Types of Wearable Diabetes Technology

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Roughly 34.2 million American adults have diabetes.

About 7.3 million of these cases remain undiagnosed.

Approximately one third of grown-ups in the United States are dealing with prediabetes. That’s 88 million people in 2020.

Examining past data, it is clear that diabetes is increasing steadily.

Diabetes rates rose from 4.9% in 1990 to a shockingly high 6.5% eight years later in 1998. Today, glucose control is an even bigger issue.

Doctors and individuals living with diabetes are always looking for new methods that can help alleviate the numerous issues associated with the condition.

Researchers and producers are investigating wearable gadgets which can more effectively manage this situation.

Some of these options are FDA-approved. While others are yet to hit the market.

We will delve into the various types of this wearable technology and examine how they operate.

What Makes Technology Such a Key Aspect in Diabetes Management?

This long-term sickness necessitates careful oversight, the necessary insulin dosage, and self-surveillance. In 2020, the total market worth of wearable devices for diabetes care was estimated to be $25.9 billion.

Experts predict that the yearly increment rate of this phenomenon will increase drastically to 6.6% between 2021 and 2028.

North America remains the chief revenue-generating region. Given the ever-increasing advances in technology, it’s to be expected that the market will rise. As obesity continues to increase, more and more medical-related technology has become necessary.

Technology is here to assist individuals in the management of diabetes on a day-to-day basis. By using continuous glucose monitoring, patients can have improved control of this long-term health issue.

Studies have indicated that technology related to diabetes is beneficial in assisting with activities such as taking medication, following a nutritious diet, performing physical activity, and keeping track of potential health problems.

Technology associated with diabetes helps to encourage patients to look after their wellbeing.

The patient will gain insight into their actions regarding diabetes as they receive feedback on their behavior through sight. This promotes better problem-solving and decision-making. It helps the patient make better treatment plans.

Types of Wearable Tech for Diabetes

Studies suggest that keeping diabetes in check can slow down the progress of complications associated with it.

Since 2018, the Federal Drug Administration has sanctioned a few diabetes technologies that can offer assistance.

Wearable diabetes tech involves the use of:

  • Automatic insulin pump
  • Continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM)

Insulin Pump – What Makes It So Useful?

Prior to automated insulin delivery systems being available, individuals had to utilize insulin shots in order to regulate their insulin levels.

They would need to self-inject the proper insulin dose. The insulin pump created convenience and efficiency. It also removed the need for manual insulin delivery.

Research indicates around 350,000 people in the United States have an insulin pump. Approximately 30,000 individuals are managing type 2 diabetes.

The most noteworthy products include Tandem t: slim X2, Insulet Omnipod DASH, and Roche Accu-Chek Spirit Combo.

How Does It Work?

The pump is not larger than a pack of playing cards. And people can wear it with ease. The catheter (or thin tube) provides adequate insulin delivery. A machine with a pre-programmed setting is used to dispense insulin.

First, it dispenses small amounts of quick-acting insulin. Then, a dose of insulin which changes in amount when a large meal is taken, known as a bolus.

An insulin pump provides a continual, slow release of insulin that increases bit by bit in 0.01 unit intervals per hour. Simply put, it mimics the human pancreas.

Even though the cost of obtaining supplies necessary for insulin delivery can be costly, some of the expenses can be paid for through insurance.

How Effective Is It?

As of 2019, insulin pumps have been shown to be an extremely efficient, dependable, and safe choice of treatment for recently diagnosed individuals – in particular, children who find it challenging to stick to the dosage of multiple injections throughout the day. Insulin treatment is extremely important for keeping glucose and insulin levels in check.

Bear in mind that the insulin pen costs less and requires less instruction to operate than a pump. The patient must always check their glucose levels prior to administering the injection.

It is important to speak with your doctor if you require intense insulin treatments or are considering using injected insulin on a constant basis. They can provide you with guidance on the most effective way to manage your condition.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) – How Can It Turn the Tide?

Countless Americans are using a CGM device. Analysis from data suggests that there has been a major increase in the use of continuous glucose monitoring systems for individuals who have type 1 diabetes. The percentage of it rose rapidly, increasing from 6% in 2011 to 12% in a period of three years. By 2016, there was an increase of 24%, and by 2018, it had risen to 38%.

How Does It Work?

A persistent glucose monitor has been created to monitor blood glucose levels to achieve better glycemic regulation. It is able to track glucose levels continually, both during the day and night. These measurements document all of the changes in blood sugar levels over several hours and days. This assists individuals with type 1 diabetes in making educated choices.

They can utilize glucose surveillance to adjust the dose of medicine, amount of food intake, and physical activity. In order for a CGM to operate, it requires a tiny sensor to be placed beneath the skin. It goes on the arm or belly. The sensor is a key aspect of diabetes care. The reason why it evaluates the sugar levels in the bloodstream is because it measures the sugar levels found in the liquid that’s located in between cells.

The newest CGM can be attached to either a tablet or smartphone, which makes continuous glucose monitoring much easier. The CGM is known for its distinctive attribute of continually logging information. If the Continuous Glucose Monitor results reveal any issues, the alarm will alert you.

How Effective Is It?

Every device has its limitations. CGM is no exception. A CGM unit may not be perfectly accurate. The longer you wear it, the better the results. Don’t worry if the precision is not exact in the first day. The accuracy and amount of glucose in the system will be different depending on where on the body it is and how often it is being used.

According to experts, the accuracy declines with time. Its durability will vary based on the device. Some patients wear the CGM unit for 3 weeks. Some people are only able to achieve up to seven to ten days of use. At present, the Dexcom G5 Mobile has been granted authorization to make substantial decisions.

Recently, however, another Dexcom CGM gained momentum. The most up-to-date product out there for monitoring of glucose levels is the Dexcom G6 CGM. This CGM system has been calibrated by the manufacturer, unlike earlier CGM models. That means you don’t need any fingersticks. The transmitter, sensor, and display device are able to be used with a smart unit.

If you have any questions concerning the diabetes equipment you are working with, ask a specialist. The blood glucose level tends to fluctuate regularly. It would be beneficial to have access to a diabetes educator. Their counsel can assist you in controlling your hypoglycemia and understanding the information your CGM device provides.

‘Noninvasive’ Glucose Monitoring for Diabetes: Where Is It Now?

Scientists have hoped for many years to invent a device that can determine the blood glucose level of diabetics without having to puncture the skin or take a blood sample.

Why wouldn’t people with diabetes be attracted to a patch that can detect blood sugar levels in sweat, or a wristband that constantly broadcasts glucose information to an app via radio frequency technology?

Several companies are making progress in the area of non-invasive continual glucose monitoring (CGM) even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, there has been a lot of expectations with few practical results, as efforts to craft such items have failed.

In October 2021, the Diabetes Technology Society released a report exploring the subject matter, highlighting the enormous interest in a precise non-invasive glucose sensor and the great amount of publicity generated by companies who announce the development of such a device, despite the limited amount of data associated with those products.

In spite of this, professionals working in the technology related to diabetes are of the opinion that the possibility of having non-invasive gadgets is great. Furthermore, market analysts are forecasting a strong market for the next half-decade.

Experts point out that several systems are being created both to be used in domestic households as well as within medical facilities and hospitals. The first type of device is something that can be worn, while the second type of device will be either nonwearable or a system that can be placed on a table.

The systems that are being made are divided by the technology utilized to measure blood sugar levels, predominantly diverse kinds of spectroscopy, a strategy of recognizing chemicals by how molecules interact with electromagnetic radiation.

The use of lasers that do not penetrate the skin for spectroscopy has been the subject of investigation for many years. A team of scientists from MIT and other institutes have discovered that when used correctly, continuous readings of blood glucose can be achieved with a high degree of accuracy.

In a June 2021 academic review article, the Diabetes Technology Society (DTS), headed by Dr. David Klonoff of the University of California, San Francisco, and Medical Director at the Diabetes Research Institute at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, pointed to the many obstructions that exist but still forecast that noninvasive devices show optimism for success in years to come.

Notably, the article authors classified, for the first time, bloodless glucose monitoring products into three categories:

  1. Noninvasive optical glucose monitoring (NIO-GM): when a noninvasive measurement involves passing a type of radiation into a vascular region of the body.
  2. Noninvasive fluid sampling (NIFS-GM): analyzes a fluid sample (tears, sweat, saliva, urine, etc.) that’s collected without an invasive procedure.
  3. Minimally invasive devices (MI-GM): involves insertion of a sensor into the subcutaneous tissue underneath the skin, such as existing continuous glucose monitoring technology that exists today.

It has been predicted by the DTS authors that products for monitoring glucose levels without drawing blood are going to be essential pieces for developing fresh digital health machines for tracking glucose levels both regarding diabetes and fitness.

Let’s take a look at some companies making progress. Remember that although numerous businesses have attempted to do so throughout the years but failed, new and more audacious companies keep coming up in this area.


At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early January 2022, Scanbo, an AI company located in British Columbia, demonstrated their technology which would enable individuals to get their glucose levels measured in just sixty second by placing their finger, eliminating the need for a traditional drop of blood. The company has created a model that puts together a three-wire ECG test and a Photoplethysmogram (PPG) to identify changes in the amount of blood. Put your hands on the light colored sensors, and the program applies combinations of instructions to discover and give knowledge about sugar amounts.

Hagar Technology’s GWave

Hagar Technology, a firm situated in Israel, lately grabbed some attention after being granted fast track status from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following a cycle of investments from investors. The firm is formulating something categorised as the GWave, a device fitted within a ceramic, lightweight, and comfy bracelet that can be donned around the wrist and employs radio signals to discover blood sugar amounts. The product will be as small as a smartwatch and connect with a mobile application, letting people with diabetes access their glucose readings on their smartphones and disperse the info with their diabetes treatment team.

The company has made it known that clinical tests are currently ongoing.


Nemaura Medical, which is located in the United Kingdom, has had their product SugarBEAT green-lit for use in Europe. This patch is small and must be affixed to your skin for a full day before being taken off and replaced. The rectangular transmitter with a special adhesive backing sends data wirelessly to an accompanying smartphone app via Bluetooth at 5-minute intervals.

The firm claims that utilizing this method entails the application of a minor electric flow to the skin, which encourages a few molecules like glucose to migrate towards a patch placed on the body. These molecules are extracted from the interstitial liquid, which is situated just beneath the surface of the skin.

Nemaura initially presented this to the Food and Drug Administration in the center of 2019, yet the firm had to make another application in the subsequent year with extra examination figures. Then, the pandemic began. The company said that they desire to keep talking to regulators shortly to advance, but there is no set time frame.

In the interim, they are introducing a proBEAT product in America which is not subjected to official regulations. It was created for those with type 2 diabetes as well as for people who do not require constant blood sugar readings. Their program incorporates the device as part of an eating regimen, initially created by the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and administered by healthcare professionals.

Know Labs

Know Labs, located in Seattle, Washington, is making two products that include Bio-RFID technology. This technology takes advantage of radio waves to detect particular molecular patterns in the blood without the need for direct contact. In 2018, Visualant became a different tech firm and started building devices such as a wrist-strap and a finger-scanner that provide people with glucose readings without puncturing the skin.

  • UBand is a wristband with a built-in biosensor designed to continuously monitor glucose levels. It won’t have a display screen, but instead, the readings will be sent directly to a smartphone app. They’re expecting it to have a battery life of 7 days before you would need to recharge it. This product is aimed at people with diabetes who are interested in a noninvasive CGM.
  • KnowU is a device that sort of resembles a traditional fingerstick glucose meter in that it’s small enough to fit into your pocket — but it doesn’t require test strips. Instead, you’d take the sensor off the base and scan it over your palm to generate readings that would then display on the base device itself or be beamed wirelessly to a smartphone app.


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