4 New High-Tech Tools to Help Control Diabetes
New Diabetes Control Tools: Diabetes Information Management Software continued...
Bayer HealthCare's latest software can even identify rapid swings in blood
glucose, which signal that patients have over-treated themselves with insulin
or food, says Paul Inman, director of research and development.
"There's some evidence that people who use these types of software have
better outcomes than people who don't," Klonoff says. "They have more
information and it's analyzed for them." Patients can also share the
information with their doctor to guide treatment.
HealthPia America, has introduced a combination cell phone and glucose
tester, a "telemedicine" device that allows the user to transmit the stored
data to a doctor's office, according to HealthPia President Steven Kim.
Other home monitoring systems can
determine HgA1c levels in minutes.This test is an indicator of your average
blood sugar in a 2-3 month period. Studies have shown a direct association
between the HgA1c levels and the risks of complications related to diabetes.
New Diabetes Control Tools: Smaller, Hidden Insulin Pumps
When the Omnipod Insulin Management System came on the market in 2005, it
signaled a new generation of pumps. These were small, disposable, worn directly
on the skin, and concealed under clothing.
"It's a completely different animal. It's the size of a small half-kiwi or a
small Matchbox car," says Elizabeth Vivaldi, director of marketing at Insulet
Corp., maker of the Omnipod. The pump, a compact "pod," weighs only 1.2 ounces
when its insulin reservoir is full.
"You can hide it. People don't need to know," says Kowalski, who wears an
Omnipod. He says that many people resist conventional insulin pumps. They're
typically worn on one's belt like a small cell phone, with short tubing to
deliver insulin through a needle inserted under abdominal skin. Many people
dislike hooking up the pump and they try to conceal the tubing.
In contrast, the Omnipod adheres to the abdomen, lower back, arm or other
site. It also gets rid of the tubing. Instead, it delivers insulin through a
small cannula inserted under the skin. When it's time for an insulin dose, the
patient uses a wireless, handheld device to control delivery. Omnipods are worn
for up to 3 days and then replaced.
While the Omnipod is a "pod pump," Klonoff says, "there are many scientists
working on even smaller pumps." Every component has to be miniaturized, he
adds, perhaps to the point of creating a "patch pump" about the size of a
Kowalski says that the future of pump therapy may be disposable, patch-like
pumps, maybe something a little bigger than a Band-Aid.
"Absolutely a huge deal," he says.