The EIT Community supports World Diabetes Day 2021

Every 7 seconds, a person dies due to diabetes complications. On World Diabetes Day, the EIT Community celebrates innovative diabetes discoveries and promotes the importance of disease prevention, symptom mitigation and access to care.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use its insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Diabetes is the leading cause behind many severe illnesses and chronic conditions; over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. 

Due to the rapid ageing of our populations and unhealthy lifestyles, more and more people are being diagnosed with diabetes around the globe. The number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. 

Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications. 

To raise awareness and celebrate innovations in the field, we are shining a light on breakthrough discoveries from the EIT Community that aim to prevent the development of diabetes, mitigate the impacts it has on diagnosed patients, and support easier access to care options.


EIT Health supported D4Kids works to provide children with the benefits of the Diabeloop artificial pancreas. The Diabeloop system comprises three components operating in a closed feedback loop, with little human intervention. The Continuous Glucose Monitoring sensor follows the blood sugar levels. A sensor transmits the glucose data to a terminal. The software on the terminal runs algorithms simulating human physiology and calculates how much insulin is needed, and the insulin patch pump provides the user with the prescribed amount.

D4Kids will revolutionise insulin therapy treatment for children with Type 1 diabetes by making the artificial pancreas available for them. The artificial pancreas system promises to drastically improve the quality of life for children and families by:

  • reducing the burden of children, who will be more able to attend school and play with their friends;
  • strengthening the chances of a positive outcome at the onset of a lifetime of continuous treatment.


Changing Health is a digital platform that empowers participants by combining learning content, personalised to the individual on a smartphone, tablet or web browser, with bespoke, one-to-one lifestyle coaching (delivered over the phone). Users learn how they can best fit simple lifestyle changes into their lives, then receive personalised support to help them make those changes. Each participant sets their goals based on their ability to change at any one time, and they can call on their dedicated lifestyle coach whenever they require support – or even just to chat about their health.

EIT Health powered Changing Health is now delivering a significant roll-out of NHS online support for people living with Type 2 diabetes – meeting a commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan – which will be available for up to 600,000 people.


EIT Health backed project, INCAP, provides an integrated care programme for people who have type one diabetes and use an insulin pump. The solution is built on three pillars:

  • a remote monitoring support centre to optimise control of the disease for each patient; 
  • an educational programme to empower patients; 
  • a communication channel connecting the hospital to primary carers.

The project will have a positive impact on:

  • Patients and their families, because it ensures better continuity of care and empowers patients to take better care of themselves, resulting in improved health.
  • Hospitals, because it helps them communicate with patients and primary carers, thereby improving the results of their treatment.
  • Payers, because monitoring ensures more efficient long-term care of chronic conditions.


CLOSE, an EIT Health co-funded project, enhances the use of an artificial pancreas (AP), an innovation that assists severely ill people with type 2 diabetes. By providing strong digital connections to medical professionals, new analytical tools and training, CLOSE supports chronic patients in living at home and promises patients and their families a better quality of life.

CLOSE will have a positive impact on:

  • Patients, families, caregivers with better health and healthcare experience.
  • Healthcare systems, with cost-effectiveness and sustainability.
  • Industry, by opening new markets and businesses, new collaboration and education paradigms.

Discover how CLOSE is implementing digital support for people who are making lasting lifestyle transformations to reduce high risk of type 2 diabetes here