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The Impact of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Review

The advancement of new technology has it benefits….

 

The new technology has improved diabetes care greatly. This new device has helped patients achieve their A1c goals and macro/microvascular complications. Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion and continuous glucose monitoring have improved over the years. Even though these new technologies are designed to decrease the risk of moderate to severe hypoglycemia, other studies showed that several patients are unable to achieve their glycemic goal, even with the new technology.

The benefits of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion is a great reduction of episodes of severe hypoglycemia in patients receiving injection therapy. The rate of severe hypoglycemia was seen 30 times more in patients receiving multiple daily insulin injection compared to insulin-pump therapy. Also, continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion has increased the quality of life for patients with diabetes. The continuous glucose monitoring includes sensor, transmitter, and display. The continuous glucose monitoring can be augmented with a continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion and warns the patient when the glucose is high or low. Many patients who utilize insulin often experience hypoglycemia because they are unaware of their glucose levels.

Despite all these benefits of the new technology, there are some drawbacks. Continuous glucose monitoring does not measure blood glucose concentration directly. However, it does measure the glucose concentration in the liquid surrounding the fat cells underneath the skin. Based on the location of the sensor, it takes a long time for glucose to travel from the blood to the tissue and this creates a lag time. Pain from the insertion of the sensor and frustration with sensor alarms were also reported. Other patients have found that the continuous glucose monitoring causes skin reaction and discomfort. Future studies should be in place to overcome these limitations to optimizing glycemic control and eliminating severe hypoglycemia.

Practical Pearls:

  • Continuous glucose monitoring and continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion are new technologies for the advancement of diabetes management.
  • The benefits of the new technologies is the increase of quality of life for patients receiving multiple injections.
  • One major drawback of continuous glucose monitoring is the pain associated with the insertion of the sensor.

Giani E, Scaramuzza AE, Zuccotti GV. “Impact of new technologies on diabetes care.” World J Diabetes. 2015;6(8):999-1004.