First clinical studies launched for use of artificial intelligence to manage type 1 diabetes

Thursday, 21 December 2017

PEPPER project

An important milestone has been reached in an Oxford Brookes University led research project to help improve the lives of people with type 1 diabetes.

Clinical trials will now begin for the four million EURO EU-funded PEPPER project which brings together leading European universities and companies.

PEPPER, which stands for Patient Empowerment through Predictive PERsonalised decision support, aims to develop innovative tools to help people with diabetes who must make complex calculations to determine the correct insulin dose they need to administer.

This requires them to test glucose levels, factor in the amount of carbohydrates consumed, and account for the impact of a myriad factors including physical activity, stress, and illness, among others.

PEPPER’s objective is to go beyond existing tools by offering a personalised decision-making support to simplify insulin dosage calculation. At the heart of the solution are two algorithms processing large amounts of data collected in real time via wearable devices like activity bands and continuous glucose monitors.  

We are creating a tool that makes predictions based on real-time data, gathered from unobtrusive, wearable devices, in order to empower individuals to manage their condition more easily.

Dr Clare Martin, Oxford Brookes University

The first algorithm relies on artificial intelligence to make a personalised recommendation for a dose of insulin, while the second algorithm is a safety system based on glucose level prediction to alert patients to the risk of hyper- and hypo-glycemia, and automatically suspend the insulin pump when necessary.  

The four month clinical study will include 15 patients in centres in London and Girona (Spain).

PEPPER is a project led by Oxford Brookes University and includes six partner institutions from three EU member states: Oxford Brookes University, Imperial College London, University de Girona, Romsoft SRL, Cellnovo Group SA, and Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Girona, Hospital of Girona Dr. Josep Trueta and CIBERobn Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition. Cellnovo is the medical device company participating in the project.  

Clare Martin, who is leading on the research project at Oxford Brookes University, said: “Many people with insulin-treated diabetes rely on complex calculations and human memory to estimate their insulin doses, which they must do several times a day. This can be a significant burden and hinder optimal management, which can lead to additional health problems and serious complications.  

“We are pleased to associate the advanced wearable technology that the Cellnovo System offers, with artificial intelligence, to alleviate the daily burdens of managing type 1 diabetes. We are creating a tool that makes predictions based on real-time data, gathered from unobtrusive, wearable devices, in order to empower individuals to manage their condition more easily. The resulting application has the potential to improve health outcomes and reduce costs thereby benefitting our communities.”  

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 689810.  

Further information on the study is available on the Oxford Brookes website.

A YouTube video about the project can be viewed below: