Speeding innovation for industry
The Diabeloop portable artificial pancreas, which combines a continuous blood glucose sensor and an insulin pump, is slated for commercialization in 2017. The system also leverages dose calculation software developed by Leti, a CEA Tech institute.
Between 5% and 10% of all cases of diabetes are type-1, or insulin-dependent—a form of the disease that requires patients to monitor and regulate their blood sugar several times a day. Diabeloop, the world's first portable artificial pancreas, will substantially improve quality of life for sufferers of this type of diabetes.
The system was developed by French diabetes research center CERTID in conjunction with Leti. It combines a continuous blood glucose sensor (Dexcom) and a miniature patch-type insulin pump (Cellnovo). The sensor and pump communicate via Bluetooth with a smartphone equipped with a personalized algorithm developed by researchers at Leti. Data from the sensor and other information such as food intake, physical activity, weight, and other drug therapies are used to calculate the appropriate dose of insulin. The dose calculated is sent directly to the pump. Unlike the systems currently available, Diabeloop operates in a closed loop. In other words, the insulin is delivered automatically by the pump, with no need for the patient to intervene—reducing the risk of potentially-hazardous dosage errors.
The first round of clinical trials, conducted jointly with around ten university medical centers in France, produced encouraging results. If the remaining development work goes as planned, the system should be on the market in 2017, and covered by the French national healthcare system in 2019.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.