Jab-Free Glucose Monitoring?

For those diabetics who are not on insulin pumps, testing blood sugar 3 to 6 times a day can be a pain, literally, but a new diabetic therapy product is about to change the way diabetics monitor their blood sugar. The Symphony glucose monitor gives diabetics a jab-free monitoring option that until recent technological advances was not possible.

The Symphony is a two-part system consisting of a monitoring device about the size of a palm and a wand-type device called a “Prelude.” The monitoring device sticks with adhesive on the abdomen and is then rotated to reveal the “window” of bare skin. The wand is then placed on this bare area and activated to remove the first layer of dead skin cells. This is necessary to gain access to the live cells underneath. The monitoring device is then rotated back into place and monitoring begins. After a one-hour warm-up period, the user must then input a beginning glucose level to calibrate the system.

Continuous Monitoring

Being a pain-free alternative is not the only benefit of the Symphony. The patient’s blood sugar is continuously monitored, and the results are sent wirelessly to an external device, such as a smart phone. Dr. Pat Mooney, who represents Echo Therapeutics which is the company that is developing the Symphony, describes why continuous monitoring is necessary:

"The model on diabetes, historically, has been that you prick your finger. You get a drop of blood, you put that on a strip, and then you put that glucose testing strip into a glucometer -- a glucose meter -- and it tells you what your blood-sugar level is at a particular point in time. It's not particularly pleasant to prick your finger; you've got a lot of nerve-endings in your finger, so it hurts. But more than that, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you check your blood-sugar level by pricking your finger four to six times a day. That's not nearly enough information. Think of it this way: If you check your blood sugar levels four times a day, and you check them at midnight when you go to bed, dawn when you wake up for breakfast. You check it at lunch at noon, then again at dinnertime. You're only checking it four times, and it could be normal all the times you check it. But you don't know what your blood sugar is doing at 1 o'clock in the morning, 2, 3, 4 p.m. while you're asleep. It's those uncontrolled, unknown highs or lows that lead to the long-term complications of the disease.”

Diabetes will have to wait for FDA testing of the device to be completed. The device is expected to hit markets sometime in 2013.


Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gregory-weinkauf/glucose-monitoring_b_1503...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0PeoDgs4hg
http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2012/09/26/7661/needle-free-cgm-could...

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