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Displaying continuous glucose monitoring


Professionals agree: continuous glucose monitoring can help in managing type 1 diabetes

A new clinical guideline spells out that continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) can be a beneficial tool to help maintain target blood glucose levels, and limit the risk of hypoglycaemia.

The guideline was developed by the Endocrine Society, an international organisation for researchers and clinicians who work on hormone disorders like type 1 diabetes. The complete guideline is published in the current issue of Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

A team of experts from the society reviewed all of the evidence around CGM use published to date in order to come up with the new guidelines. They found that there was high-quality evidence to recommend the use of real-time CGM in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes who are at least eight years old, and in adults with type 1 diabetes as well. But the guideline does stress that CGMs are only useful if the person with type 1 is prepared to use it on a daily basis.

The chair of the task force that drew up the guideline, Dr David Klonoff of Mills-Peninsula Health Services in San Mateo, California, said “There are some caveats to consider before accepting continuous monitoring of glucose as a routine measure to improve glycaemic control in diabetes. There are still concerns about the high costs of CGM and the accuracy of the various systems available. However, the new CPG shows that CGM can be a beneficial tool to help maintain target levels of glycaemia and limit the risk of hypoglycaemia.”

Rachel Connor Head of Research Communication at JDRF UK said “This new clinical guideline may help to convince some clinicians, who may still feel uncertain about the accuracy and usefulness of CGM, that this technology has a place in the management of type 1 diabetes.”

The Endocrine Society’s patient education affiliate, The Hormone Society has produced a really helpfulpatient guide to CGM, which includes information about the new recommendations.


$1.9 billion potential healthcare saving for USA with artificial pancreas

A study carried out on behalf of JDRF in the US has revealed the potential savings that could be made to the Medicare programme (which provides health insurance to those over 65 years old or who have disabilities) because of the artificial pancreas. These savings are estimated to total $1.9 billion over 25 years.
The JDRF Artificial Pancreas project aims to link an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to provide automatic, real-time monitoring of blood glucose and delivery of insulin. Early studies of a prototype artificial pancreas have already shown clinical improvements in blood glucose control.

The research team, led by Dr Michael J. O’Grady, modelled 25 years of medical costs for people between 30 and 60 years old. Their analysis revealed the accumulated cost savings resulting from avoiding complications in this group.

Poorly controlled blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes can cause complications later in life, such as diabetic eye disease and cardiovascular disease. A new technology that can significantly slow or stop the progression of these has the potential to deliver substantial health and financial benefits.