Most exciting technology of 2015 so far for diabetics
For both type 1 and type 2 diabetics, it has been an important month of technological developments which promise much for the treatment of diabetes and offer insight into the future of diabetes management.
Dexcom medical app
A medical app from Dexcom Inc has been given approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which could revolutionise blood testing for type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
The Dexcom Share and Follow apps work with the Dexcom G4 Platinum CGM and the Dexcom SHARE cradle, using a secure wireless Bluetooth connection to transmit blood glucose information.
This allows patients with diabetes to track blood sugar levels without finger pricking, while blood tests can be shared with other people, such as doctors, in real-time.
The Share and Follower apps will be available on the Apple App Store at no charge, with Dexcom planning to ship the newly approved version of Share in March.
First artificial pancreas implantation
The first implantation of an artificial pancreas, developed at Perth’s Princess Margaret Hospital, was received by a four-year-old with type 1 diabetes in Australia this month.
Xavier Hames’ new pancreas-like insulin pump can identify when his blood sugar levels are low and regulate them – mimicking how the pancreas prevents insulin delivery when glucose levels are low.
The artificial pancreas is available commercially in Australia for 10,000 Australian Dollars – the equivalent of around 8,000 US Dollars and 10,000 Canadian Dollars.
Researchers are now aiming to develop a fully automatic device which can monitor blood sugar levels consistently and adjust insulin levels accordingly.
While some people have tattoos that signify their type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this form of diabetic tattoo is intriguing for a different reason.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, US have developed a non-invasive way for diabetic patients to test blood glucose levels.
A thin, flexible patch which resembles a tattoo applies a small electric current to the skin, allowing the glucose level of cells just under the skin to be measured. This is done without the skin being punctured or irritated.
The researchers are now working on extending the life of the tattoo sensor, with the aim of keeping the financial cost down for consumers while incorporating wireless communication to view the readings on a handset.
Smart insulin gel
A $1.625 million grant has been awarded by the American Diabetes Association to Dr. Zhen Ghu, North Carolina State University, to fund a new insulin delivery approach.
All type 1 diabetics require insulin, and this novel approach involves glucose-responsive nanocapsules, which can release insulin in a glucose level dependent way.
This delivery system has so far been tested on type 1 diabetic mice, with a reduction of blood glucose levels found in the mice treated with nanocapsules.
This ADA grant will now allow for Ghu’s team to begin testing on larger animals.
What other exciting technology developments are you excited about for 2015? Share your thoughts with us!
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