Tech and Diabetes

As with many chronic diseases, both the affected individual and his or her care team have a set of tools to help manage the condition. These tools may involve certain medicines, homeopathic treatments, living space adjustments, assistance devices, etc. Some may work better than others, with the hope that at least something actually makes an impact.

What I've noticed in our relatively short amount of time caring for an individual with Type 1 diabetes, is that technology is playing an incredible role in changing how both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is managed. Continuous glucose monitors (CGM's) and insulin pumps have completely upended the way that diabetes is treated today compared to just 5, 10 and 15 years ago. I remember a friend with Type 1 diabetes in college who treated himself with needle pulls from a vial and pin pricks. That's the best he had available at the time. Fast forward 10+ years and insulin pens, pumps and CGM's have become deeply entrenched in disease management protocol.

For those who have known someone with Type 1 in years past, they likely remember calls to 911 for unconsciousness associated with extremely low glucose levels, or trips to the hospital to treat diabetic ketoacidosis from highly elevated levels. Unfortunately, these events were not uncommon given the limited insight into constantly fluctuating glucose levels. While these instances are still very possible with a CGM, one has the ability to make it a much rarer event. My heart breaks for those who had to manage this disease before the emergence of these CGM's and the associated technology for real-time glucose visibility. I also deeply feel for those in a situation where insurance coverage of these devices is not an option.

Directly witnessing the monumental impact that technology is having on this particular disease, along with the steadily increasing number options in the marketplace, I am optimistic that we'll see a majority of diabetics have access to these devices in the near future.


Image Attribution: American Diabetes Association