EALING Hospital has teamed up with the charity Supporting Children with Diabetes (SCD) to provide financially-challenged families with free mobile phones to help manage the condition.

Children with Type One diabetes have to inject 4-5 times a day and monitor blood glucose levels by finger-pricking at least six times a day. 

The latest technology allows them to monitor glucose levels and count carbohydrates easily and accurately via phone apps.

Gillian Adams, a paediatric diabetes nurse specialist, said: “We’ve seen huge beneficial changes in how people can both monitor blood sugar levels and self-adminster insulin in recent years. 

“Apps like this make it quick and convenient, which is just what you want with a young person with other things on their mind.

“We have more than 100 children on our books, ranging from five months to 19 years, but we have families among them who can’t afford a phone, allowing them to access this technology.”

The phone app connects via Bluetooth to a small patch which is applied to the patient where a small cannula inserts just under the skin. This is called Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM).

It automatically monitors blood sugar levels, telling the child if their glucose level is rising or falling, while a sister app allows parents to monitor their children’s use of the device.

The phone also allows access to other apps, which help work out carbohydrates in foods and snacks, another important part of managing Type 1 diabetes.

The diabetes team can set personal information for Insulin doses and the app works out how much is needed for injecting or blousing via an Insulin pump.

Insulin pumps now link to the patch – automatically delivering insulin via a small cannula which is changed every three days – as well as adjusting insulin, depending on the glucose level it is receiving.

CGM and Insulin pumps are now the gold standard for supporting children with Type One diabetes.