New medical technologies to help manage diabetes are being developed all the time and these innovative devices can make a world of difference in the health and wellbeing of diabetes patients.
Millions of Americans struggle to manage their diabetes symptoms and risks every day. From adhering to a healthy diet and exercise regime to taking medications and monitoring glucose levels, the critical health tasks faced by diabetics can be challenging. In addition, the financial impact of poor diabetes management is significant. The American Diabetes Association reports
, "The direct and indirect costs of diabetes in the United States have exceeded $174 billion, and there are 25.8 million U.S. children and adults with diabetes."
Here are some of the new technologically advanced devices designed to help manage diabetes:
1. Continuous glucose monitoring devices:
This technology is designed to monitor glucose levels on a continuous basis, generally about every five minutes, which allows patients to have a better understanding of their blood sugar patterns. "CGM uses a tiny sensor that is typically put under the skin on your belly. You can put it in quickly and it’s usually not painful. It measures the amount of sugar, called glucose, in the fluid inside your body. A transmitter on the sensor then sends the information to a wireless pager-like monitor that you can clip on your belt," reports WebMD
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2. Insulin pumps:
These devices are designed to deliver reliable, consistent doses of insulin to help people with their medication management. Doses are delivered through a catheter, which is inserted into the skin and held in place by tape.
3. Wireless blood pressure cuff:
iHealth makes a wireless blood pressure cuff that, via Bluetooth technology, takes a reading and sends it to an app on the iPhone. The app also keeps a record of readings for reference purposes. Jim Taschetta of iHealth says,
“We turn your mobile device into a personal mobile health companion. The company was founded around this principle; that the smartphone will become central to a person’s life. Why not allow that device to power some of your healthcare and health management needs?"
4. Smartphone apps: Other apps designed to help manage diabetes are available
for both Apple and Android devices. One example is the Diabetes Buddy, which allows users to not only input their own data but shows monthly calendars, daily logs, physical activity time, and daily nutritional data. Another is Diabetes Log, which in addition to data input functions provides "nutritional information on thousands of food items."
5. Fitness clips:
These devices can be worn around the wrist or clipped onto clothing and are designed to measure physical activity. "Activity trackers like the Fitbit, Jawbone UP24, and Nike+ FuelBand, among others, have created a market for next-generation pedometers, so to speak — well-dressed motion sensors that talk to your smartphone by way of Bluetooth technology and count your steps, calories burned, and even sleep," reports Fitness Magazine
6. Smart contact lenses:
Google is always innovative when it comes to technology. For example, their Google Glass, the "smart," wearable eyewear that allows a hands-free format to connect to technology, has been a huge hit for those that can afford it. Now Google is developing "smart" contact lenses
that will be able "measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material."
This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.
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