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422 million people in the world have type 2 diabetes, which puts them at greater risk of suffering from serious diseases such as heart attack and stroke. One way to control the disease is with insulin injections, which regulate the blood sugar level. With new findings, it will now be much easier.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have built an artificial pancreas. Instead of the patient having to inject insulin himself, the artificial pancreas can sense when the blood sugar level is getting too low, and then automatically pump insulin into the blood.
What the researchers have done is that they have developed an algorithm that can predict when a patient needs more insulin, and how much insulin is needed. That algorithm receives data from a sensor guided by that information. It sends signals to an insulin pump to release a certain amount of insulin.
In tests conducted by the researchers, the test subjects were at the correct blood sugar level 66 percent of the time. In a control group that injected insulin the traditional way, the subjects were at the correct level only 32 percent of the time.
“Many people with type 2 diabetes struggle to control their blood sugar levels with current methods such as insulin injections. The artificial pancreas is a safe and effective method that can help them. The technology is also simple and safe to use at home," says Charlotte Boughton at the University of Cambridge and one of the researchers behind the study, in a press release.