A new €4M European project brings a mobile insulin pump from France, computer models from Romania, and research from the UK & Spain together, in order to improve living with diabetes.
Cellnovo, a MedTech split between France and the UK, was selected to participate in a new diabetes project funded by Horizon 2020, the EU grant programme.
The project is named PEPPER and wants to empower the 42 million people suffering from type I diabetes to ‘self-manage’ their disease.
Self-management would allow patients to improve their lifestyle and prevent adverse episodes resulting from too high or too low blood sugar level.
Cellnovo is industry connection in this project, having been established in 2002. In 2015 it even held an IPO on the Euronext Paris, raising €31M.
While not as radical as some cyborg-like MedTech inventions, Cellnovo developed a mobile diabetes management system. This includes a a rechargeable pump that simulates a healthy pancreas – a kind of Bionic pancreas.
Pancreatic simulation is an interesting alternative to the standard insulin injections, as these do not match normal and rapid changes in blood glucose throughout the day.
This is a problem because high glucose levels (hyperglycemia) leads to long-term complications, while low levels (hypoglycemia) can result is convulsions or loss of consciousness.
Besides the pump, Cellnovo’s mobile system comprises a handset, from which the patient can control the pump.
It can also read blood glucose levels (though we don’t know if it’s as cool as our list of needle-free devices) and log food intake and physical activity – replacing the ‘diabetes diary‘ that patients have to keep.
All this data can then be observed by the patients and shared with their doctor – even in real time.
With the integration of the PEPPER project, the system will be improved with new developments in artificial intelligence, combined with predictive computer modelling.
This is where DIAdvisor, developed by RomSoft (Romania) comes in. Ideally, this program will be able to take Cellnovo’s data to develop new features, such as glucose level predictions, dose advice and alarms for abnormal sugar levels.
The project will also be supported by academia, including the Oxford Brookes University (UK), Imperial College London (also UK) and University of Girona (Spain).
This is a great example of a new era of digital and personalized medicine, and easing the management of diabetes is particularly relevant – this chronic disease affects millions of people.
Watch a day in the life of diabetes patients with a Cellnovo pump…
Feature Image Credit: Remix of graphics by Labiotech (Source: Cellnovo)