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Diabetes Technol Ther. 2018 Mar;20(3):235-246. doi: 10.1089/dia.2017.0364. Epub 2018 Feb 6.

Automatic Detection and Estimation of Unannounced Meals for Multivariable Artificial Pancreas System.

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1 Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology , Chicago, Illinois.
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology , Chicago, Illinois.
3 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology , Chicago, Illinois.
4 Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, Kovler Diabetes Center, University of Chicago , Chicago, Illinois.



Automatically attenuating the postprandial rise in the blood glucose concentration without manual meal announcement is a significant challenge for artificial pancreas (AP) systems. In this study, a meal module is proposed to detect the consumption of a meal and to estimate the amount of carbohydrate (CHO) intake.


The meals are detected based on qualitative variables describing variation of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) readings. The CHO content of the meals/snacks is estimated by a fuzzy system using CGM and subcutaneous insulin delivery data. The meal bolus amount is computed according to the patient's insulin to CHO ratio. Integration of the meal module into a multivariable AP system allows revision of estimated CHO based on knowledge about physical activity, sleep, and the risk of hypoglycemia before the final decision for a meal bolus is made.


The algorithm is evaluated by using 117 meals/snacks in retrospective data from 11 subjects with type 1 diabetes. Sensitivity, defined as the percentage of correctly detected meals and snacks, is 93.5% for meals and 68.0% for snacks. The percentage of false positives, defined as the proportion of false detections relative to the total number of detected meals and snacks, is 20.8%.


Integration of a meal detection module in an AP system is a further step toward an automated AP without manual entries. Detection of a consumed meal/snack and infusion of insulin boluses using an estimate of CHO enables the AP system to automatically prevent postprandial hyperglycemia.


Artificial pancreas; Fuzzy estimation.; Meal detection; Meal size estimation; Qualitative representation

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