Conference Coverage

Patient adjustments needed for closed-loop insulin delivery



– Closed-loop insulin delivery is expected to become the standard of care in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), but there are multiple barriers that patients need to overcome.

“Many people who are potentially going to be using closed-loop systems are enthusiastic but have unrealistic expectations of how the systems are going to perform, and there are many barriers to uptake and optimal use that we still haven’t quite figured out,” said Korey K. Hood, PhD, a professor in the departments of pediatrics and psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Stanford (Calif.) University.

In a session dedicated to all aspects of closed-loop automated insulin delivery at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting, Dr. Hood offered comments on patient and family factors important to the uptake and use of closed-loop technologies. His research at Stanford is focused on understanding the psychosocial aspects of diabetes management and how these factors contribute to disease outcomes.

Closed-loop insulin delivery refers to technologies that combine automated glucose monitoring (AGM) with an algorithm to determine insulin needs and an insulin delivery device. Sometimes called an “artificial pancreas” or “bionic pancreas,” closed-loop insulin delivery is considered a significant advance in the management of T1DM, relegating daily finger sticks and nighttime hypoglycemia to things of the past.

In a recent meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, use of any automated device added nearly 2.5 hours of time in near normoglycemia over 24 hours in patients with TIDM, compared with any other type of insulin-based treatment (BMJ. 2018. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k1310). The benefit was primarily based on better glucose control in the overnight period.

In September 2016, the Food and Drug Administration approved the MiniMed 670G Insulin Pump System (Medtronic), the first hybrid automated insulin delivery device for T1DM and the only one approved in the United States. The system is intended for subcutaneous continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and continuous delivery of basal insulin and administration of insulin for the management of T1DM in persons 14 years of age and older.

Barriers from different perspectives

Barriers to uptake and use are common for the devices that are components of closed-loop systems. In a survey of 1,503 adults with TIDM, Dr. Hood’s group found a wide range of barriers to adoption of CGM or insulin pumps that could potentially also impact use of closed-loop systems (Diabetes Care. 2017;40:181-7). Some were nonmodifiable, like costs, but most were modifiable.

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