Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sensor-augmented insulin pump therapy for type 1 diabetes

We've seen some major advances in diabetes, insulin pumps, and glucose meters. I'm still waiting for the day when someone will announce that we have a fully functional artificial pancreas that doesn't require any user-input.  Then, we'll have a truly closed-loop system that doesn't require any modifications from the user. A patient with type 1 diabetes could eat anything and this artificial pancreas would adjust the insulin dosages and regulate blood sugar like a real pancreas.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently published several articles about some technology advances in the care of patients with diabetes. Those articles are:
We're probably going to see an increase in the use of continuous glucose monitors among patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Will this eventually become the "standard of care?" Right now, many people are unable to afford continuous glucose monitors and sensor-augmented pumps. How will this change over the next decade? Perhaps the biggest question is: who's going to pay for this expensive technology? If you're on the government-sponsored "public option" insurance plan, will you get coverage for this type of technology?

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