The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has confirmed that it will be appraising hybrid closed loop technology for type 1 diabetes, meaning that it could be available on the NHS in England as early as next year.
NICE advises on the use of new medicines and technology on the NHS. When approved, hybrid closed loop technology will be available and, crucially, funded on the NHS – a huge step forward in widening access to tech for people with type 1 diabetes. NICE has stated it will be giving the technology a ‘multiple tech appraisal.’
Hybrid closed loop technology uses an algorithm to take glucose readings from a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and calculate how much insulin is needed, which it then delivers via a pump. The pump automatically adjusts insulin delivery if blood glucose starts to go too low or too high, such as after exercise or during sleep.
Though not fully automated (users still need to count carbs and give the system correct bolusing data), such hybrid closed loop technology allows people to spend more time in their target blood glucose range, and with less effort than using a CGM or pump alone, or finger prick tests and multiple daily injections. Closed loop technology not only eases the daily burden of type 1, but can also help minimise the risk of long-term complications.
Currently, there are no criteria to access hybrid closed loop technology on the NHS. People who meet the criteria for an insulin pump and a CGM may be eligible for full or partial funding.
JDRF’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Rachael Chrisp, says: ‘When approved this could be a huge advance for the availability of technology to help people with type 1 manage their condition. At JDRF, we have been pushing for wider access to tech and are supporting the appraisal process through NICE, to help ensure hybrid closed loop technology is approved for NHS availability. Every development like this brings us closer to fully automated glucose management which would have a huge impact on the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes.”
JDRF is working with partners to secure access to tech across the four nations of the UK.
Read about the role of JDRF and its supporters in making artificial pancreas technology a reality.