Skip to main content

Four major studies will investigate automated insulin delivery systems

closed loop insulin delivery studies 138349h 1446
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that it is funding four new clinical trials designed to test out artificial pancreas systems — to the tune of a whopping $41 million in government grants.

The hope is to move closed-loop artificial pancreas systems closer to receiving the necessary regulatory approval.

The large-scale studies, which will involve hundreds of people, will take place later this year and into 2018. Participants will be able to self-monitor for the study, and can live at home as usual while taking part.

“The research is related to type 1 diabetes, which is the condition in which the pancreas stops producing insulin,” Dr. Roman Hovorka of University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, who is heading up one of the trials, told Digital Trends. “There’s a collaborative element to the trials, although we’re working on different commercial systems. The goal is to move this technology forward so that people who need it can use it as soon as possible.”

The technology involves devices like Medtronic’s FDA-approved MiniMed 670G, a system that’s able to adjust insulin levels automatically. At present, users have to enter details about the carbohydrates they’ve consumed at mealtimes, calibrate the sensors, and more. The idea is to create a more autonomous system that’s able to detect blood sugar levels and adjust insulin doses, without the user having to do anything.

In Hovorka’s study, 130 people aged 6-18 will be monitored for a year using Medtronic’s 640G pump, a smart sensor, and an Android phone running a predictive algorithm called the Cambridge Model Predictive Control Algorithm. Trials will take place in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, and the U.K.

A separate three-month study will compare the Medtronic device to another system called the MD-Logic Automated Insulin Delivery (MD-Logic). It will monitor 100 young people at sites around the U.S. and in Germany, Israel, and Slovenia.

Another study aims to put inControl, an artificial pancreas device system developed by the UVA Center for Diabetes Technology, through its paces. This trial will use follow 240 teenagers with type 1 diabetes for a period of six months in the U.S. and Europe. A related study will test out an alternative algorithm among 180 participants at Harvard University.

Finally, a fourth study — set to kick off in the middle of next year — will try out a bihormonal bionic pancreas to deliver insulin and counteract hormone glucagon using algorithms. This study will involve 480 people of all ages in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington.

We’re still a way from being able to fully manage type 1 diabetes autonomously, something that would free up patients from having to constantly play an active part in managing the condition. However, studies like this will only take us closer to the dream a successful, fully automated artificial pancreas.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Meet the game-changing pitching robot that can perfectly mimic any human throw
baseball hitter swings and misses

Who’s your favorite baseball pitcher? Shane McClanahan? Sandy Alcantara? Justin Verlander? Whoever you said, two of the top sports-tech companies in the U.S. -- Rapsodo and Trajekt Sports -- have teamed up to build a robot version of them, and the results are reportedly uncannily accurate.

Okay, so we’re not talking about walking-talking-pitching standalone robots, as great a sci-fi-tinged MLB ad as that would be. However, Rapsodo and Trajekt have combined their considerable powers to throw a slew of different technologies at the problem of building a machine that's able to accurately simulate the pitching style of whichever player you want to practice batting against -- and they may just have pulled it off, too.

Read more
The best portable power stations
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Affordable and efficient portable power is a necessity these days, keeping our electronic devices operational while on the go. But there are literally dozens of options to choose from, making it abundantly difficult to decide which mobile charging solution is best for you. We've sorted through countless portable power options and came up with six of the best portable power stations to keep your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets functioning while living off the grid.
The best overall: Jackery Explorer 1000

Jackery has been a mainstay in the portable power market for several years, and today, the company continues to set the standard. With three AC outlets, two USB-A, and two USB-C plugs, you'll have plenty of options for keeping your gadgets charged.

Read more
CES 2023: HD Hyundai’s Avikus is an A.I. for autonomous boat and marine navigation
Demonstration of NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This content was produced in partnership with HD Hyundai.
Autonomous vehicle navigation technology is certainly nothing new and has been in the works for the better part of a decade at this point. But one of the most common forms we see and hear about is the type used to control steering in road-based vehicles. That's not the only place where technology can make a huge difference. Autonomous driving systems can offer incredible benefits to boats and marine vehicles, too, which is precisely why HD Hyundai has unveiled its Avikus AI technology -- for marine and watercraft vehicles.

More recently, HD Hyundai participated in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, to demo its NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system for recreational boats. The name mashes together the words "neuron" and "boat" and is quite fitting since the Avikus' A.I. navigation tech is a core component of the solution, it will handle self-recognition, real-time decisions, and controls when on the water. Of course, there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes with HD Hyundai's autonomous navigation solution, which we'll dive into below -- HD Hyundai will also be introducing more about the tech at CES 2023.

Read more