Diabetes has become a major problem for a lot of people. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines diabetes as a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood glucose) or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This disease affects over 400 million people worldwide.
Without proper care and monitoring, diabetes can lead to more serious damage, including blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke lower limb amputation, and more.
Fortunately, technology is making it easier for those who are affected by this disease. Now, there are various modern and digital diabetes care tools that help patients on a daily basis. These tools can help meet patient needs and help them perform basic monitoring. This includes tracking blood sugar levels, administering insulin properly and regularly, as well as improving their overall wellness or lifestyle. These things help people as they learn to live with the disease.
Here are a few examples of diabetes care solutions and tools patients can use:
Portable blood glucose monitors and meters
Portable blood glucose meters (BGM), or glucometers, are used to check the blood sugar levels of people with diabetes. These glucose monitors help people keep track of their diabetes. You will be able to determine when your blood sugar increases or decreases, anticipate stress or dehydration, and prevent any further complications.
There are portable glucose monitors out there that are easy to use, affordable, and accurate. Some also have intuitive features like smart light, which displays various colors to indicate different levels of blood sugar. Other portable glucose monitors also have various accessibility features, which will be a great help for a lot of patients. They have alarms that you can hear or feel to alert people of any immediate concerns.
Wearable continuous glucose monitors (CGMs)
Much like glucometers, continuous glucose monitors (CGM) also help people with diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels. The main difference is that BGMs measure glucose levels at a single moment in time, particularly when a blood sample is read. Meanwhile, CGMs offer continuous monitoring of someone’s glucose levels throughout the day and night. CGM allows patients to see the full picture or standing of their blood sugar—where the levels were, where they currently are, and even where they’re headed.
CGMs are the diabetes care tools for you if you want blood-free readings of your glucose levels. This is because people don’t have to apply blood drops to test strips with CGMs. Instead, you usually need to wear a sensor on your upper arm or abdomen. This will read glucose levels from the interstitial fluid (ISF) that surrounds the cells of the tissues below the skin.
CGMs offer consistent and accurate readings to help people manage their disease and be more vigilant about their condition.
Automatic insulin pumps
Insulin pumps are essential for people with diabetes, especially those with Type 1 diabetes. The devices help regulate insulin and blood sugar by giving a constant dose of insulin throughout the day and night. Those with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin in their bodies, so administering insulin is necessary for treatment.
It’s a good thing that there are now automatic insulin pumps to help people who need regular doses of insulin in their system. Automatic insulin pumps are programmed to administer insulin doses on a schedule or as prescribed by the doctor. They can also be programmed to respond to specific blood sugar levels. Others also adjust the insulin delivery to avoid highs and lows, and some can be connected to CGMs or mobile apps.
These diabetes care solutions are beneficial for those who depend on insulin administration. They won’t forget about their regular doses. And they can be more aware of their state in case their blood sugar levels need immediate attention.
Smart insulin pen or injector pen
Another tool that will help simplify the routine of people with diabetes is the smart insulin pen or injector pen. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a smart insulin pen is “a reusable injector pen with an intuitive smartphone app that can help people with diabetes better manage insulin delivery”.
This can help calculate and track doses for patients. It will also provide helpful reminders, alerts, and reports to enhance diabetes management. Smart insulin pens are useful to a lot of people with diabetes because they solve a lot of challenges with diabetes management and insulin administration, such as:
- Calculating the dose based on current blood sugar level, carbohydrate amounts, meal size, active insulin, and settings prescribed by the doctor
- Knowing the proper timing to inject insulin
- Knowing and taking note of the shelf life and storage conditions of insulin injections
- Missing or skipping doses
- Figuring out how to dose for a meal or correct a high blood sugar reading
Overall, these smart insulin pens can make life easier for people living with diabetes.
Diabetes tracking and management apps
And of course, technology has also paved the way for the emergence of diabetes tracking apps. These mobile apps, which patients can download on their smartphones and other mobile devices, can help people track and manage their diabetes as a whole. These will help people understand their condition better and take better care of themselves.
There are diabetes management apps that can help you monitor glucose levels, insulin doses, bolus dose calculation, A1C, glycemic index, blood pressure, carb counts, steps, and more. Some even have features to help you with weight management. And others have chat capabilities to help you connect with other diagnosed patients and process your mental health. Apps like these can provide all the data and features you need to lead a healthy life as you manage your condition.
It’s also a good thing that most diabetes-tracking apps can be integrated into other devices, such as insulin pumps or smartwatches. They’re also ideal for Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes management.
Living with diabetes in this modern world can be more manageable. With these modern tools, apps, and diabetes care solutions, you have a chance to live a healthier lifestyle and be more aware of your condition.