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Thousands of British diabetics to get artificial pancreas devices

Insulin products are displayed Associated Press/Photo by Carolyn Kaster

Thousands of British diabetics to get artificial pancreas devices

The National Health Services of England on Tuesday said that it would soon roll out thousands of the devices, which monitor blood glucose while pumping insulin. The NHS described its mass debut of the Hybrid Closed Loop systems as a world first, although the technology was pioneered in the 1960s and 1970s. It plans to begin contacting eligible persons for the devices soon.

What does this device do? It constantly monitors the user’s glucose levels and adjusts the level of insulin it pumps into the person’s bloodstream. The technology will allow some people with Type 1 diabetes to stop injecting themselves with insulin, the NHS said. Instead, the artificial pancreas will do the work for them. It can also help prevent attacks of low blood sugar or hyperglycemia, the agency said.

How many people are eligible to get this device? Almost 270,000 people in England live with Type 1 diabetes, and the government has already granted $2.7 million to local hospitals to help identify patients who would be a good fit for the new service. This upcoming mass rollout follows a previous test rollout that offered the service to 835 people nationwide.

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Muncy’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast about weighing the pros and cons of a new obesity drug.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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