Watching the progress of technology that enhances the management of type 1 diabetes has been amazing over the decades. The many advancements bring tears to my eyes. Gone are the days of needing a huge drop of blood to check blood glucose on a meter; gone are the ups and downs of NPH (neutral protamine Hagedorn) and regular insulin, which compounded the already volatile glucose levels in children. Technology can now augment insulin in a way that aligns more closely with endogenous insulin; and glucose monitors can now continuously check glucose while simultaneously delivering the blood glucose status to the person with diabetes. Users even have the option to share the data with caretakers and loved ones.
Here are a few of the technology highlights from 2018:
- February: Fiasp® hits the market
This faster-acting insulin mimics the speed at which endogenous insulin is delivered. While it is not a perfect match, it is certainly closer. And people with diabetes have given it lots of positive feedback.
- March: Dexcom G6 CGM receives FDA approval
A CGM (continuous glucose monitor) that requires no calibration and no more fingersticks! The tech allows users to monitor their glucose on a receiver or smart phone (android or iPhone) and shared the data with loved ones or healthcare providers.
- March: GuardianTM Connect CGM receives FDA approval
Together with the Guardian Connect App for Apple iOS devices, users have access to continuous glucose data on their smart phone.
- August: Freestyle Libre CGM Sensor approved for 14-day wear and 1-hour warmup
The change was an improvement on the previous 10-day wear version with a 12-hour warmup. In November, the FreeStyle LibreLink app was approved, allowing users to see and share glucose data on their iPhone with a swipe over the sensor.
- August: Tandem Basal-IQ Technology receives FDA approval
Integrated with the Dexcom G6 CGM, the predictive low glucose suspend feature keeps children as young as 6 years of age safer by reducing the risk of low blood glucose.
- June: Omnipod DASH receives FDA approval
The product marks a PDM (personal diabetes manager) leap to touch screen technology, along with other upgraded features including remote monitoring capabilities via Bluetooth technology. Expected to hit markets in early 2019.
- July: Medtronic 670G receives FDA approval for 7-13-year olds
The hybrid closed loop pump can now help prevent hypoglycemia and improve time in range for young people with diabetes.
- July: Eversense receives approval in the US for up to 90 days of wear
The first implantable CGM for people over 18 years of age features a removable and rechargeable transmitter.
A client has their 1-year diagnosis anniversary this week. She has a sensor and just started on an insulin pump. She said “I am so lucky I was diagnosed at this time in history. Just look at all the technology I have that can help me!”
With more technology predicted for 2019, we as diabetes educators interested in pump and sensor therapy have quite the job keeping up with the ever-changing field—practically a full-time job itself. But oh, how exciting to think of a totally automated system in the near future. Now that will truly make me cry for joy!
About the Author:
Cox is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She has been a certified diabetes educator for over 25 years and served as an assistant adjunct professor for 14 years, teaching in areas of sports nutrition and exercise physiology. Currently she works for providence medical group in Missoula, Montana and consults on diabetes technology nationally.
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