The world’s first licensed, downloadable artificial pancreas app for those with type 1 diabetes was launched recently—based on the research of Professor Roman Hovorka with the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. Known as the CamAPS FX app, it works with an insulin pump and a glucose monitor to automatically deliver insulin to those living with the condition via a complex algorithm. A venture called CamDiab commercializes the technology.
The App will Manage Much
Apparently, this app will take over much of the management of type 1 diabetes effort—usually involving a routine of finger-prick blood tests and insulin injections or infusions just to stay alive—this is because their pancreas no longer produces insulin by itself. This new technology can be a life saver, as at night some with type 1 diabetes experience dangerously low levels of low blood glucose levels.
The app can also upload the user’s blood glucose measurements seamlessly to Diasend, an online platform that allows their diabetes team to offer more personalized care reports Diabetes Times. The product is backed by 13 years of clinical research carried out by Professor Hovorka and his research team. They were funded by the type 1 diabetes charity group JDRF, Diabetes UK, the National Institute for Health Research, the National Institutes of Health, Horizon 2020, and the Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Licensing Via Amazon Appstore
The product can be licensed for use by both adults and children with the condition—including pregnant women and children aged one and up according to the report in Diabetes Times, and it is available on a subscription basis for 70 pounds per month. It can be accessed and downloaded onto Android phones via the Amazon Appstore.
Early Adopter Patient Point of View
Fiona O’Reilly, who has been using the app as part of a clinical trial, said: “Overall, it makes me feel free. It is the closest I have been to living without the burden of type 1 diabetes since I was diagnosed which is a fabulous feeling—I feel less fearful of hypoglycemia, and less ashamed of the fact that I find achieving good glycemic control so tricky.
“And it makes me feel more positive of my future with diabetes, that I have a chance of avoiding all the associated complications. It also makes me feel lucky to live in a time where this technology is possible and really grateful to be given the chance to try it out.”
What Happens at Launch
The product will be supported by a small number of UK diabetes clinics. The users of this app will need to confirm which clinic they attend and they must be using a Dana RS Pump and a Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor.
Call to Action: Note that Professor Hovorka is not done—he and research team seek to bring this technology to all who need it via the NHS. The key for this will be generation of data to support the case for NHS funding. This is a promising approach that could benefit many. Those interested in applicability elsewhere should connect with the venture charged with commercializing the technology: CamDiab