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Medtronic Australia in World First Trial to ‘Close the Loop’ in Type 1 Diabetes

8 July 2011

The first child to use this system, William Goyder, is excited to be involved in this potentially life changing trial.

Media Release (Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth)

Princess Margaret Hospital and Medtronic researchers will today start a world first study into the treatment of type 1 diabetes, revolutionising the way this disease is managed in children.

The Closed Loop or ‘artificial pancreas’ system, is a cutting edge, automatic approach to controlling blood glucose levels – without any input from the patient.

Professor Tim Jones, Head of PMH Diabetes Department, said patients with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin for themselves. Currently insulin doses are worked out by the patient using a fingerstick blood glucose test: this conventional approach is difficult, often inaccurate and can be dangerous.

“This system we are testing, engineered by Medtronic, consists of two glucose measuring sensors that sit under the skin, an insulin pump and a Blackberry™ mobile phone.”

The Blackberry™ phone will wirelessly receive a blood glucose measurement from the sensors. This is then put through a mathematical equation on the phone telling the pump precisely how much insulin to give.

“We will be trialling its safety over a 10-12 hour overnight period. The patients receiving the treatment stay overnight at PMH and will be monitored constantly, by PMH staff and remotely by Medtronic in California, to ensure the treatment is working effectively,” Professor Jones said.

The first child to use this system, William Goyder, is excited to be involved in this potentially life changing trial.

William’s parents, Richard and Janine, said having a child with diabetes can be a constant worry.

“Knowing that these devices will work together to keep William’s blood glucose levels in a safe range overnight, will provide us with enormous peace of mind and better health outcomes for William over the long term,” they said.

PMH is a member of the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Consortium which leads an international effort to develop automated systems to improve the lives of people with Type 1 Diabetes. The JDRF recently launched Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network and PMH Diabetes researchers were core recipients of funds to trial new technologies for T1DM therapy in Australia.

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