HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Regular medical appointments are crucial for diabetic patients. That care is getting easier, and with less pain, thanks to a new monitoring system recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Say goodbye to weekly sensor insertions. It's called the Eversense Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, and it's engineered for long lasting accuracy and easy access to information you want.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring, or CGM, automatically measures your glucose levels and provides early warnings when your sugar's trending low or high. Eversense can even predict where your levels are up to 30 minutes in advance. People ages 18 and up with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes will soon be able to use it for up to three months.
Doctors describe it as a tiny rod about the size of a small pill that's implanted under the skin in the upper arm area. It provides alerts you can see and hear through a smartphone app, plus feel through vibrations, offering an additional safety advantage, even during sleep.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Richardson with Conway Medical Center said with any difficult disease to control, like diabetes, technology is crucial for helping patients.
"Well I think it's just a sign of the times. As we're seeing more and more advances and more we can do more and more from local technology now, this is just yet another sign of the times that medical technology is advancing and keeping up with everything else. So, it's a great deal in my opinion - all these technological advances just make our jobs easier and hopefully benefit the patients," said Richardson.
Although the insertion procedure is something that must be done by a medical professional every 3 months, it still provides patients a longer lasting monitoring system than others. Mike Gill, vice president of Senseonics, which created Eversense, says the annual cost for the system including the physician fees will be around $5,000 to $6,000.
The American Diabetes Association states the disease affects about 1 in 11 people in our country, and the growing epidemic leads to higher risk of health complications in the future.
Dr. Richardson said diabetes' number one driver is obesity. Specifically, here in the southeast, he's seen a constant increase in obesity, which leads to several other health problems. He wants people to know moderation is key.
"From my perspective, just to see - I always encourage my patients, to get you to know that activity level has to be up. Try to get some exercise. You know, just seeing people say, I don't have time to go to the gym or the gym is intimidating. I get that, I understand it completely. But something's better than nothing. So, getting that exercise, trying to watch better of what we eat, we are what we eat literally, so we need to be cognizant of that," said Richardson.
Senseonics is working on continuously improving the life of the sensor and also working on removing the need to wear a transmitter, which can be a huge benefit for diabetic patients in the long run.