Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring in Diabetes

August 17, 2011
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One of the fundamental challenges in managing diabetes, especially insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (or “juvenile onset” diabetes) is the lag between a sharp trend in blood glucose levels (up or down) and the diabetic’s awareness.  The sooner a diabetic can become aware of becoming hypo- or hyperglycemic, the sooner he/she can act to preempt this adverse affects, some of which (especially for hypoglycemia) can be dangerous.

One of the fundamental challenges in managing diabetes, especially insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (or “juvenile onset” diabetes) is the lag between a sharp trend in blood glucose levels (up or down) and the diabetic’s awareness.  The sooner a diabetic can become aware of becoming hypo- or hyperglycemic, the sooner he/she can act to preempt this adverse affects, some of which (especially for hypoglycemia) can be dangerous.

Couple this with another fundamental challenge in diabetes — the need for painful, frequent blood glucose testing involving finger pricks for blood sampling — and it becomes clear why continuous blood glucose monitoring (cBGM), especially non-invasive, holds potential.  While the challenge of providing cBGM is currently more economic than technical, as a practical matter the solution has not yet emerged that is supported by industry.

Below (and based on an inquiry from a Quora member) is a 2010 listing (perhaps in need of  a recent update) of manufacturers developing continuous blood glucose monitors.

Developers of Continuous Blood Glucose Monitors

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Company Product Key Features Regulatory Status
Abbott FreeStyle Navigator Advanced hypo- and hyperglycenia alarms. Has integrated FreeStyle meter for calibration Approved
AiMedics Pty Ltd. HypoMon Noninvasive, electro-physiological, chest skinÐbased In development
ArKal Medical (Unnamed) Improved convenience and ease In development
Biorasis Inc. (Bio-Orasis) Glucowizzard Implantable sensor In development
Cascade Matrix, Inc. Based on the AutoSampler automated vascular blood sampling system Noninvasive mid-infrared/microfluid Developmental
DexCom, Inc. SEVEN Can be worn up to 7 days Approved
DexCom, Inc. SEVEN PLUS Can be worn up to 7 days. Adds trends, alerts and alarms Approved
Echo Therapeutics (formerly Sontra Medical) Symphony tCGS Noninvasive (needle-free), wireless, transdermal, sonophoresis In pilot trials
GluMetrics, Inc. GluCath Single-use catheter and sensor system for real-time intravenous monitoring of patientÕs glucose; for hospital use In development
Medtronic iPro 2 Professional Disposable glucose sensor. Small automatic data recorder. Small, lightweight, watertight. Allows 288 readings in 24 hour period, uploadable via internet for remote access CE Mark, launched outside the U.S.in June 2010, approval pending in 22 other countries
Medtronic Paradigm REAL-Time Paradigm CGM combined with Minimed pump Approved
Medtronic Guardian REAL-Time CGM only Approved
Menarini GlucoDay S For type 1 and type 2 diabetics Approved in Europe
Roche SCGM1 Glucose measurement at 5 min intervals for up to 4 days. Microdialysis-based measurement Investigational
Ultradian Diagnostics Biologue Wireless, predict and alarm user 20 minutes of a high or low glucose level, calibration-free interface to an insulin pump In development
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Source:  Report #D510, “Diabetes Management: Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities Worldwide 2009-2018”, Report #D510.