Using Technology in Diabetes Care

Technology has made important headway in helping and managing diabetes care. The American Diabetes Association has recently added a section on technology in its Standards for Diabetes Care, which was published in The Annals of Internal Medicine on august 13. 

Getting proper diabetes care

There are 2 types of diabetes. Diabetes type 1 used to be called juvenile diabetes and develops when someone is young. Properly controlled, people can have very normal lives. Diabetes type 2 is normally developed through poor eating habits and lifestyle patterns. However, with proper diabetes care, a person can get his life under control and manage the disease. While many people are able to accomplish this, it is often with great difficulty. With the technology available in medicine today, diabetes patients are the grateful recipients of many advances that help them manage and conquer the disease.

What advances help with today’s diabetes care?

Some of the greatest progress in diabetes care comes in several parts, beginning with the life-saving self monitoring of blood glucose (smbg) and continuous glucose monitoring (cgm), which can help in creating customized insulin programs for patients with intensive insulin dependence. There’s also the sensor-augmented pump, which can keep patients from becoming hypo-glycemic. Use of this pump has been associated with many positive results. Some newer technology allows all of this to be connected to an app on the patient’s phone, so the patient can easily monitor his status and take care of it.

Automated insulin delivery system

The FDA recently approved the use of an automated insulin delivery system for juveniles ages 7-13. Previously it was only available to people ages 14 and over. “Advances in science, technology and manufacturing are contributing to the development of new and expanded uses of products that can help improve the quality of life for those with chronic diseases, especially vulnerable populations, like children,” said Scott Gottleib, MD, the FDA commissioner. The natural insulin process in a person who does not have diabetes is that the pancreas monitors the level of insulin in the body and produces more as needed. In a person who has diabetes, this process does not occur, and he must monitor insulin levels himself throughout the day and give himself insulin shots as needed to avoid becoming hypoglycemic. This new technology is called a “closed loop” system and aims to mimic the job of the pancreas, making  the monitoring and insulin-providing process automatic. Not only does this free up the patient’s mind from the job, it also makes for a more effective system and less chance of the person missing what he needs.

Glucagon puffs

Eli Lilly has come out with a powdered glucagon that can be puffed into a person’s nose to get a quick glucagon fill when he needs it. This is one example of a slew of new types of glucagon products that will make it easier for diabetics to regain balance when they have low blood sugar.

These, and many more advances in diabetes technology will give patients better management of their condition and allow them to lead more normal and stable lives.

Sinai Post Acute Care Center for Rehabilitation in Newark, New Jersey, can provide excellent diabetes care for patients, and our doctors can weigh in on the effectiveness of different treatment plans for each patient.