A new year is underway, and with that comes the emergence of advances in diabetes technology. Companies like Tandem, Dexcom, Medtronic, Insulet, and Senseonics are continuing to move forward with projects that have been in the works for several years, as well as new ones. They are constantly striving to improve how diabetes is managed and to enhance the quality of life for those living with the disease.
Here are just a few of the technology changes in the works:
Closed loop systems. Many companies are still working to refine these processes. It is difficult to create an effective system that requires no user interaction, but they are getting closer. Currently, they are focused on reducing the amount of user input necessary and turning to sensor technology to measure and track blood glucose levels, automatically dose according to individual needs, and predict glucose levels. No fully closed loop systems are expected to be released in 2018, however.
Smartwatch and smartphone compatibility. Many people nowadays own smartphones and smartwatches. Companies are leveraging these connections to bring glucose monitoring right to people’s fingertips. With improved sensors and Bluetooth technology, data can be delivered directly to these devices through apps that allow for better tracking and monitoring of glucose levels. Users would also have the option of sharing this data with others, such as healthcare providers. There are a variety of apps in development with features to improve diabetes management.
Improved sensors. Speaking of sensors, they’re changing too. Industry leaders are looking to make sensors smaller yet more effective and accurate. They are also trying to extend the length of wear and reduce the number of daily calibrations needed. In turn, this would allow individuals more freedom and require less interaction with these systems while still managing blood sugar.
Increased FDA approval. There are some devices and technologies that are approved internationally but are not yet available in the United States. Or, approvals in the United States are stricter. International companies are looking to expand the availability of certain products in the U.S. and ensure that their diabetes care technology meets required standards.
Overall, there are numerous collaborations occurring between companies within the diabetes vertical that could have a positive impact on how the disease in managed moving forward. Companies are working together to bring about more advanced technology and monitoring systems that will make it easier for individuals to track not only their glucose levels, but also insulin use, meals, activity, and other factors that impact their diabetes care – and share it with their healthcare providers.
The Diabetes Research Connection is excited to learn more about these advancements in the months to come and see how diabetes care is changing for the future. The organization proudly supports novel research projects by early-career scientists and provides up to $50,000 in funding for studies. Learn more about current projects and how to support these initiatives by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.