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New type 1 diabetes device one step closer towards an artificial pancreas

Medtronic have announced the UK launch of the MiniMed® 640G, their new insulin pump that can predict and automatically prevent hypoglycaemia in people with type 1 diabetes.

Medtronic have announced the UK launch of the MiniMed® 640G, their new insulin pump that can predict and automatically prevent hypoglycaemia in people with type 1 diabetes.

The device, which uses an algorithm to predict when blood glucose levels are going to fall dangerously low and suspends insulin delivery in response, mimics the way a healthy pancreas releases basal insulin. It then resumes insulin delivery when glucose levels recover, making it the world’s first pump that can prevent both serious hypoglycaemia and rebound sugar highs.

The MiniMed 640G has been tested in a clinical trial and was able to prevent 12 out of 15 hypoglycaemic events in participants who had just conducted vigorous exercise.

In the UK, it is now being targeted particularly at the 5–10% of people with type 1 diabetes who experience frequent serious hypoglycaemia and those with hypoglycaemia unawareness. It is also aimed at reducing the rate of nocturnal hypoglycaemia, which comprises the majority of episodes. Pratik Choudhary, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Diabetes at King’s College London, said: “This new MiniMed 640G system represents another important step forward towards an artificial pancreas. Our early experience is that patients love it for the peace of mind and safety it gives them overnight due to its ability to protect them against hypoglycaemia.”

According to Diabetes UK, the device will cost private patients around £7000 annually, taking into account the costs of infusion sets and continuous glucose monitoring sensors through the year. However, people who suffer frequent severe hypoglycaemia will be able to apply to receive the system through the NHS. Routine funding is not expected to be considered until further trials on the device have been carried out.

More information on the MiniMed 640G can be found here.

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