Diabetes mellitus (DM)

The research objectives and expected outcome

New diagnostic measures are being developed that allow continuous and reliable blood glucose monitoring, as well as new treatments with a less hypoglycaemic profile (oral anti-diabetics) and automated insulin pumps that allow them to monitor the glucose level and deliver the required insulin dose in an automated way. However, it is difficult to assess the risk of hypoglycaemia/hyperglycaemia of pilots/ATCOs during the performance of their duties, and the sensors used by the new equipment may be affected by both cabin pressure changes and the cabin environment.

No research studies are yet available to assess the possibility of the safe use of such equipment in the aviation environment in order to alleviate fitness requirements for pilots/ATCOs with such pathology.

The expected outcomes of this research project are:

  • evidence-based recommendations for updating the requirements related to diabetes mellitus in line with the latest medical developments;
  • an impact assessment of the recommended amendments;
  • guidance material for aeromedical examiners and medical assessors on the updates to the fitness assessment of applicants;
  • material, e.g., presentation of the results obtained under this project and training material for professional audiences, to support the management of the proposed amendments; and
  • risk management promotion material for aeromedical certificate holders to allow them to early detect and self-manage their metabolic risk factors.

The requested output

The contractor is required to produce the following:

  • a state-of-the-art synopsis that is perceived by the contractor as relevant to the conduct of the current study, i.e., recent (2015 to date) scientific literature, analytical methods, as well as methods to assess and compare:
    • diabetes mellitus with other metabolic pathologies;
    • the impact of comorbidities and lifestyle on diabetes mellitus, and
    • the patients’ own perception of health-related quality of life.
  • an outline of the research approach that is proposed to tackle each individual task together with a succinct rationale justifying its adoption.
  • a list of perceived risks and assumptions that may undermine the fulfilment of all or some of the objectives put forward by this project;
  • deliverables that describe in detail the result of each task;
  • any other additional element considered relevant that may bear on the duly completion of the project, e.g., access to relevant information, required input from third parties.