A dream for diabetes patients is about to come true: A wearable artificial pancreas that automatically regulates your insulin delivery, while living your normal live. The EU-funded AP@home project has developed a prototype to reduce the treatment burden for people with insulin treated diabetes.

AP@home

Project coordinator Prof. Dr. Lutz Heinemann: "The AP we developed allows automated glucose control; it continuously monitors glucose (sugar) levels in the body and it includes a software algorithm that calculates how much insulin should be delivered at any given time via an insulin infusion pump. (...) Automating the delivery of insulin would greatly improve treatment."

The next step is to develop this prototype system into a product.

In order to improve treatment of diabetes patients using insulin, AP@home aimed to build and evaluate an artificial pancreas (AP) that works reliably day and night under at home conditions.

Up to date, insulin is given either by injections or via wearable continuous infusion pumps.

Communication between monitor and pump

The AP@home project developed an AP platform that establishes the communication between the commercially available continuous glucose monitor and the insulin pump and runs the software algorithms that are a proprietary development of partners of the project.

At present two different versions of the AP platform are still being evaluated in the home environment of patients; they are using it for up to three months at home without constant supervision by a physician, living their normal lives.

In parallel, AP@home developed an innovative AP device that combines an insulin pump and a glucose sensor in one device. It uses only one access point through the skin. This novel AP system is currently investigated at the patients’ home as well, currently only for a short period of time.

Coming years

The development from prototype into a product will take place in the coming years. The product should simplify diabetes care, improve the quality of life of patients with diabetes and reduce the risk of diabetes related complications and diminish health costs in the long run.

The AP@home project was funded through the 7th Framework Program. It started in 2010 and has just come to an end. Universities and companies in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy participated in the project.

 

Project coordinator
Professor Dr. Lutz Heinemann
Project Acronym
AP@home