Diabetes educator, Gary Scheiner gives his in-depth review of the newly approved Abbott Freestyle Libre CGM continuous glucose monitor. Faster than the fastest meter. More powerful than point-in-time measurements. Able to leap piles of test strips with a single scan. Look… on pharmacy shelves (soon). It’s a meter. It’s a CGM. It’s FREESTYLE LIBRE! Seriously, this is exciting. Abbott’s Frestyle Libre has finally been approved for sale in the United States. Why the excitement? Because it almost eliminates the need for fingerstick blood glucose measurements. It has features of a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) and a blood glucose meter combined in one device. And it is simple to use, reasonably accurate, virtually painless, and relatively inexpensive ($60 for the durable receiver/scanner, $40 per sensor; insurance coverage pending). Super! How does it work? An applicator device is placed on the back of the arm. With one push, a tiny glucose-sensitive filament is inserted just below the skin, with the waterproof transmitter (about the size of two stacked quarters) attached and adhered to the skin. After a 12-hour warmup period, a signal is sent every minute to a handheld receiver about the size of a small cell phone, and the current glucose level along with a trend arrow and graph of the most recent eight hours of data is displayed. The sensor/transmitter is replaced every 10 days. And because of its accuracy, NO fingerstick calibrations are required. A very similar device has been available in Europe and other parts of the world since 2014. The hardware is basically the same, but there are a few subtle differences between the US version and the European version. The European sensors last 14 days [...]
The 670G represents an important step towards fully automating glucose control. However, it is important to put it in the proper context and set expectations at an appropriate level.
The National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 95 percent of them have Type 2, the form most associated with obesity. And interestingly the number of people age 20 or older with diabetes topped 1.7 million. It is also estimated that 86 million Americans 20 years and older may have prediabetes which increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The increase in incidence of diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) provides a lot of incentive for developers of Apps to create products to aid with management of chronic health conditions like diabetes. A study published in the journal Clinical Diabetes showed that “the use of mobile phones leads to improved A1C and self-management in diabetes care.”, assuming this is due to apps that aid with improved tracking and awareness of glucose patterns. In a basic count recently, I found 1000+ apps specific to diabetes management – WOW! Great that so much is available, but how can a person with diabetes figure out which app is right for them? Depending on the needs of the individual, health apps can be very beneficial, especially from the standpoint of possible support. However, the person choosing the App needs to consider what they want or need to track as well as how tech-savvy they are, which can improve how they manage. Step one in this process of choice should be to narrow down the apps based on your individual goals. For some people that might be a focus on weight control, while others need help tracking blood glucose and learning about their patterns. Some apps also help you to remember to take medication, change [...]
It's awesome that people with diabetes are living normal lifespans, but the current Medicare system is not set up to provide coverage of the technologies that we become accustomed to using when we have commercial insurance coverage to control the disease as well as we can.
Meters should be within 10% of lab values to be considered accurate. The more often a meter falls within 10% (or 10 points) of the lab value, the more reliable it will be.
Heading back to school is an exciting and anxious time for most and no doubt diabetes can add to that anxiety level. Whether your child is very young, newly diagnosed or maybe just heading to a new school this year, the thought of going back to school may have you both on edge.
There are a multitude of different groups working on hybrid closed loop projects, and each one runs on its own unique proportion of automation and brain-power. Here are a few of the projects that were presented and discussed at the ADA Scientific Sessions in New Orleans this past June.
How do the latest Medtronic and Dexcom CGM systems compare?
By Diane Herbert MSW, LSW, CDE (pending) If you’re living with diabetes, you have been told many times and in many ways – Check your sugar, test, monitor your glucose, do your finger sticks….. You have also likely been told that this is how you learn your current glucose (sugar) level. I’m wondering how much information you’ve been given about why checking your blood sugar is helpful to you and what it means at different points in your day? Your Body at Work The pancreas and the body are truly amazing when it comes to keeping checks and balances within our systems. As far as your blood sugar goes – the pancreas and the liver perform a seamless dance to metabolize food/energy/sugar to make sure that all the other systems get just the right amount they need at just the right time when they need it. When you live with diabetes, your body’s ability to do that dance breaks down and requires that a third partner be entered into the mix – that partner is you! Your non-diabetes pancreas and liver had blood sugar management skills literally hardwired into their DNA. These are skills that we from the outside continue to only dream about matching. Effortlessly these amazing organs knew how much to adjust for exercise, when to release insulin quickly, when to dole it out slowly over hours, and how to auto-correct with a perfect shot of glucose if we added a late variable to the mix (say going on a roller coaster after eating pizza). Now living with diabetes – that balancing act largely rests on you to perform manually. How can you hope to be able to return to the smooth, graceful [...]
It’s great when there are tips or tools that help us remember when to do something or products that make carrying all our “stuff” a bit easier. Little thing can helps us balance diabetes a bit better.
Vibe is the first and only insulin pump to integrate all the features of the Dexcom G4 display module into the pump itself. That’s right! No need to tote around a separate CGM display. I was given a 2-week trial/demo of the Vibe by Animas in mid-December, and promptly wore it on a one-week family cruise vacation and through the holidays. I must say, having the Dexcom CGM data right on the pump gave me a nice sense of autonomy.
When I hear the word “bionic,” I can’t help but have the opening theme of the 70s TV show “The Six Million Dollar Man” pop into my head. Then I come back to the 21st century, and ponder the exciting innovations of the bionic pancreas project.
In the world of diabetes management, anything that makes living with diabetes better and easier is worth putting on my favorite things list. Here are a few of my favorite Apps!