Patients with diabetes in the UK and Ireland will be the first in the world to use a new ‘intelligent’ insulin pump that continuously monitors blood-sugar levels.
The fail-safe Paradigm Veo is made by Medtronic and costs £2,850, £100 more than the current devices that are used by 5,000 people in the UK.
Said Peter Hammond, a consultant diabetologist at Harrogate District Hospital: ‘Having this safety feature takes us a step closer to an artificial pancreas, and allows patients to get greater control over their blood-glucose levels.’
The device monitors blood-sugar levels, supplemented with occasional pin-prick blood tests, which are then used to programme a threshold below which the level must not fall. If it does, insulin delivery is suspended for up to two hours.
It is only suitable for type 1 diabetes and affects 300,000 people in the UK.