The pioneering artificial pancreas developed for people with type 1 diabetes has been hailed as “brilliant” by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
The innovative technology was the focal point of her royal visit to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where the device has been trialled.
The artificial pancreas works by copying how the body works and automatically releases the right amount of insulin when needed, eliminating the need to constantly monitor blood sugar levels and inject.
Researchers have spent years working on the technology, which they hope will eventually become commercially available for people with type 1 diabetes.
Speaking at the end of her visit the duchess said: “Having seen this artificial pancreas – and being a technophobe I shouldn’t really have understood what it does – it looked quite simple and completely brilliant.”
The Duchess has been President of JDRF – which also funded much of the work on the artificial pancreas – for more than five years. During this she has met many individuals and families who have been affected by type 1 diabetes.
At the hospital she spoke with a group of young people and their families about their experiences of living with type 1 diabetes. She also met some members of the research team from the Cambridge Clinical Research Centre.
The Duchess added: “I’m sure it’s going to change the lives of a lot of you and a lot of your children in the very near future.
“They just have to get it through the right channels, find the money and make everyone believe in it because I feel sure this is going to save so many lives and make so many lives easier to deal with.”
Dr Roman Hovorka, who has been developing the technology since 2006 and is professor of diabetes technology, told the Duchess: “This is what our clever body does all the time without us knowing it.”
Picture: Mike Thornto, StillVision photography.

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