Recent research by scientists at Johns Hopkins University has found that patients with type I diabetes who use the advanced technologies of continuous blood glucose monitors and infusion pumps fare better then those patients who use finger stick blood glucose testing and insulin injection to, respectively, measure blood glucose levels and administer insulin.
In their study, Sherita Hill Golden, M.D., M.H.S., an associate professor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the Johns Hopkins, and her colleagues reviewed and re-analyzed data from 33 randomized controlled trials that compared the newer technologies to conventional methods of monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels. The new technologies they looked at were primarily real-time continuous glucose monitoring devices and insulin pumps.
The researchers found that children, teens and adults with type 1 diabetes who used continuous monitoring had lower blood glucose levels than those who used finger stick testing alone. They also spent less overall time with too much blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Both methods worked equally well to control hypoglycemia, the condition that results when blood sugar levels are too low.
While hypoglycemia was adequately managed by both conventional (finger stick and insulin injection) and advanced (insulin pumps and continuous blood glucose monitoring) methods, hyperglycemia was managed better with continuous blood glucose monitoring and insulin pump infusion. Since more frequent hyperglycemia correlates directly with higher HbA1C levels, overall type I diabetes management is therefore consider better with the more advanced technologies.
Diabetes management is moving toward the state when the combined use of continuous blood glucose monitors and infusion pumps — often described as the “artificial pancreas” — will be the norm for management of this disease, at least until the emergence of cost-effective and otherwise practical stem cell therapy or other pancreatic cell replacement, which may ultimately “cure” type I diabetes.
See the MedMarket Diligence report #D510, “Diabetes Management: Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities Worldwide 2009-2018” for a complete analysis of the worldwide market for diabetes diagnosis, management and treatment products.