Diabetes is a volatile disease that requires constant monitoring and treatment. Most patients would agree that more so because of the symptoms or side effects, it is the constant monitoring that is the most relentless and undesirable part of suffering from this ailment. The process is not only time consuming and painful, but also adds to the medical expenses since you have to keep buying new test strips every few weeks.
Thankfully, in recent years, few companies and a handful of startups have begun working on solving this problem with the help of technology. Even though each company has its own approach to implementing the test, the collective aim has been to make diabetic tests devices reusable as well as non-invasive in nature.
One of the problems with using external CGM devices is the fear of accidentally displacing them, and injuring yourself in the process. The fear increases even more if the device is located in a delicate place, as is the case with tear based testing devices which are placed on the lower eyelid. If given the option, people would prefer to have the device implanted inside their bodies, rather than have to carry it on the outside.
Devices like this, often consist of a small sensor that is surgically embedded into the body of the patient and stays there until it completes its life cycle. The readings are collected by a separate device, which in turn shares them to a third-party app or website. Technology like this aims for complete hands-free operation, thus giving freedom to the user from interacting with the device or even being aware of its presence.
One of the systems that explores this type of glucose monitoring is the Eversense Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, which utilises an implantable fluorescence-based sensor, that works with a smart transmitter, and a companion app to provide real-time glucose monitoring at a minimum interval of just five minutes for up to 90 days.
The sensor is implanted just below the skin so that it has access to the fluids present there. These fluids contain trace amounts of glucose called interstitial glucose, which reacts with the sensor and causes it to generate a small amount of light. This light is converted into reading by the smart transmitter that is attached to the outside of the body.
These readings are then sent to the smartphone app. The hope is to reduce the size of the smart transmitter in future models so that it can be fitted alongside the sensor itself.
Since the device generates reliable readings every 5 minutes, it produces enough data to create detailed glucose trend reports and long term medical records. This information is greatly beneficial to the patient as well as the doctors, as it can be used to track real-world effects of meals, exercise, and/or insulin doses.