Part of the dread that comes with a diabetes diagnosis is all of the monitoring and management that is required. Unlike many other health conditions, diabetes needs your attention. You cannot just move forward with life without care. Whether it is your blood sugar levels, the food you are consuming, the food you are not consuming, your blood pressure, weight, etc. – you need to be on it. Otherwise? Well, let’s just say that poorly managed diabetes can leave you with a lot of complications – including death.
Depressing news, sure. But here’s something positive to hang on to – you can have a life well-lived if you put in the effort to care for your health. And, thanks to the constantly evolving technology in our world, managing diabetes is easier than ever!
Let’s take a look at the technology that has transformed the diabetic world, shall we?
You must be thinking, what is an Artificial Pancreas. According to Healthline “So right now, a so-called ‘Artificial Pancreas’ is essentially an insulin pump connected to a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), controlled via some kind of receiver (usually a smartphone) using sophisticated software algorithms to make the whole thing work.”
It’s taken researchers years to figure out how to connect various forms of diabetes-related technology to a person’s body. The Artificial Pancreas is designed to mimic what a healthy pancreas would do, and deliver insulin to a person’s body as needed. The idea is to help a person automate their blood glucose control eliminating the need to constantly prick their fingers and test their blood sugar.
Monitor Your Glucose Without the Stick
Having to prick your finger for blood sugar testing isn’t so bad if you only had to do it once. For diabetics, though, using this stick to monitor your glucose is a common, everyday activity. Sometimes maybe even several times each day!
With innovative products coming into the market that offers continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), you can toss those sticks to the curb. CGM gadgets will test your blood sugar level every few minutes which, in itself, is much safer and more accurate than previous methods.
Here’s how it works. A tiny sensor is placed under your skin – just below the surface. Then, the results are wirelessly sent to your cell phone, a pump, or another device of your choosing. By checking your device, you will be able to tell what you should/shouldn’t eat, if you should exercise, and more.
As we advance, this technology is changing. You may find CGM devices that can stay under the skin for longer periods, sound an alarm when blood sugar reaches certain levels, and even provide automatic insulin dosing.
A Continuous Glucose Monitoring Sensor
Imagine not having to check your blood sugar for three whole months! This implantable device goes under your skin and will take care of monitoring your blood sugar levels every five minutes for approximately 90 days. Sound convenient? Absolutely!
You may, of course, be wondering how in the world something just underneath the skin can effectively monitor everything – and provide the results to your cell phone, right? Well, it all stems from the power of technology. Check it out:
Once the sensor is implanted under your skin, it gets to work. Using the fluid right below the skin (also known as interstitial fluid), the device generates a light signal based on its interaction with the fluid. This light is then translated to a blood sugar reading as we know it. And, well, it is then delivered wirelessly to your cell phone.
Brand New Non-Invasive Observing
While both of the aforementioned options bring great steps in diabetic technology, there are some individuals who just prefer to stay on top of the skin. You know, not everyone is comfortable with implants and the like. And, that’s ok – that’s why you always want to check for available options.
So, what if we told you that you may be able to test your blood sugar levels without having to prick yourself with a stick and without having to insert anything under your skin? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Nemaura, a company out of the United Kingdom, has developed a device known as SugarBEAT CGM. Remember that interstitial fluid we talked about a few minutes ago? Well, this non-invasive method of testing blood sugar uses a very sticky skin patch that will pull glucose from that fluid.
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
Sure, you don’t want blood sugar to spike, but you also don’t want it to dip too low as it can even be fatal. There is technology on the market that can help determine when you may see a drop in your blood sugar. And, in return, you won’t get a dose of insulin.
This is a great idea for those diabetics who have difficulty managing their diabetes. Swings of highs and lows can be exhausting and truly affect your physical well-being.
What if you had a smartpen that could calculate the insulin you need, deliver it to you, then report it to the app on your cell phone using Bluetooth technology? Well, get ready because it is available.
Currently, InPend and Gocap work in this manner. And, the future NovoPen Echo Plus will have impressive storage capacity. This pen will be able to provide your doctor with information on your most recent 800 injections. Being able to provide your doctor with all this information means that you can be sure you are managing your diabetes at an optimal level.
The Road Ahead
Technology is always bringing us so many new and innovative devices. For offers, being able to effectively manage the condition is always a burden. Many are constantly worried about their blood sugar, potential spikes, and correct dosing. Not only can technology help a person with diabetes control their condition, it can possibly save them money.
Melissa Thompson of Diabetes Life Solutions mentions “ Many insurance companies may offer a person discounted insurance rates by sharing their detailed diabetes information with the carrier. Providing updates through their CGM that can be uploaded through a secure portal may provide discounts of 6% to 15%. Many Life and Health Insurance providers are using this data to reward those who live a healthy lifestyle with Diabetes.” With the new technology on the market now – and knowing what is to come in the near future – peace of mind can come to every diabetic. Living with diabetes is hard enough. Any type of technology to help make life easier is always welcomed.
What do you think? Do you suffer from diabetes? What technology has helped you? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.