AP@home: The Artificial Pancreas Is Now at Home

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Abstract

In the past years the development of an artificial pancreas (AP) has made great progress and many activities are ongoing in this area of research. The major step forward made in the last years was moving the evaluation of AP systems from highly controlled experimental conditions to daily life conditions at the home of patients with diabetes; this was also the aim of the European Union–funded AP@home project. Over a time period of 5 years a series of clinical studies were performed that culminated in 2 “final studies” during which an AP system was used by patients in their home environment for 2 or 3 months without supervision by a physician, living their normal lives. Two different versions of the AP system developed within this project were evaluated. A significant improvement in glycated hemoglobin was observed during closed-loop conditions despite the fact that during the control period the patients used the best currently available therapeutic option. In addition, a “single-port AP system” was developed within the project that combines continuous glucose monitoring and insulin infusion at a single tissue site. By using such a combined device the patients not only have to carry one less device around, the number of access points through the skin is also reduced from 2 to 1. In summary, close cooperation of 12 European partners, both academic centers and industry, enabled the development and evaluation of AP systems under daily life conditions. The next step is to develop these into products in cooperation with commercial partners.

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