14.02.2018 Smart insulin pumps deliver – improving quality of life for diabetics


With more than 8% of the world’s population thought to be diabetic, the disease is a truly global epidemic. High hopes are being placed in new, fully-automated technologies. Hailed as a medical milestone, the new generation of smart insulin pumps will be presented to visitors at a high-profile international diabetes congress in Vienna.  

More than 366 million people, equivalent to some 8% of the world’s population, are believed to suffer from diabetes. This figure is set to rise to 552 million, or around 10% of the populace, by 2030. In Austria alone, someone dies of complications from diabetes every 50 minutes – the equivalent of 10,000 people a year. “It is essential that we focus on new technologies and use them in the fight against diabetes, especially in light of these alarming developments,” explained Dr Tadej Battelino, president of the 2018 International Conference on Advanced Technologies for Treatment for Diabetes (ATTD) which is taking place at the Austria Center Vienna from 14-17 February. For 11 years, participants at the ATTD Conference have worked tirelessly to accelerate the introduction of new and improved diabetes therapies. “This year we have achieved a major milestone with the introduction of a fully-automated, implanted insulin pump.” Battelino confirmed.

Modern insulin pumps enhance quality of life
This modern, fully-automated insulin pump, a closed loop management system implanted below the skin, regulates the blood sugar for three days before it needs to be refilled. “This breakthrough comes courtesy of an insulin pump that uses a state-of-the-art sensor for continuous glucose monitoring and delivery of the correct amount of insulin when required. Put simply, it opens up a completely new way of life for our patients,” noted the acclaimed specialist from the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Medicine. “These closed monitoring systems have been in use in the USA since the autumn, following years of clinical trials. They will also be available in Europe for the first time from June this year”, said Battelino. In the first instance, this new technology represents a huge step forward for Type 1 diabetes sufferers in particular, who face significant challenges maintaining effective blood glucose control using conventional insulin therapy. Type 1 diabetes affects 30,000 people in Austria alone. “Over the longer term, this new generation of insulin pumps with closed loop monitoring systems will not only be used to treat Type 1 diabetes, but will come into play for all forms of the disease,” said Dr Tadej Battelino, giving additional grounds for optimism.  

European health insurance providers signalling support
Dr Battelino is particularly proud to report that negotiations with European health insurance providers appear to be right on track. “We are very confident that the institutions responsible for public health in Europe will soon agree to cover the costs or provide reimbursements for the use of these fully-automated insulin pumps,” he confirmed.  

The future belongs to intelligent monitoring systems
Already in use, the latest intelligent monitoring assistance systems can measure and analyse patients’ glucose levels for up to six months at a single stretch. These automated monitoring systems also give doctors the information they need to fine tune treatment approaches and insulin doses thanks to detailed data analysis and prognoses based on complex algorithms. In future, these intelligent monitoring systems will directly support the patients and provide assistance with their personal insulin management..

Press release
Diabetic (c) IAKW-AG, iStock,AlexanderNovikov
Diabetes,blood sugar (c) IAKW-AG, iStock, Fertnig
Congress chair, Tadej Battelino (c) Tadej Battelino

Internationales Amtssitz- und Konferenzzentrum Wien, Aktiengesellschaft (IAKW-AG) is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and operating the Austria Center Vienna (ACV). The Austria Center Vienna is Austria’s largest conference centre, with 24 halls, 180 meeting rooms, and some 22,000m² of exhibition space, and is one of the top players on the international conference circuit. Visit www.acv.at for additional information.  

IAKW-AG – Austria Center Vienna
Claudia Reis
Deputy Press Officer 
Tel: +43-676 3199-523
Email: claudia.reis@acv.at