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Question:

From Alabama, USA:

I am 35 years old and have been a Type 2 diabetic for 4 years. I have currently started taken insulin shots twice a day for the past few months, and was previously on oral medication. I am interested in the pump, but wondered when the new pumps that read blood sugars were coming out. I had heard within six months. I am tired of shots already and the frequent blood tests that I do 4 times a day.

Answer:

My guess is that'pumps that read blood sugar' are at least three years away. MiniMed is probably the front runner as they have developed both a sensor for glucose in extracellular fluid and of course a pump. So far as I know clinical trials have not yet started on any combination of the two. GlucoWatch has the advantage that the glucose sensor is non-invasive. The accuracy seems to be very good in the great majority of instances; but there is some fade towards the end of the 14 hour life of the sensor pad. Also in a very few individuals there have been unexplained inaccuracies. GlucoWatch does not yet have a pump link; but I have heard that their aim is a telemetry connection between sensor and pump.

Until there is evidence that these devices allow better control as well as freedom from the tyranny of injections and blood sticks I foresee some opposition from Health Care providers and initially they will be expensive.

Meantime, concentrate on the best possible control: it is what matters most.

DO'B

Additional comments from The Editor:

Information about the MiniMed sensor is available on the MiniMed website.

JSH

Original posting 15 Sep 1998
Posted to Research: Monitoring

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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