglycemia among type 2 patients with longer hospital stays with concordant higher rates of complications and death.
In the Cambridge study, 136 patients in hospitals in the U.K. and Switzerland were assigned to groups that received closed-loop insulin delivery (70 patients) or conventional manual injections (66 patients). The closed-loop patients used an Abbott Diabetes Care FreeStyle Navigator II subcutaneous continuous glucose testing monitor and a Sooil Dana Diabecare R insulin pump. The closed-loop patients stayed in their target ranges 65.8% of the time while the patients with conventional insulin management stayed in healthy ranges only 41.5% of the time.
The closed-loop hardware employed and the management software were different in the two studies, but the tests proved a common point. Closed-loop insulin delivery management is more effective in keeping both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients within healthy glycemic ranges, at least in hospital settings. The implications of this device-agnostic consistency will likely spur more development in this health tech area.