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Zeta

Continuous glucose monitoring for the people

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Anyone out there use, or has tried, Dexcom's continuous glucose monitor?

 

From another forum, about one of their products:

 

It has been an amazing product for me and has allowed me to have almost normal glucose levels. As a 15 year type 1 diabetic, it's not an easy thing to do. You simply insert a transmitter/sensor under the skin and for 7 days it sends continuous readings to a small receiver that needs to be within a range of 20 feet. It also sends the data to your iPhone and also an Iwatch. An app gives you amazing reports. You can actually wear the sensor much longer than 7 days. It's not unusual to use the same sensor up to 21 days. I'm pretty sure you could get the whole system, with a several month supply of sensors, for about $700.00 without insurance. You could also share this system with others since each sensor is sealed. So, a group of say six people could acquire a complete system and after a few weeks send it on to the next person. Imagine looking at a graph with your readings recorded every 5 minutes 24 hours a day. With my I-Watch I simply raise my wrist and there is my current reading, and arrows showing whether I'm trending up, down, or remaining stable. It also requires calibration once a day with a regular glucose meter. The info you would get from a few week test would give you excellent insight. Most endocrinologists do have these meters in house and attempt using them temporarily on their diabetic patients.

 

I'm intrigued.

 

Summary of the pluses and minuses of continuous monitoring:

 

http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/is-continuous-glucose-monitoring-worth-it/

 

And I like the idea of a collective purchase. Would be easiest if the group were in the same area.

 

Anyone in or near Boston interested in a collective purchase?

 

Zeta

 
Edited by Zeta

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I would be delighted to play with this or any good CGM system. Unfortunately, Dexcom requires a finger stick glucose calibration every 12 hours, and every other CGM of which I'm aware has a similar requirement. I am constitutionally incapable of deriving enough blood from a fingerstick lance to result in even one successful reading (at least in a CR state — I have no pre-CR comparison), so this is right out. But I know for a fact that this is very unusual.

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Michael, I wonder how unusual that really is. What might be unusual is your careful adherence to the "don't squeeze the finger" instruction. Most CR people I've spoken with (and, indeed, many diabetics, I now see, having googled [ glucometer interstitial fluid lancet squeeze ]) cheat at least a bit because blood simply doesn't come out of a finger stick for most people, even with the lancet set on the highest setting. They accept that the reading might be slightly low - might. Many doctors actually advise patients to milk, gently, the finger.

 

I milk the finger not so gently, wipe away the first drop, then milk gently from 1.5 to 2 cm away from the wound. Having tested (not too rigorously, I'll admit) different degrees of milking, I've concluded the accuracy is not affected to any noticeable degree.

 

Zeta

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No, really: I just don't bleed. I have spent mornings doing multiple sticks trying to get a fasting glucose and gotten no blood at all out of most sticks (and not for lack of application of force nor fortitude, snarky Mr. P!). And when I go in for bloodwork, I do jumping jacks for 30 s or so when the phlebotomist says s/he's ready, or I spend all morning dripping it out. Part of this . is my ridiculously low BP, tho' I'm sure that's not all of it.

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Michael:

 

I assume you have experimented with stabbing different parts of your finger?  I have found that some parts of mine - particularly the sides of the end digit - tend to be much more productive of blood than, for example, the tips. 

 

Rodney.

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Michael- Amazing, and unfortunate! But, you could still use the Dexcom, without calibration, and get a detailed read of changes, even if the absolute values were unreliable.

 

Zeta

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It looks like scientists have developed a temporary "tattoo" capable of continuously monitoring glucose from sweat and other fluids on the skin with the accuracy of the skin prick method. Here is a popular press story about it, and here is a photo of the "tattoo", really a stick-on patch. 

 

Wang_sensor-2.jpg

 

It is wireless and is functional for at least an entire day. The scientists say it costs "pennies".

 

It would be pretty cool when they bring something like this to market, particularly for those of us who have trouble bleeding!

 

--Dean

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Nice find, Dean! It does sound promising, though very preliminary: "We present a proof-of-concept demonstration of an all-printed temporary tattoo-based glucose sensor for noninvasive glycemic monitoring. ...  Correlation of the sensor response with that of a commercial glucose meter underscores the promise of the tattoo sensor to detect glucose levels in a noninvasive fashion. Control on-body experiments demonstrate the importance of the reverse iontophoresis operation and validate the sensor specificity." -the abstract. "At the moment, the tattoo doesn't provide the kind of numerical readout that a patient would need to monitor his or her own glucose. But this type of readout is being developed by electrical and computer engineering researchers in the Center for Wearable Sensors." -original EurekAlert! story.

 

Of course, the fact that they can produce the patches for "pennies" deosnt' mean the final product will cost pennies: Nikes and nearly all drugs cost pennies to produce, too. It's all in the IP and recouping the investment that will be required to make a final commercial integrated product (including the consumer-friendly interface) and testing sufficient for FDA approval. And tho' they emphasize the elimination of lance pricks, they don't actually say that they can actually eliminate the need for initial calibration with such, which would presumably be required for each patch. "The research team is also working on ways to make the tattoo last longer while keeping its overall cost down, he noted. "Presently the tattoo sensor can easily survive for a day." [said Bandodkar.]" -EurekAlert.

 

As it happens, I was just reading yesterday about a similar-sounding device that has a "product" webpage already, but won't actually launch until late this year, and it does indeed require lance-prick calibration for each one-day patch.

 

As it happens, I was just yes

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