Study: Artificial pancreas improves overnight care in diabetic children

In a real-life setting, diabetic children fare better with an artificial pancreas than with a sensor-augmented insulin pump when it comes to controlling night-time glucose levels, a new study concludes.

At children's diabetic camps in Israel, Slovenia and Germany, researchers found that the artificial pancreas, an intelligent dosing system that mimics a healthy pancreas by combining an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitor, offered better control of nocturnal glucose levels and less instances of hypoglycemia than insulin pumps, according to the study.

The 54 children with Type 1 diabetes in the study, which took place at diabetes camps to mimic a non-hospital setting, showed significantly fewer cases of hypoglycemia with the artificial pancreas because doses of insulin were reportedly higher on nights the device was used. Hypoglycemia occurs when glucose levels become too low due to a lack of insulin.

Medtronic ($MDT) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) are on their way to developing the first ever dual-chamber, fully automated artificial pancreas that passes FDA muster, and Tandem Diabetes Care also joined the fray this year.

- here's the New England Journal of Medicine study