With technological innovations over recent years, diabetes monitoring and treatment are rapidly evolving. Here is a look at some of the most significant technologies driving that change.
Fitness apps can be downloaded onto mobile devices to track things like the number of steps you take and the number of calories you digest and burn in a day so that you can improve your overall fitness. The apps often work in conjunction with wearable devices like fitness watches, and they can help you with other things like setting fitness goals and exploring workout options. Experts recommend that people with type 2 diabetes get around 150 minutes of moderate to intensive exercise spread out over three days a week to reduce blood sugar levels.
Fitness apps can help people with diabetes get fit and keep their blood sugar levels down. Your a1c is a measurement that reflects what your levels have been, on average, over a period of two to three months. Aerobic exercises like swimming and running, and anaerobic exercises like powerlifting and resistance training, have been shown to reduce a1c levels. And fitness apps can help you to stick to your workout routines.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring
People with diabetes need to regularly test their blood sugar levels so they can make decisions about eating, exercise, and insulin dosages. Until recently, that involved pricking your finger up to ten times a day to release a drop of blood for testing. As crucial as that is, there is no doubt the process can be unpleasant and time-consuming. In recent years, big improvements have been made with the help of technology. Now, people with diabetes can get continuous glucose monitoring without needing to draw blood. Tiny needles can be inserted under your skin, usually in your stomach or arm. They send results wirelessly to a pump, smartphone, or another device.
Digital Skin Patches
Although continuous glucose monitoring has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, the process still involves putting a small needle under your skin, and many people have aversions to implanted technology. So, the ultimate aim is to create a continuous glucose monitoring device that monitors blood sugar levels constantly without having to prick your skin or stick anything under your skin. A couple of companies have come up with digital skin patches as the solution. The patches are simply stuck to the exterior of your skin to measure blood sugar. However, such patches are still undergoing testing and are not widely available around the world yet. Another noninvasive glucose testing method is called the POPS one System, which has been cleared by the FDA. The device sticks to the back of your smartphone, and it includes a lancet, which is a sensor that measures your blood glucose levels within 30 seconds. The results are then viewable on an accompanying smartphone app.
Many people with diabetes use insulin pens. But even insulin pens have their drawbacks. Now, that is changing with the next generation of pens. Smart insulin pens connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone app that tracks insulin dosages. Each dose is tracked, and every piece of information is available to review on the smartphone app.
Insulin pumps could soon be on the way out, as closed-loop systems could replace them. A closed-loop system, which is also known as an artificial pancreas because it acts more like an actual organ, constantly checks your blood sugar level and then uses an algorithm to decide whether your body’s insulin needs to be lower or higher. The system then releases the correct dose to ensure your blood sugar is steady 24/7.