It’s that time of year again; time for shiny new gadgets, right?! The holidays always tend to get everyone excited over new tablets, phone and gaming consoles. Starting with Black Friday all I think we see on TV are ads about new things to buy. Oh, how we all love shiny new things!
When it comes to diabetes there are also shiny new things. This time of year also means for many health insurance deductibles being met and new diabetes tech becoming more and more appealing.
While I’m a big proponent of diabetes tech and use it myself as much as possible, it’s not for everyone. Before any sort of diabetes tech is considered, I think it’s necessary to ensure that you first have a basic understanding of diabetes itself, carb counting, how insulin works, and what to do with data such as blood sugar numbers and time in range percentages.
All too often I talk to people who are fighting for a new sensor, new insulin, or a new insulin pump, but when asked why they want it they have unrealistic expectations of how it will help with their diabetes management. There are some great products and medications that help keep blood sugars in line, but there’s no fix-all.
My suggestions for how and when to get new shiny diabetes gadgets:
Make sure you understand the basics of your diabetes. This includes the medications you take, blood sugar checks and nutrition.
Find out what is available that might benefit you in your diabetes management. If you have something specific in mind, ask yourself how your diabetes will improve with said tech.
Do your research! Don’t purchase something simply because a friend or even your doctor told you it was the best. Find out for yourself, ask questions and be sure of your decision.
Make sure your insurance covers it and find any discounts you can get. Many people pay thousands of extra dollars a year simply because they’re on a non-preferred product or medication when something equivalent is available for free or at no cost.
Learn all you can about the tech and how it works. Take advantage of education offered by product trainers and diabetes educators. Seek out additional information and training if needed.
Stay up to date on what’s available. Things change quickly and new products and medications are always on the forefront.
Remember that diabetes had been successfully managed for many, many years with lesser tech than what we have available today. With a simple blood glucose meter, long-acting and short-acting insulin, and some education is very possible to have good outcomes. There is no fix-all solution, and your tech is only as good as your understanding of how to use it.
If you have any questions or want to discuss specific tech more in-depth, don’t hesitate to reach out! We are well versed in all things diabetes tech, including DIY systems, and are here to help!
Annette Valle is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator who also serves as an English/Spanish medical language interpreter. She has lived with T1D since age 13. Annette has personal experience and is certified to train on all models of insulin pumps, CGMs and hybrid closed loop systems.