In the 2023 article “Diabetes Technology and Therapy in the Pediatric Age Group,” David Maahs, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at Stanford University and division chief of pediatric endocrinology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and colleagues provided an in-depth review of 22 articles on the topic. Here, Maahs explains some of the key findings and updates he found when conducting that review.
What were some key findings from your review on pediatric diabetes technology and therapy?
Yeah, thank you. This was an article that we wrote for the ATTD [Advanced Technologies and Treatments of Diabetes] Conference, which is the world’s largest diabetes technology meeting that takes place in the winter every year, and as part of that, they develop a yearbook of the best articles, and the particular chapter that we write is on developments in pediatrics in diabetes technology and therapeutics. I think one of the exciting areas in pediatric diabetes right now is the advances in diabetes technologies.
These include continuous glucose monitors so that children no longer have to poke their fingers as many times, and you can get a reading every 5 to 15 minutes from a continuous glucose monitor. That data can also go up to the cloud and down to a parent’s phone, for example, so if the child’s at school, they can know what’s going on with their glucose.
It’s also very exciting that, now, these continuous glucose monitors can pair with insulin pumps, which we’ve had out for a couple of decades in clinical use. But now, these systems are smart enough so that that glucose information can go to the pump, which now has an algorithm that helps dose the insulin. So we’ve got what are called closed loop systems, so that there’s feedback on what is going on with a child’s glucose and then able to dose the insulin. We call these hybrid closed loops, because they still require the user to be actively engaged as far as giving a dose of insulin before they eat.
However, these have been huge advances and not only provide them more glucose values in the target range, but also reduce the burden of care that children and their families experience with diabetes. So this is really a huge advance in how people are able to take care of their diabetes.