New technology designed to enable the automatic adjustment of insulin dosages for diabetes patients has been put to the test in Northern Ireland.
Over the past 18 months staff at Ulster Hospital in Dundonald has been trialling the d-Nav Diabetes Insulin Guidance System (DIGS), which allows diabetic users to easily regulate their own insulin.
The pilot study, lead by Dr Roy Harper, involved more than 150 insulin-dependent diabetes patients with poor blood glucose control, and the results have been largely encouraging.
“In our evaluation it worked very, very well for many patients,” commented Dr Roy Harper, consultant physician at the Ulster Hospital.
“It is really straight forward and simple and very clever in what it does. It is like having me with you all of the time because it looks for patterns in your blood sugars and then gives insulin. Every time you check your blood sugars and every time you need to inject your insulin it gives you that guidance ongoing,” he added.
Developed by diabetes health care company Hygieia, the d-NAV system works by automatically updating a patient’s insulin dosage, as needed, using their own individual insulin therapy regimen and glucose pattern. Multiple studies have shown that insulin therapy is more effective when it is frequently adjusted based on an individual’s blood glucose patterns.
By enabling regular insulin dosage adjustments, it is hoped that d-Nav will help provide a much more continuous level of patient support while reducing the number of times diabetic patients need to visit their doctor for insulin dosage assistance.
Around 80,000 people in Northern Ireland are affected by diabetes and the cost of treating the disease stands at £400 million a year. This figure is expected to continue rising in line with the country’s escalating diabetes rates.

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