Diabetes technologies can be helpful tools to simplify daily diabetes self-management tasks and improve blood glucose control.
Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM)
Continuous glucose monitors are devices that continuously monitors blood glucose readings without finger sticks. A sensor is worn on the body that contains a filament that is placed under the skin that measure a glucose value every 1 to 5 minutes and sends the readings to either an app on your cellphone or a handheld device. The sensor can also be programmed to alert the person with diabetes when their blood glucose is dropping too low or running high to prevent hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
CGM sensors may be covered by insurance for people who have a diagnosis of diabetes and are prescribed insulin.
Insulin Pump Therapy
Insulin pumps are small devices connected to the body that deliver insulin without multiple daily injections. Insulin pumps deliver rapid acting insulin in 2 ways:
- Basal Rate: Micro doses of rapid-acting insulin programmed to be delivered each hour. The basal rate set in an insulin pump replaces long-acting insulin injection(s).
- Bolus Dose: Additional insulin can be delivered “on demand” to match the food you are going to eat and/or to correct a high blood sugar.
Insulin pump therapy can have many benefits:
- Fewer injections: 1 injection every 2-3 days, versus multiple daily injections.
- Less math/calculations: The pump calculates the dose based on current blood glucose and carb amount.
- More precise insulin dosing: Insulin pumps can deliver tenths of a unit of insulin versus whole or half units from an insulin pen.
- Improved absorption: Less basal insulin is often needed.
- Prevents stacking/reduced hypoglycemia: Insulin pumps track how much insulin is currently active from a previous dose and can prevent too much insulin from being delivered too soon.
- More control: Ability to suspend basal insulin delivery, set temporary basal rates, extended bolus.
- May improve clinical outcomes and quality of life!
Insulin pumps may be covered by insurance for people who have a diagnosis of diabetes and are prescribed insulin.
Automated Insulin Delivery (AID)
Automated insulin delivery is when a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) communicates directly with an insulin pump and uses an algorithm that automatically adjusts insulin delivery. AID systems aim to eliminate or reduce hypoglycemia, improve time in range, and reduce hyperglycemia to improve overall blood glucose control. AID systems are able to pause or suspend insulin delivery when a low blood glucose is predicted, or deliver additional insulin when blood glucose is above the target range with less action from the user. AID systems do require users to announce carbohydrates to prevent spikes in blood glucose at meals.