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Diabeloop’s AID System Improves Time in Range and Quality of Life

Published: 10/4/21
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By Julia Kenney

Julia joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2020 after graduating with a degree in Political Science and International Relations from Carleton College. 

Diabeloop’s AID system can improve Time in Range and quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes. Read below to learn more. 

Automated Insulin Delivery (AID) systems, also referred to as closed-loop systems, use continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and smart algorithms that automatically adjust insulin delivery via the insulin pump. Diabeloop’s AID system was released in 2019 in Europe to provide simple and personal disease management tools to people with type 1 diabetes. It is not yet approved for use in the US, but exciting clinical trial and real-life data demonstrate significant glycemic control and quality of life benefits. 

What is Diabeloop and how does it work?

The system is powered by their DBLG1 algorithm housed on a dedicated handset. The Bluetooth-connected handset syncs with the insulin pump and CGM to display glucose data every five minutes. 

While most AID systems are compatible with a single insulin pump and CGM, the DBLG1 algorithm and handset are compatible with several versions of Dexcom CGMs (G4, G5, and G6) and four different insulin pumps: Roche’s Accu-Chek Insight, ViCentra’s Kaleido, SOOIL’s Dana-I, and the Cellnovo. This means many people can use the DBLG1 system without switching CGMs or pumps. Diabeloop also connects to a web-based platform called YourLoops that displays your health data and can be shared with healthcare providers and caretakers. 

To get started with the Diabeloop system, users must input their total daily insulin dose, typical meal size in grams of carbs, and body weight. After getting started, the algorithm is able to take over insulin delivery in 15 minutes. 

How does Diabeloop improve diabetes health outcomes?

In clinical trials and real-life studies, the Diabeloop system has demonstrated health benefits for users. The system has helped users improve their glucose control by increasing their Time in Range (TIR) and decreasing levels of dangerous low and high blood sugars. Here are some important insights from recent Diabeloop research:

  • Diabeloop use can increase Time in Range and decrease low blood sugar. Professor Pierre-Yves Benhamou presented data from the first 1,000 Diabeloop users in Germany. From April to September 2021, this population had an average TIR of 73.4% and time in hypoglycemia of 1%. In a subset of 152 participants with available A1C data, average A1C decreased by 0.42 percentage points, and average TIR increased by 17 percentage points.  

  • Diabeloop can improve TIR regardless of insulin pump used. Dr. Alice Adenis, an engineer and data scientist with Diabeloop, compared data from two clinical trials. One trial used the Dana-I pump, and the other used both the Kaleido and Cellnovo pumps. Regardless of the pump used, study participants’ average TIR increased between 8.6 and 12.8 percentage points. Dr. Adenis indicated that on average, participants’ time above and below range was halved using the Diabeloop system.

  • Meal size variation may not impact glycemic control in adult Diabeloop users. Dr. Paul Gimenez from Corbeil Essonnes, France, described findings from a study assessing the effect of meal size on glycemic control in 34 people with type 1 diabetes on the Diabeloop system. The study concluded that increased carbohydrate consumption does not lead to changes in TIR or levels of low and high blood sugar. 

Testimonial from a Diabetologist 

Dr. Bernhard Gehr, a senior diabetologist at Hospital Fachklinik Bad Heilbrunn in Germany, has had type 1 diabetes for over 25 years. After switching from a DIY closed loop system to Diabeloop, Dr. Gehr described his personal experience with the Diabeloop system and how it improved his quality of life. 

While the DIY system helped him manage his diabetes, Dr. Gehr found it difficult to constantly “micromanage” the algorithm. After switching to Diabeloop, he said that “the algorithm does the micromanagement now and not the patient, not me.” The Diabeloop system helped Dr. Gehr achieve an average TIR of 84% and TBR of 1% in the first 10 weeks on the system. Most important, he said that the system gave him “peace of mind” when it came to his diabetes management. 

Dr. Gehr also described the benefits of the Diabeloop system for healthcare providers, saying,  “We as HCPs need to know what we can influence if the [health] results are not perfect.” The system allows healthcare providers to make some changes including (but not limited to) total daily insulin, the glucose target, and hypoglycemia threshold.

Diabeloop was recently made available to people with type 1 diabetes, and more research is needed to better understand the health benefits of the system. Like many AID systems, Diabeloop can help improve TIR, reduce A1C, and reduce levels of low and high blood sugars. According to Diabeloop’s CEO Erik Huneker, Diabeloop is working to expand access to its AID system to underserved populations, children, teens, and people on all types of insulin. Diabeloop is also working on creating a system for people with type 2 diabetes.

Look here for more information on automated insulin delivery.     

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