How Diabetes Management Technology is Evolving
ⓒ OKRA 8th July 2021
By Diane Hwang
As technology evolves in other industries, it also moves forward in the medical field. When it comes to diabetes technology and management, there are a number of unique ideas and solutions that have come out in the last few years and more that are being developed for the future.
Learn more about some of the diabetes apps and tech that can make your life easier now and in the future, and keep reading to learn how our team at OKRA Care is involved in developing innovative diabetes management solutions.
While there are several digital glucose monitoring devices, not all of them are Bluetooth compatible. Those that can sync work together with a diabetes app to track and store your data wirelessly. In addition to monitoring your blood sugar, you can use this technology to track your weight, nutrition, and more.
Once your monitor takes a sample, it transfers the information to any smartphone for simple data sharing and easy tracking.
OKRA Care is pleased to announce that we are releasing our own Bluetooth-enabled glucose monitoring device with an app to help all our customers take better care of themselves with more advanced diabetes technology. Details and availability will be announced in the coming months!
Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion, or CSII, is another unique diabetes technology that takes insulin pumps to a new level. Many people who suffer from diabetes choose to receive their insulin this way through a tube that is placed underneath their skin. Typically, the tube is placed on the abdomen, the upper arm, or the inside of the thigh.
Some devices allow you to control the pump via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. They also have insulin bolus calculators already built-in that are based on the prescription for each patient. The pump operates depending on the insulin-to-carb ratio input from a patient’s doctor — eliminating human error and misdosing.
Types of CSII Pumps
There are only five major manufacturers of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion pumps, and they’re all pretty similar. The significant differences are down to the specific pump features and patient preference for the interface.
The closed-loop insulin pump is the current pinnacle of T1 diabetes technology. With this type of system, the monitor and the pump communicate directly to automatically adjust the boluses throughout the day. The automatic delivery system reduces the burden of daily disease management as well as the potential for human error. Whenever the system detects a decrease in basal rates, it can provide micro-doses to correct any tendency towards hypoglycemia.
The CSII pump is also the preferred choice for gestational diabetes. Once it’s time for labor, many doctors prefer to transition to more traditional insulin drips.
3. Smart Pens
One of the more recent diabetes technologies is the smart pen. In 2017, the very first Bluetooth-enabled smart pen received approval from the FDA. The way the smart pen works is by recording the intervals and amounts of each insulin dose. They display your last dose and transmit the data to your diabetes app.
The diabetes app you use with your smart pen can make recommendations for dosing and transfer relevant information to the cloud for easier sharing with your healthcare providers. You still need a blood glucose monitor for testing, but you can inject insulin with the pen.
4. Automated Glucose-Responsive Insulin Delivery
We briefly discussed the closed-loop glucose delivery system, but it’s a very important diabetes technology and deserves its own section. While the first version of this system was introduced over 50 years ago, it became commercially available only in the 1970s. As the medical community developed new apps, delivery systems, and testing methods, closed-loop systems evolved as well.
Today’s closed-loop systems work in tandem with every element of your daily management needs. If you’re using an automated delivery system, it syncs with your devices to ensure informed insulin dosing and monitoring. An algorithm translates the data it gets from the monitor in real time and sends it to the insulin pump so it can deliver what your body needs as soon as you need it.
There are a few automated pumps that offer predictive control that tracks your previous dosages and needs to pre-emptively deliver the insulin you need based on what your doctor would do in any given situation.
OKRA Care & Diabetes Technology of the Future
About 30% of people with Type I Diabetes currently use some type of insulin pump. As medical technology improves, more and more people will choose to use integrated devices with monitors and pumps communicating through WiFi or Bluetooth and sharing data with their doctors.
If you’re looking into upgrading your diabetes monitoring and insulin delivery methods, OKRA Care can help. Explore our OKRA Starter Kit and stay up-to-date on our new releases.Do you have questions about how our monitors or refill kits work? Reach out to our customer service team online at any time! You can also get in touch with us by phone at +1-833-977-1339 between 9 AM - 5 PM EST Monday through Friday