Who are our technology researchers and what do they do?
A new Q&A series focusing on the different research themes within the Children’s Diabetes Centre. Working with our colleagues in the Diabetes Department at Perth Children's Hospital, we are looking at:
Research focus: Technology has been embraced into the management of type 1 diabetes with an exponential increase in devices in various stages of research and development. The aim of this research theme is to gain new knowledge and effectively translate it into best clinical practice for children and their families with type 1 diabetes.
Dr Mary Abraham, technology research theme lead (Telethon Kids Institute/Perth Children’s Hospital): Dr Abraham has been with the PMH/PCH Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology since 2012 as a clinician with a strong research interest in the field of hypoglycaemia and type 1 diabetes. She has been involved with technology trials in type 1 diabetes and conducted the in-clinic and home studies in testing the efficacy of the Predictive Low Glucose Management System in the prevention of hypoglycaemia and in the on-going closed loop trials.
Ace Choo, project manager – technology trials (Telethon Kids Institute): Ace oversees the financial operation of the Centre as well as manages multiple national hybrid closed loop randomised controlled trials and international investigational continuous glucose monitoring device studies.
Julie Dart, clinical research nurse – trials coordinator (Telethon Kids Institute/PCH): Julie is the research nurse coordinator for multiple national hybrid closed loop randomised controlled trials. She was trained at PMH as a registered nurse and paediatric nurse. She became involved in diabetes research in 2004, assisting on exercise studies and joined the team as a clinical research nurse in 2006.
Grant Smith, biostatistician (Telethon Kids Institute): As a biostatistician, Grant provides vital statistical support to the team. After completing his master's degree at UWA in 2005, Grant joined the Telethon Kids Institute. His interests lie in modelling longitudinal data, utilising linked population-based datasets, translation of research into policy and practice, epidemiology and management of type 1 diabetes, and childhood social, emotional and cognitive development.
Leah Laurenson, clinical data manager (Telethon Kids Institute): In her role as clinical data manager, Leah assists in planning, building, and maintaining large research datasets for the Centre’s trials.
Alison Roberts, clinical research nurse – qualitative (Telethon Kids Institute/PCH): Alison is the clinical research nurse specialising in the qualitative aspect of the Centre’s trials. She joined the Diabetes and Obesity research team in 2012 with previous clinical trials experience and has worked across several studies including the Adolescent AdDIT follow-up study, Type1Screen, TrialNet and ENDIA.
Asma Minhaj, research assistant (Telethon Kids Institute): Asma is the research assistant of the team assisting in sample processing, management and procurement of trial consumables, building online research data collection, in addition to essential data entry of study trials.
Our collaborators include:
Women’s and Children’s Hospital, South Australia
The Royal Children’s Hospital, Victoria
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Victoria
Monash University, Victoria
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, New South Wales
John Hunter Children’s Hospital, New South Wales
University of Otago, New Zealand
How will our current and future research make a difference to those living with type 1 diabetes?
Hybrid closed loop outpatient trial (completed): We have completed a large multicentre clinical trial and the study showed the impact on glucose levels with the use of the closed loop system as compared to standard therapy. We also explored the impact of this system on fear of hypoglycaemia and quality of life and other psychological measures and seek to quantify the economic impact of HCL compared to standard therapy for translational purposes.
Hybrid closed loop to improve glycaemic control trial (actively recruiting): The objective of this project is to utilise a more advanced hybrid closed loop (AHCL) system to improve glycaemic control. The system, in view of its increased automation, should be beneficial to youth with sub-optimal control and this will be the first trial in this subgroup of patients. The primary aim is to compare the time in range during six months of therapy with AHCL versus conventional therapy. Secondary outcomes (glycaemic, psychosocial, human factors analysis and health economics) will also be measured and analysed.
Hybrid closed loop in paediatric population (HyCLIP) (starting early 2021): There is strong evidence that glycaemic control in the first 10 years of life is a critical determinant of complication development in adulthood and therefore there is significant benefit from optimising glucose outcomes at this young age. Although HCL systems have been shown to reduce hyperglycaemia and improve glucose control in older children and adults, these systems remain to be tested in young children with an algorithm which is more suitable for their needs. This study will explore the hypothesis that the new AHCL system with remote monitoring will reduce the glycaemic variability and thereby improve the glycaemic outcomes of young children aged 2 to 7 years and improve the wellbeing of parents/caregivers. The secondary aims are to determine the effect of AHCL on hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia and to determine the psychological and social well-being of caregivers compared to standard care.