A self-adjusting insulin pump, MiniMed 670G

A mother from Durham with type 1 diabetes says she is able to enjoy time with her family “without having to worry about my blood sugars” thanks to the first self-adjusting insulin pump.

Karen Curtis is one of the first people in her region to get the MiniMed 670G system, the world’s first self-adjusting insulin pump, on the NHS.

The 40-year-old was diagnosed with the condition aged 11 years old. The office administrator says her treatment has been transformed since she started using the product.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, she said: “I had a great summer of walking, canoeing, swimming in the sea and splashing in the pool for hours on end with my gorgeous family, all wearing the pump but without having to worry about my blood sugars.

“The Automode facility on my pump recognised the additional activity and responded by reducing my basal insulin, preventing any hypos and allowing me more time to focus on having fun with my boys.”

Manufacturers Medtronic say the product is an important step towards a fully automated closed loop system.

It is thought to be the first and only system to automate and personalise the delivery of basal insulin 24 hours a day. The technology includes the company’s SmartGuard technology as well as an accurate glucose monitor.

The system identifies patterns and then makes predictions, mimicking functions of a fully-functioning pancreas – making tiny adjustments to insulin delivery every five minutes in response to glucose levels.

MiniMed 670G system is only available on the NHS in certain areas. It is for people with type 1 diabetes aged seven and older, but is not indicated for use in pregnancy and or for those with type 2 diabetes.

Karen started using the system last year under the supervision of the diabetes team at the University Hospital of North Durham.

Dr Kamal Abouglila, a diabetes consultant based at the hospital, said: “We’re delighted to see Karen doing so well with the system. We have seen first-hand how it can help people with type 1 diabetes achieve improved glucose control, which can make a real difference to the quality of their day-to-day lives as well as to their longer-term outcomes.”

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