Diabetes — a chronic disease characterized by high blood glucose levels — has seen a sharp rise in the last few decades, especially in developed countries. Due to its inherent complications, diabetes can have a devastating effect on almost every aspect of a person’s life. From a decreased sense of taste and smell to vision problems and kidney failure, the complications of diabetes are almost impossible to predict but always ruinous.
And though there is no cure for diabetes, you can manage the disease by following a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet and regular exercise. However, maintaining such a strict routine every day, especially in today’s fast-paced world, can be exhausting and almost impossible!
Fortunately, researchers and scientists beyond your wildest dreams are working right now on creating new technology to make living with diabetes easier than ever before. From advanced continuous glucose monitoring systems to artificial pancreases and more, diabetes technology has been rapidly improving, making managing blood sugar easier and safer while helping prevent long-term complications.
What’s coming next? Here’s a sneak peek at some of our most exciting innovations—and what they could mean for people with diabetes everywhere!
Smartphone Controlled Diabetes Devices
Smartphones, with their unrivaled communication capabilities, easy-to-use interfaces, and intuitive design, are perfect for controlling diabetes technology. By simply connecting modern, connectivity-enabled smart diabetes devices to your smartphone and downloading the required app, you will be able to keep track of your blood sugar levels from anywhere, at any time. Using advanced continuous glucose monitoring systems that take constant readings from a sensor placed just beneath your skin (no more painful blood pricks!), you’ll have 24/7 access and complete control over your numbers.
One app might even use artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology so that it can gather data about how food affects blood sugar levels while ensuring unparalleled privacy — giving you immediate insights into what works best for you. Overall, the possibilities are endless!
1) Tandem’s Mobile Bolusing
Realizing the endless possibilities of smartphone-controlled diabetes devices is Tandem Diabetes Care, who created the “Mobile Bolusing” app, which is in line with getting approved by the FDA. This sophisticated yet intuitive app will connect seamlessly with insulin delivery devices (like t:slim X2 pump platform) to perform bolus calculation and deliver doses directly via external infusion sets and tubing. No matter where life takes you — meetings, family dinners, vacations — with this advanced technology hidden discreetly under your clothes, your controlled diabetes symptoms will stay under control too!
What’s more? Tandem’s Control-IQ system – which is an AID or automated insulin delivery system – uses a data-driven control algorithm to determine the appropriate insulin dose needed to match carbohydrate intake. It has already been used in major clinical studies and now can be connected and monitored via your smartphone using the t:connect app.
2) New Tandem t:sport Mini-pump
Insulin pumps have always been a big challenge for people with diabetes. An insulin pump is a small plastic device that houses an insulin reservoir, a pump mechanism, and a computer chip/processor. It delivers insulin via a catheter under your skin (subcutaneous infusion). The problem with current models is that you need to be tethered physically (via cords and tubing) to the device at all times, which means you can’t go for jogs or longer walks without taking precautions. But Tandem Diabetes Care came up with another innovation! Yes!
They have created a new t:sport mini-pump which will was made available starting 2012. This tiny, lightweight device can be hidden discreetly under clothes and worn comfortably while exercising, yet it still offers similar blood sugar control as larger devices. Latest Tandem t:sport mini-pump is even more compact than the previous one.
With smartphone integration and rechargeable battery built into the product, you don’t even need to take its battery out to charge it. You just set it down on its special stand when not using so its battery can charge while preserving the device’s internal clock settings and uploading data until next use! Finally, there is virtually no limit on how far you can go — whether hiking, cycling, or skiing — because finally, wearing an insulin pump won’t keep you from enjoying these activities any longer!
3) Omnipod 5 (formerly Horizon)
Design and developed by Insulet Corp, Omnipod 5 is yet another advanced closed-loop system meant to empower people with diabetes to enjoy greater freedom through autonomous insulin delivery. This new device – which was dubbed Omnipod – boasts an ultra-compact design that can be worn comfortably 24/7. It also features advanced integration options like Bluetooth wireless communication and smartphone compatibility.
This means now you won’t have to carry a separate personal diabetes manager (PDM)! Your pod will automatically sync data wirelessly to your iPhone or Android phones so you can monitor your treatment program anytime, anywhere! Moreover, Omnipod 5 will also be powered by the smart algorithm to adapt to changing glucose levels and deliver insulin accordingly, just like existing CGM devices do. In essence, this product could save both time and money for patients who want better glycemic control without having to deal with multiple injections per day!
Insulin Pumps and CGMs
If there is one thing you can be certain about, it’s that diabetes technology will continue to advance at a rapid pace. Existing products will get smarter, smaller, and easier to use; new products – like closed-loop systems mentioned above – will transform how we manage our diabetes moving forward. Insulin pumps and CGMs too are merging into even more powerful technology which combines features from both devices.
For those living with diabetes who utilize these types of technologies, great news! Matt Schmidt with Diabetes 365 mentions “Health and life insurance companies are now rewarding those who use diabetes technology to help manage their condition. Meaning that you may qualify for discounted premiums on your insurance coverage. As an example, life insurance for type 2 diabetes could be discounted up to 15% annually.”
1) Medtronic 780G Insulin Pump and CGM
Advanced Hybrid Closed Loop has truly transformed diabetes treatment, allowing people with diabetes to achieve greater freedom through autonomous insulin delivery. This technology relies on two separate devices – an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). The idea is you set your target range for blood sugar based on pre-meal blood tests, input that data into your PDM (personal diabetes manager), and then use the remote control on your PDM or smartphone app to communicate with your pump.
It will begin delivering basal insulin at a fixed rate until your pre-set target range is reached; then, if glucose levels stay within that range, it shuts off. Medtronic 780G, a next-generation AHCL system, apart from delivering the usual performance, includes a few new features like advanced sensor accuracy using Zeus CGM sensor, automatic correction bolus, adjustable glucose target, and so much more!
2) Dexcom G7 CGM
Soon to be approved by FDA, Dexcom G7 CGM is an innovative, compact, and disposable continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. The whole idea behind the development of this new CGM is to ditch the idea of having a separate transmitter that usually has just 3-months of battery life. Instead, with this new G7 model, you will have access to a revolutionary 2-in-1 design that combines sensors and transmitters in a single unit. Once you are done with the unit, you can dispose of then – there’s no need for specialized medical assistance. Further boasting slim design and integrated dosing assistance and data transfer functionality, Dexcom G7 has all it takes to make diabetes treatment simpler, more convenient, and safer!
3) Abbott FreeStyle Libre 3
Also known as Flash Glucose Monitoring (FGM) system, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre is an advanced CGM device that has revolutionized diabetes treatment by giving people with diabetes an unprecedented amount of freedom from frequent fingersticks and painful injections. It even doesn’t require any sensor scanning or insertion! The idea behind it is based on contactless sensing technology, where small sensors are attached to your upper arm.
This sensor uses both the interstitial fluid glucose monitoring method and the subcutaneous skin glucose monitoring method to determine your blood sugar levels automatically. The data gathered is then presented via a mobile app so you can make better decisions about how to adjust insulin doses. In addition, the sensors are 100% disposable and are also super thin and small – a much-needed upgrade over previous generation CGMs.
4) WaveForm Cascade CGM
Developed by a diabetes tech company, Azoi, Waveform CGM is a next-generation Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGM). While most conventional CGMs uses subcutaneous fluid to monitor glucose levels, it relies on the interstitial fluid glucose monitoring method, which is a non-invasive method where it can easily and accurately measure blood sugar levels. This device also does not require any insertion or scanning – sensors are simply attached to your upper arm for continuous monitoring. What’s more? You can easily share data with others without worrying about who else will see your health information.
Connected Insulin Pens
Insulin pens are a well-known tool for type 1 diabetes patients. But now, many people are using insulin pens for their insulin needs.
1) Bigfoot Unity
An innovative, connected insulin pen that can be used by type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. Bigfoot is a unique device that offers a wide range of benefits. Designed by Bigfoot, it is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity – allowing users to receive real-time data regarding their insulin use on their smartphones or PDM.
2) Lilly Connected Pen
Another popular insulin pen brand, Eli Lilly and Company, is developing a connected device that will be compatible with major PDM devices. Although there’s no official release date yet, they have stated that it will be available sometime next year.
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