People with diabetes, especially those with insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes, have to be constantly aware of their blood sugar levels. Before and after each meal, blood sugar is usually checked, and it is these numbers that determine subsequent dosing amounts of insulin. Many blood glucose monitors require the patient to use a spring-loaded needle on a fingertip to get a small prick of blood. While one finger stick is not so bad, with multiple testing times each day, some patients can wind up with as many as a dozen sticks a day, and that can be painful.
A new monitor, designed to work with a smartphone app, monitors blood sugar levels continuously. A sensor that has a small needle that's placed just under the skin is worn on the torso. Throughout the day, blood sugar levels are recorded and via the app patients can see how their levels have fluctuated during the day. Insulin doses are also recorded. The sensor can be worn for ten days before being changed out. The app allows patients to set alerts so that if levels are getting too low or too high, they are notified. The sensor takes a day or so to calibrate itself and produce accurate values, but once it does, the convenience for patients, not to mention the reduction of finger sticks is appreciated.