Diabetes technology, when appropriately applied, can improve the lives and health of people with diabetes. However, the difficulty and rapid change of the diabetes technology landscape can also be a barrier to the patient and provider implementation.
FREMONT, CA:Diabetes technology is a term used to describe the hardware, devices, and software which people with diabetes use to help to manage blood glucose levels, stave off diabetes complications, minimize the burden of living with diabetes, and enhance the quality of life. Diabetes technology is divided into two main sections: insulin administered by syringe, pen, or pump, and blood glucose monitoring as assessed by the meter or continuous glucose monitor. Lately, diabetes technology has expanded to incorporate hybrid devices that both do the process of monitoring glucose and deliver insulin, some of them automatically, as well as software that helps as a medical device, providing diabetes self-management support.
Stick Free Glucose Monitoring
Many needle sticks are a ritual of life with diabetes. Blood sugar testing is often using a blood sample taken from the patient's finger is a critical part of diabetes management. It helps to make decisions about the foods to eat, how to exercise, and how much medicine the patient must intake. Continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, helps to avoid the stick. It measures the blood sugar every few minutes using a tiny sensor inserted under the skin and aids to send the results wirelessly to a pump, smartphone, or any other device.
The main aim is to create a CGM device that monitors blood sugar ceaselessly without sticking anything under the patient's skin. The UK-based company named Nemaura is trying to achieve that goal with its SugarBEAT CGM. This device uses a sticky skin patch to painlessly pull a small amount of glucose from the interstitial fluid. In early study results, SugarBEAT wasn't entirely as accurate as CGM systems from the Dexcom and other companies.
Automated Insulin Delivery
Insulin is a backbone of therapy for patients with type 1 diabetes, and one way to deliver it is through a pump. Pumps are programmed to provide a continuous dose of insulin throughout the day. Users can also release insulin manually to test for the carbohydrates in their meals and snacks. The automated, closed-loop system is the future of insulin pumps. In this system, a CGM regularly checks the blood sugar level. The pump will then use an algorithm to determine how much insulin the patient needs to lower the blood sugar to a target range or deliver glucagon to raise the blood sugar. It would automatically provide the correct dose to keep the blood sugar steady day and night.
The smartpen, offers all the memory capability of a pump, without securing the patient to the device. Smartpens like InPen and Gocap connect using the Bluetooth to a smartphone app that keeps track of the insulin dose and timing. InPen also helps the patient to calculate the right treatment and include the correct dosage. The patient can even share their dosing history with their doctor on a visit.
Low Blood Sugar Prevention
Diabetes medications are designed to reduce high blood sugar, but taking too much insulin or other medicines can cause a significant fall. Low blood sugar makes the patient feel shaky, tired, sweaty, and pale. A significant amount of drop can be life-threatening. For instance, Tandem's t: slim X2 Insulin Pump with Basal-IQ Technology foretells whether the patient's blood sugar levels are going to drop and eventually stops the insulin delivery when it senses a fall coming up. This, in turn, helps to prevent the up-and-down swings that can plague people with diabetes.