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The Latest Blood Glucose Management Tools and Products

Date Posted: Thursday, July 01, 2021

diabetes-management-technology

New insulin pumps, infusion devices, continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and smartphone apps continue to hit the market. The latest technology offers a variety of options for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, depending on needs and preferences. The following information is provided for education purposes only. The content does not represent endorsement of any vendor or product.

THE LATEST INSULIN PUMPS

Some insulin pumps can automatically adjust background (basal) insulin based on sensor glucose readings to prevent both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Basal-IQ or Control-IQ Technology

This touchscreen insulin pump integrates with the Dexcom G6® CGM (see below) to predict and help prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) without finger sticks. Free upgrades are available to download (there may be a charge for some) using a personal computer. Tandem Diabetes describes the Basal-IQ technology as a predictive low glucose suspend feature designed to help reduce the frequency and duration of low blood glucose. The Control-IQ closed loop feature debuted in 2020. In addition to predicting and automatically adjusting basal rates, it also makes hourly correction boluses to help prevent high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

The t-connect mobile app displays your insulin pump screen on your smartphone, showing current glucose and insulin on board. It automatically uploads to t-connect so your care team can access the data during office visits or if you call with a question.

MiniMed 770G Hybrid Closed Loop System

This device is approved for type 1 diabetics who are seven years and older. The system delivers basal insulin every five minutes and constantly self-adjusts to help avoid highs and lows. It features Medtronic’s SmartGuard technology and the Guardian Sensor 3, their most accurate CGM to date. It connects directly to compatible smartphones allowing users to view blood sugar trends and insulin delivery on the go. The smartphone app automatically shares data with your care team. Family and friends can also view data using the app.

OmniPod DASH

This tubeless, waterproof wearable pod provides up to 72 hours of non-stop insulin and works with a touch-screen Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) that looks like a smartphone. It’s now covered by pharmacy benefit with many insurance companies, including Medicare, as opposed to traditional Durable Medical Equipment (DME) coverage.

Coming soon: Insulet is awaiting FDA approval for their Omnipod 5 that will integrate with the Dexcom G6 to allow for semi-automated insulin delivery.

OTHER INSULIN DELIVERY DEVICES

InPen by Companion Medical

This “smart insulin pen” is a reusable injector that interacts with smartphones. The ½ unit refillable pen helps to calculate doses and also keeps track of injection data. Based on information input by the user, it calculates dosages based upon insulin-to-carb ratios, meal size or number of servings.

This is an option for people who take multiple daily injections but don't want to wear an insulin pump. It can also be used as a backup for the pump or by those who want to take a pump break.

Ergonomic Pen Needles by BD

The BD Nano 4mm pen needle was the smallest, thinnest pen needle, designed for comfort. Its improved insulin flow through the needle made it simple to use, even for people with hand-strength challenges. The Nano 2.0 concentrates and distributes force to allow better depth for insulin absorption and less pain. BD says the 2nd generation redesign makes the device even easier to use and provides a more comfortable injection experience.

V-Go by Zealand Pharma

This is a patch pump for people with type 2 diabetes who require multiple daily injections (MDI). Medicare covers the V-Go under Part D, and such "disposable patch-like devices" were recently added to the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Care for type 2 diabetes. 

CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITORS (CGM)  

Continuous glucose monitors are constantly improving. The latest technology offers different options with varied benefits including some with alarms for highs and lows. Many of our patients, with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, have experienced drastic improvements to blood glucose control by starting to use a CGM.”

Cheryl Barry, RN, MS, CDCES, Diabetes Education Manager at the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence.

Dexcom G6

This patch device gets applied to the skin of the abdomen. It contains a small sensor that continuously measures blood sugars and transmits real-time data every five minutes to most smartphones or to a Dexcom receiver. It doesn't require finger stick calibration, and sounds an alarm when readings go too high or low. The sensor integrates with the t:slim X2 insulin pump (described above). When integrated with an insulin pump, a decrease in sensor glucose will automatically trigger either a reduction or cessation of basal insulin from the pump. The G6 device should be replaced every 10 days.  

Coming soon: The Dexcom G7 is waiting FDA approval.  It'll be smaller, disposable, and the transmitter will be built into the sensor.

FreeStyle Libre 14 Day System & FreeStyle Libre 2

The 14 day wearable device allows for frequent blood sugar checks without finger sticks. It measures glucose levels every minute. Using most smartphones or the provided reader device, users of both the 14 day system and Libre 2 swipe/scan over a small sensor worn on the arm.

The 14 day sensor is useful for people who prefer not to receive alerts for highs or lows. The Libre 2 offers optional, real-time glucose alarms that prompt the user to scan for a real-time reading. The Libre devices are not integrated with an insulin pump.

Coming soon: The Libre 2 is currently awaiting FDA approval for a smartphone app.

Sugar.IQ Machine-Learning

This downloadable app is a “diabetes assistant” that works with Medtronic’s stand-alone Guardian Connect CGM, without an insulin pump. It recognizes patterns and provides individualized tips to help users keep blood sugars within target range.

GLUCAGON

Glucagon is the standard of care for treating severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugars). A standard mix kit has been the only source of glucagon for decades, but now there are alternative products available. 

Gvoke HypoPen Glucagon Injection 

An EpiPen-style glucagon rescue pen by Xeris Pharmaceuticals. It's available by prescription to treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in adults and children with diabetes ages 2 years and above.  

BAQSIMI Nasal Glucagon

This nasal glucagon by Lilly is another way to treat severe low blood sugar. Dry powder is sprayed into the nose using a portable, single-use, ready-to-use device. It's approved for patients ages 4 and up.

 

Under FDA Review: Zealand Pharma's HypoPal Auto-Injector Glucagon Rescue Pen

The FDA is currently reviewing this product as a stable ready-to-use rescue treatment for severe hypoglycemia.

More Diabetes Center of Excellence News