Nov 22, 2019
First artificial pancreas is available in Germany
The first artificial pancreas for diabetes treatment is available in Germany since September 2019. The costs of the device will be taken over by the health insurance companies. Since 2018, the device has been CE-approved in Europe.

A closed-loop system consists of a glucose sensor that continuously measures the blood glucose value and a processing unit that controls an insulin pump according to the measured values. The sensor in the skin measures the tissue sugar for more than seven days, while integrated diagnostic technology monitors the impeccable function. The measured values are transmitted to the insulin pump, which then automatically delivers adjusted doses of the hormone and thus keeps the blood sugar as close as possible to the physiological range of 70 to 180 mg/dl. The system does not work completely automatically: patients have to enter the estimated amount of carbohydrates after meals and confirm the bolus correction proposed by the pump. In addition, two conventional blood glucose measurements are needed daily to calibrate the sensor.

Three years ago, MiniMed® 670G was the first such device, also known as an artificial pancreas, to be launched in the United States with now about 200,000 patients using this device. At the beginning of September, the product was included in the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV-Spitzenverband) list of aids under the product group "Application aids" with the product numbers 03.29.04.1001 and 03.29.04.1002 and is, therefore, part of the list of statutory health insurance benefits. A corresponding announcement of the reimbursement in the Federal Gazette is still pending. The system can be used with insulin-dependent diabetes if indicated as appropriate for persons aged seven years old and more.

The full details in German can be found here.

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