Technology is evolving rapidly. The way people search for information, bank, shop, pay bills, manage manufacturing, market, and sell products, etc. has changed because of innovation. The way surgery is conducted has also reformed as state of art equipment made way in the healthcare sector. Technology has also changed the way people manage diabetes. The life of people struggling with Type I & II diabetes has become easy with new technologies.
New diabetes technology for blood glucose management
For checking blood sugar levels patients need to stick needles, which is a hostile part of the daily diabetes routine. Blood sugar tests allow us to decide how much insulin to administer and what to eat.
CGM or continuous glucose monitoring helps to avoid needle pricks. CGM measures blood glucose every few minutes. A small sensor is inserted below the skin of your arm or belly. The results are sent wirelessly to the pump or your mobile phone.
Any fluctuations in the sugar level across the day are identified as CGM tests every few minutes, which is not possible with finger sticks. The CGM gathers data, which allows determining the treatment and keeping the patients’ blood glucose more stable.
One positive for those who utilize diabetes technology is the opportunity for discounted life insurance premiums. Matt Schmidt with Diabetes 365 states “certain life insurance companies may offer discounted life insurance premiums to those using technology to better manage their diabetes. Life insurance for diabetes tends to always be more expensive to begin with, so these discounts can go a long ways over the life time of an insurance policy.”
A closed-loop system called the artificial pancreas acts like a real human organ. The CGM in this system continuously monitors blood glucose levels. An algorithm is used to decide whether there is a need to release insulin or not for reducing blood sugar and automatically delivers the right dosage to maintain blood glucose day and night.
A closed-loop system capable to deliver insulin and glucagon is in the development phase. A complete automatic artificial pancreas is being developed and soon will be available in the market.
Some products offer the pump memory capability via Bluetooth and a specific app that monitors your insulin timing and dosage. An additional benefit of a smartpen is that your insulin amount can be fine-tuned.
Noninvasive glucose monitoring
The invention of CGM has eliminated the finger pricks to test blood glucose but there is a need for a small needle under the skin. Research is focused on creating a CGM device, which is capable to monitor blood consistently without sticking anything under the skin.
There are some products designed to attain this goal including the sticky patches. There is also a wearable device that monitors blood sugar via chemical changes in your breath gases.
These non-invasive ways of glucose monitoring still haven’t shown evidence about its superiority like the CGM devices or minimally invasive sensors. People wearing CGM devices say they can hardly feel it.
How often to test?
The frequency of diabetes testing will depend on the type of diabetes you have and the medicines taken to manage it. Generally, you need to test several times a day including before lunch, dinner, and bedtime.
Does CGM need finger stick testing?
Many CGMs need finger stick tests to regulate the machine although it will be only sometimes. Your doctor will advise you how frequently to perform manual blood glucose check.