Diabetes: Outlook for Monitoring, Management, and Technology Development

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Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the normal mechanisms for controlling the level of sugar in the bloodstream break down. There are two main types of diabetes mellitus, known as type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body wrongly identifies beta cells as being foreign and destroys them. The only current treatment option is to administer insulin, to replace that which should have been produced by beta cells.

In type 2 diabetes insulin continues to be produced but the tissues on which it should act no longer respond adequately, or at all, to it. A variety of drugs, which can be given orally, have been developed to treat type 2 diabetes, but about one-third of individuals with this condition also, eventually, need insulin.

Diabetes, as a disease driving significant healthcare costs, has become a key target of healthcare advocates and manufacturers, especially since its comorbidity with obesity, an increasingly prevalent problem worldwide, has made it a prima facie condition that can be readily managed clinically. Its association with obesity stems from strong clinical evidence that type 2 may simply be eliminated by addressing obesity. In turn, type 1 (also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) is a condition readily managed through control of blood glucose by routine testing and regulated insulin infusion. Indeed, there are few healthcare conditions that can either be eliminated (as in elimination of type 2 diabetes by aggressive obesity management) or readily managed by routine testing and intervention (as in type 1).

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #D510.

Global expenditures in management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes stand at $36 billion annually. This level of expenditure creates obvious opportunities, between a one-time surgical intervention (e.g., gastric bypass) that may eliminate type 2 diabetes and the supply of blood glucose monitoring and insulin infusion products that may preempt type 1 diabetes from being any kind of obstacle to a normal healthy and active lifestyle.

Manufacturers have taken this opportunity to pursue diabetes management products that are ever more capable of normalizing diabetics’ daily lives. This has resulted in advances in continuous blood glucose monitoring, pain-free blood sampling, safer and more effective type 2 diabetes drugs and even development of “artificial pancreas” devices to provide autonomous (closed loop) monitoring and infusion of insulin.



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I serve the interests of medical technology company decision-makers, venture-capitalists, and others with interests in medtech producing worldwide analyses of medical technology markets for my audience of mostly medical technology companies (but also rapidly growing audience of biotech, VC, and other healthcare decision-makers). I have a small staff and go to my industry insiders (or find new ones as needed) to produce detailed, reality-grounded analyses of current and potential markets and opportunities. I am principally interested in those core clinical applications served by medical devices, which are expanding to include biomaterials, drug-device hybrids and other non-device technologies either competing head-on with devices or being integrated with devices in product development. The effort and pain of making every analysis global in scope is rewarded by my audience's loyalty, since in the vast majority of cases they too have global scope in their businesses. Specialties: Business analysis through syndicated reports, and select custom engagements, on medical technology applications and markets in general/abdominal/thoracic surgery, interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, patient monitoring/management, wound management, cell therapy, tissue engineering, gene therapy, nanotechnology, and others.
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