People can keep better control of type 1 diabetes through automated insulin delivery. A recent multicenter clinical research study indicated that an experimental device known as the bionic pancreas is significantly more effective in regulating blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetic patients than standard care, which involves injecting insulin multiple times a day. This trial was predominantly funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a division of the National Institutes of Health. The study results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrate the potential of this device to release insulin automatically by employing the novel technology. 

The study was a 13-week-long randomized trial of using bionic pancreas. It involved 16 clinical locations throughout the US and included 326 subjects aged 6 to 79 with type 1 diabetes who had been on insulin for at least a year. The findings demonstrated that glycated hemoglobin—a marker of a patient’s long-term blood glucose management—improved from 7.9 percent to 7.3 percent in bionic pancreas participants but remained unchanged in the standard-of-care control group. 

The bionic pancreas requires minimal manual intervention and delivers superior automation since the device’s algorithms dynamically and automatically regulate the insulin dosages in accordance with the patient’s requirements. Its automated insulin delivery system—also referred to as a closed-loop control system or artificial pancreas—uses a continuous glucose monitoring system along with an insulin pump to supply insulin when necessary.

According to the researchers, findings of the trial indicate that this new technology might dramatically improve blood sugar control in patients with Type 1 diabetes and help prevent other medical complications such as cardiovascular diseases, strokes, nerve damage, and visual impairment.