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Know your sugar levels 30 minutes in advance


New York, March 26:

There is good news for people suffering from type 1 diabetes. The researchers have now developed a model that can predict blood glucose levels up to 30 minutes in advance, leaving patients with adequate time for preventive action.
“It predicts the blood glucose levels of individuals based on insulin dose and meal intake,” said Peter Molenaar from Pennsylvania State University.

With type 1 diabetes, the body can not produce insulin – a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy.

Many such patients therefore use glucose monitors, which examine the fluid underneath the skin.

“But the glucose levels under the skin trail blood glucose levels from anywhere between 8 and 15 minutes,” Molenaar added.

“This is especially problematic during sleep. Patients may become hypoglycemic (when glucose levels in the blood drops too low to fuel the body) well before the glucose monitor alarm tells them they are hypoglycemic, and that could lead to death,” he added.

The researchers created a time-varying model estimated by the extended Kalman filtering technique.

This model accounts for time-varying changes in glucose kinetics due to insulin and meal intake.

The team tested the accuracy of its model with 30 virtual patients and five living patients with type 1 diabetes.

“Our approach outperforms standard approaches because all our model parameters are estimated in real time,” Molenaar noted.

The model’s configuration of recursive estimator and optimal controller would constitute an effective artificial pancreas.

The findings of the research appeared in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.