A team of researchers in the US have reported positive results from a clinical study evaluating the use of artificial pancreas system smartphone app (iAPS) in regulating blood glucose levels.

iAPS is designed to wirelessly interface with continuous glucose monitors (CGM), insulin pump devices, and decision-making algorithms. It runs on an unlocked smartphone.

The app comes with a user interface, which allows patients to interact with their devices, request an insulin bolus for a meal or correct and log different activities.

“iAPS is designed to wirelessly interface with continuous glucose monitors (CGM), insulin pump devices, and decision-making algorithms. It runs on an unlocked smartphone.”

iAPS also displays the current glycemic status and enables remote monitoring.

Conducted in partnership with Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center and Labrasoft, the study evaluated the app in six type 1 diabetes patients.

Results showed that the app was safe and effective in regulating glucose levels, with improvements in the target glucose range 70-180mg/dL and a statistically significant decrease in time below 70mg/dL.

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iAPS demonstrated strong connectivity with peripheral devices.

In a separate development, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant to develop and assess a pregnancy-specific artificial pancreas in multiple clinical trials.

The project is being carried out by the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Mayo Clinic and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.

It will evaluate the use of artificial pancreas technology to maintain glucose levels in type 1 diabetes mothers in order to improve outcomes for babies

Diabetes in pregnancy can either be gestational if pregnancy hormones result in a mother developing a resistance to insulin, or pregestational in pregnant patients who already have insulin-dependent diabetes. Both types can be bad for a baby’s health and can result in hypoglycemia, macrosomia, birth injuries and respiratory distress for both the mother and baby.

Mayo Clinic Rochester endocrinology professor Yogish Kudva said: “Women with type 1 diabetes experience significant insulin reactions as they try to manage their glucose within a narrow target range throughout pregnancy.  There has been no artificial pancreas trial involving pregnant women with type 1 diabetes in the US.

“We are excited that we will adapting automated insulin delivery to relieve the burden on pregnant women with type 1 diabetes and their families.”

Additional reporting by Charlotte Edwards.