Diabetes technology has come a long way. Today there are several new innovations that can help you better manage your diabetes. Here is a look at a few:
Continuous Glucose Monitors
A continuous glucose monitor (also called a CGM) helps reduce the need for finger sticks & strips. It works through a sensor that is placed either on the back of your arm or your abdomen. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the fluid between the cells.
Once the sensor is placed, it will report your glucose levels in real time (for example every 5 minutes throughout the day), alert you when your glucose is either too low or too high, and provides insight into glucose trends. Each sensor lasts 10-14 days. There 2 options on the market today, real-time CGMs and intermittently scanned CGMs.
- Real-time CGMs include 3 components: the sensor (a small wire catheter that is inserted under the skin of your arm or abdomen), a transmitter that attaches to the sensor, and a handheld receiver and/or smart phone that displays your glucose data in real time. Benefits include alarm settings, data that is transmitted continuously, and the ability to share data with others.
- Intermittently scanned CGMs use 2 components: a combined glucose sensor/transmitter (inserted in your upper arm) and a separate touchscreen reader device and/or smart phone. Benefits include alarm settings and the ability to share data. This monitor requires intent and you must remember to wave the reader over the transmitter at least every 8 hours.
Smart insulin pens
Insulin pens make taking insulin more convenient because they combine the medication and syringe all in one unit. A smart insulin pen is a reusable injector pen with an intuitive smartphone app that helps people with diabetes better manage insulin delivery. This smart system calculates and tracks doses and provides reminders, alerts, and reports. A smart insulin pen can:
- Calculate each dose based on current blood sugar level, carbohydrate amounts, meal size, active insulin, and settings prescribed by your doctor.
- Deliver accurate half-unit doses.
- Help prevent skipped or missed doses.
- Do the math for you when figuring out how to dose for a meal or correct a high blood sugar reading.
- Keep track of the time and amount of each dose, and remind you when it’s time for the next one.
- Notify you when your insulin has expired or exceeded its temperature range, so you can replace the cartridge.
- Send diabetes data to your health care team whenever needed.
- Work with your smart phone or watch and popular diabetes data tracking platforms.
Diabetes apps offer a variety of features, including blood sugar tracking, monitoring food intake and physical activity, providing diabetes self-management education resources and even facilitate communication between patients and their health care providers.
- BD Diabetes Care: The app allows you to log your blood glucose, activity and insulin dosing data, identifying your trends and providing helpful tips so you can understand what your numbers mean.
- Calorie King: Originally created for calorie tracking. Calorie King has one of the most complete food databases that includes all nutrition information, including carbohydrate amounts, for accurate carbohydrate counting. Also includes nutrition information for many fast-food chains and restaurants.
- Glooko: Glooko allows you to monitor all of your diabetes information and also communicate with your healthcare provider. You can sync data from your meter, insulin pump or pen, CGM, food app, activity tracker and blood pressure device to see all your data in one place.
- My Fitness Pal: My Fitness Pal is a food tracking app that includes a great food database of nutrition information to help with accurate carbohydrate counting. There is also a recipe nutrition calculator that allows you to enter your recipes ingredients and then have that nutrition information.
- MySugr: MySugr has been ranked as one of the top diabetes apps. It can act as your log book for diet, medications, carbohydrate intake, glucose levels, etc. Includes an insulin/bolus calculator. Also includes daily, weekly and monthly reports.
If you are considering any of the technology options mentioned today, be sure and discuss with your health care provider. If you are interested in further discussion on new diabetes technology, be sure and attend diabetes support group on Thursday, May 12th. If you would like to attend either the zoom or in person meeting, please call our office at 316-804-6147.
American Diabetes Association: Blood glucose meters and more.
American Diabetes Association: What is a smart pen?
American Diabetes Association: Choosing a CGM.