07 August 2021

Diabetic Technology

2 weeks ago, my primary care nurse practitioner introduced me to the Dexcom G6 CGM. "CGM" stands for Constant Glucose Monitor. As near as I can tell, this technology is a spin off from the insulin pumps that some diabetics use.

The G6 uses a small sensor about the size of 2 dimes and about 1/32 inch thick that is attached to the skin by an adhesive tape and a tiny needle. It comes with a precision injector / applicator the use of which is completely painless. Using a Bluetooth transmitter, the sensor reports every other minute, to the smartphone system.

This is transformative. I have been testing my blood sugar (BG) a lot by contemporary standards -- 5 times a day. I have been able to stay touch with my BG and determine how much if any insulin I required. With the Dexcom system I test automatically 12 times per hour! I don't have 5 lancet test punctures in my fingers every day. Instead I have three utterly painless sensor insertions a month. Dexcom have even managed a hypoallergenic tape.

In addition to precision, the app allows me to share the information. So now, in a new and precise way, Sue-z can monitor my BG. I have settable alarms so that the system lets us both know if I am low sugar. We are learning to avoid emergencies, and more effectively control BG.

This has led to some interesting conversations. How should Sue-z react to a critical low warning? When should a combination of a warning and an inability to wake me lead to a 911 call? Should she ever inject insulin for me, or spoon feed honey? Dexcom gives us information that leads to these conversations.

When Drs. Banting McCloud and Best discovered insulin and how it works they changed the life prospects for diabetics. Refinements in treatment including the patient's portable BG meter, and the insulin injection followed by the pump made life expectancy rise and quality of life improve. This system, with the sensor, transmitter, and software, is near the peak of the current technology. It empowers diabetics, family, and medical personnel in a new way.

The bonus is the kind and effective customer service one receives when you call Dexcom. In the world of technology and mass production, this company, and this device are special.

1 comment:

Christal said...

Very cool, Dad! Technology is amazing. ❤❤❤

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