Thousands with life-threatening condition could be spared injections thanks to new tech on the NHS | The Sun

DIABETIC Brits could be spared painful insulin jabs thanks to “artificial pancreas” technology set to roll out on the NHS.

The cutting-edge “closed loop” system uses a sensor and insulin pump to automatically control blood sugar.

Health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said it should be offered to patients who struggle to control type 1 diabetes.

Around 278,000 people in England and Wales have the condition – and 105,000 could be eligible for the gadget.

NHS clinics will get it if bosses can strike a deal for less than the market £5,700 per person per year, which NICE said is too pricey.

Professor Partha Kar, NHS England advisor, said: “This technology has been proven to give the best control for managing type 1 diabetes.

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“It could make things like amputations, blindness and kidney problems a thing of the past.”

Mark Chapman, technology director at NICE, added: “Some people with type 1 diabetes struggle to manage their condition and this technology is the best intervention to help them, barring a cure.

“At a time when the number of people with diabetes is rising, we have to focus on what matters most to people by balancing the best care with value for money.”

Almost 1,000 people were involved in an NHS trial of the closed loop insulin system last year.

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Patients usually have to monitor blood sugars and inject insulin themselves because their pancreas cannot make it.

Insulin is a hormone that lowers levels of glucose in the blood, which rise when you eat – when they are too high it can cause nerve, eye and organ damage and even deadly comas.

Nikki Joule, policy manager at Diabetes UK, said: “This has the potential to transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes.

“NICE’s draft guidance is a step towards ensuring people have access to the technologies they can benefit from most.

“Type 1 diabetes can take a huge mental toll, with people manually calculating how much insulin they need regularly throughout the day.

“By automating these calculations, hybrid closed-loop technology can greatly alleviate the emotional burden of diabetes.

“We look forward to it being rolled out on the NHS and will work towards ensuring that everyone who could benefit from this life-changing technology has access to it.”

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