‘Life-changing’ technology that enables an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor to ‘talk to each other’ is set to revolutionise diabetes care in Scotland.

Type I diabetes patients will be able to access the ‘closed loop systems’ more easily thanks to additional funding pumped into the ‘ANIA’ innovation accelerator programme.

The Scottish Government has released £350,000 to speed up delivery of the new technology that reduces the risk of complications for people with type 1.

The technology is considered the most significant development in type 1 diabetes treatment in recent years and can transform lives, particularly for children and young people.

Closed loop systems help people improve their glycaemic control and in turn reduce the likelihood of complications, which at their most serious can include blindness, renal failure, and amputations; as well as unplanned admissions to hospital.

The investment will see a dedicated team created by the national Centre for Sustainable Delivery at NHS Golden Jubilee to support NHS health boards to rollout the technology faster and more efficiently across Scotland.

Public health minister Jenni Minto said: “There’s no reason why someone living with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t live a long and healthy life, but some people find managing their condition difficult. Diabetes technologies make the process easier and can enhance people’s quality of life. That’s why we’re aiming to provide access to closed loop Systems at the earliest opportunity and are working with NHS boards to improve access.”

National Diabetes Lead Professor Brian Kennon said: “Closed loop systems are truly transformative technologies and help reduce the day-to-day burden of trying to optimise type 1 diabetes control.

“Creation of a dedicated team to help support the adoption of Closed loop systems and standardise our approach to access across Scotland will help ensure that our healthcare system is well placed to realise the massive advantages that these innovative technologies offer.”

The Scottish Government has invested £19.6 million since 2021 to support the increased provision of diabetes technologies, including closed loop systems. 

In February 2021, the Scottish Government updated its Diabetes Improvement Plan which sets out its priorities and commitments to improve the prevention, treatment and care for everyone in Scotland living with diabetes. It includes a specific commitment to increase access to diabetes technologies for all who would benefit from them.

Accelerated National Innovation Adoption (ANIA) is a collaborative venture that is coordinated by the national Centre for Sustainable Delivery at NHS Golden Jubilee and involves NHS National Services Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Digital Health & Care Directorate and NHS Education for Scotland.

The creation of this dedicated team to support the national rollout of diabetes Closed Loop Systems is one of the first innovations to be approved through the Accelerated National Innovation Adoption (ANIA) Pathway.