Israeli Medicine Breakthrough: Artificial Pancreas Trial Project

For the first time in the world, under the leadership of Schneider Children’s specialists, The Artificial Pancreas Trial Project, aimed at providing a real solution for patients with diabetes, took place outside the hospital building

Oct 26, 2011, 08:00 ET from Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel

PETACH TIKVAH, Israel, October 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

At the initiative, and under the leadership of specialists in the Jesse Z and Sara Lea Shaffer Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes, National Center of Childhood Diabetes, Schneider Children's Medical Center, an innovative trial project of the MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas (MDLAP) has successfully taken place in Israel. The aim of the trial was to provide a real solution to patients with diabetes, using the MDLAP in a diabetes camp outside the confines of the hospital. This is a significant landmark in research: this is to the best of our knowledge the first time in the world that such a trial project has been taken outside the hospital, illustrating a "normal" life for youngsters with diabetes, while using an automatic insulin delivery system during the night. The overall success of the research represents genuine good news to millions of patients with diabetes in Israel and the world. The project is headed by Prof. Moshe Phillip MD, Director of the Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes and Revital Nimri MD senior investigator. Also leading the program are Mr. Eran Atlas (M.Sc), engineering team project manager, Mr. Shahar Miller (B.Sc) leading algorithm engineer and Mr. Ido Muller (B.Sc) at the Diabetes Technology Center at Schneider Children's. This trial is part of the DREAM (The Diabetes wiREless Artificial pancreas consortiuM) project, an international collaborating research consisting of teams from Schneider Children's in Petah Tikva, the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Kinderkrankenhaus auf der Bult from Hannover, Germany headed by Prof. Thomas Danne and Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at University Children's Hospital from Ljubljana, Slovenia headed by Prof. Tadej Battelino.

About 5000 children and adolescents in Israel have been diagnosed with childhood diabetes and thousands more youngsters and adults in the country have other types of diabetes. Diabetes requires constant vigilance concerning nutrition and blood glucose levels and requires that patients with diabetes inject insulin throughout the day in order to compensate impaired function of the pancreas. Over recent years, the staff in the Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes at Schneider Children's which includes engineers, doctors, nurses and dieticians, developed a technological solution called "the MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas" for children and adolescents with childhood diabetes and for others with diabetes type II who use the insulin injection.

The MD Logic system which was developed at Schneider Children's represents the "artificial pancreas" technological solution comprising of an off-the-shelf subcutaneous glucose sensor that monitors the glucose level and an insulin pump. The sensor and pump are connected to a computer that programs the information and stipulates the amount of insulin that should be released to the body in order to maintain blood glucose balance. This innovation "closes the loop" between the sensor and the pump and relieves the patients with diabetes from the daily burden of dealing with their diabetes and has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life of patients with diabetes.

The artificial pancreas trial outside the hospital was conducted as a prospective cross-over study within the framework of the 3-day DREAM Camp for Children with Diabetes at the Kibbutz Maale Hachamisha Hotel, consisting of 18 children and youth between the ages of 12-15 years stayed. Nine children were connected to the artificial pancreas system on the first night of the camp and eight children were connected on the second night. Monitoring the night-time glucose levels is extremely important since most cases of severe hypoglycemia occur during the night and blood glucose levels are not within the desired range in many of the patients while they are asleep. The team of engineers and medical staff stayed in the control room set up at the hotel on both nights, from where they were able to remotely supervise the trial and monitor the glucose levels of the children. Within the framework of the camp, social activities with counselors and the team of the Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes took place: the children enjoyed the interaction between themselves, swimming in the pool, sports, watching movies and other fun activities.

Following the successful trial, Prof. Phillip stated that: "I am proud to head and be a part of the pioneering team who have been working for a number of years to find a technological solution that will significantly improve the lives of millions of patients with diabetes in Israel and the world. The MD-Logic Artifical Pancreas and the DREAM Projects will enable patients with diabetes to be relieved of the continuous need to check glucose levels and inject insulin, while ensuring long-term balance which significantly reduces the chance of complications from diabetes. The entire staff in the Institute is excited to be part of this important historial project."

The Jesse Z and Sara Lea Shafer Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes, the National Center for Childhood Diabetes at Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petah Tikva, a member of Clalit Health Services, is one of the largest facilities in the world treating, annually, more than 1600 children and adolescents with diabetes and receiving 150 new patients each year. The Institute actively performs advanced basic and clinical research in all arenas of endocrinology and diabetes.

Riva Shacked
Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel

SOURCE Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel