- According to the World Health Organization, diabetes in 2030 will be the seventh leading cause of death in the world. How relevant is this problem for USA? What will control the disease?
- The number of people suffering from diabetes is growing, according to the National Medical Research Center of Endocrinology of the Ministry of Health of the USA. There are more than 4 million patients with diabetes in the country, including about 1 million with insulin-dependent diabetes, including 30,000. patients – children and adolescents. Between 2000 and 2016, the total number of people with diabetes increased by 2.3 million.
That is, it is a fairly large social group of people who are forced to constantly monitor blood glucose levels, the effect of food and exercise to calculate when and how much insulin needs to be injected.
However, diabetes today cannot be called a sentence. It has been almost a century since the discovery of diabetes compensation, and since then a number of medical and technological discoveries have significantly improved the quality of life of people with diabetes.
Technologies for daily measurement of blood glucose are being improved. The diagnosis has become more progressive and accurate: disorders of insulin production can now be detected in the early, pre-diabetic stages. After adjusting their lifestyle, the representatives of the risk group remain healthy.
- This disease involves a high level of self-control. To what extent do patients’ capabilities depend on the technologies used in the industry?
- For many decades, glucose levels have been monitored primarily by puncturing a finger, taking a drop of blood, and analyzing it with a test strip and glucometer. In USA, this is still the most common method.
In some cases, depending on how much we control diabetes, this painful and inconvenient procedure has to be performed up to 12 times a day, day and night, which is difficult for adults and especially traumatic for children. Parents are forced to make decisions every time about the need to hurt the child. Some mothers cannot work, they have to monitor the child’s glucose levels, including when he is at school.
For its time, the home glucometer was a breakthrough. However, finger piercings for glucose analysis are not the most modern way of control and hardly correspond to a normal rhythm of life.
Abbott’s developments in diabetes management allow patients to get rid of this unpleasant procedure. And at the same time allow to control diabetes round the clock and to form the most exact picture of indicators of level of glucose that, in turn, promotes more correct recommendations of doctors on process of treatment.
- What opportunities do innovative technologies open up in diabetes monitoring?
- There has been a revolution in medical technology, and today they can dramatically influence the prolongation of patients’ lives and improve their quality. The accuracy and speed of diagnosis in this process is of great importance: up to 70% of clinical decisions are based on diagnostic data.
One of the most important technological trends in medicine and diagnostics, in particular, has been personalization. Thanks to the ability to obtain a huge array of data for each patient, doctors are able to make informed therapeutic decisions. The FreeStyle Libre continuous blood sugar monitoring sensor measures glucose levels 1,440 times a day, and based on this information, the system processes personal reports that are available to both the patient and the doctor. The difference in the amount of data of the traditional method with the Flash-monitoring system is huge – as if to compare a photo that captures the situation at the moment, with a video from which continuous data, their changes and trends are reliably known.
With new disease control technologies, people with diabetes are gaining a whole new level of freedom from routine measurements, therapy is becoming as personalized and effective as possible, and people are living full lives.
- What is the difference between Flash monitoring technology and the traditional method of measuring glucose levels? How accurate is his testimony?
- The system is based on minimally invasive sensor technology. A five-ruble coin-sized sensor is placed on the back of the patient’s shoulder, which measures the level of glucose in the intercellular fluid around the clock. The sensor is invisible under clothing, waterproof and designed for 14 days of operation, then it is simply changed. The readings are read by a compact scanner, it is enough to bring it to the sensor.
Clinical studies have shown that the accuracy of intercellular fluid glucose analysis is comparable to a blood test. Glycemic readings in the intercellular fluid lag behind the blood readings only with a sharp change in glucose levels, and this difference averages about five minutes. At the same time Flash-monitoring allows to increase frequency of measurements. A number of studies have shown a link between the control of diabetes – the frequency of measurements – with the frequency of pathological conditions: with more frequent monitoring of glucose levels, patients spend less time in hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, the average glucose level improves.
In the absence of uncomfortable, painful and numerous punctures of the fingers after just a couple of days of using the Flash-monitoring system, the frequency of measurements increases and the patient’s motivation to glucose self-control increases. On average, patients in the West who use our system check their glucose levels at least 15 times a day.
The system is able to store data for the last three months in the form of statistical graphs that reflect the full picture of the patient’s glucose profile, it is even able to assess the trend of possible changes in glucose levels and helps to correct patient behavior. Special arrows indicate in which direction the glucose level changes at a certain point in time, which helps the patient to decide on the introduction of drugs and adjust behavior during exercise, stress, food intake, thereby adhering to the target values of glucose levels. Monitoring data can be downloaded to a computer and shown to the attending physician, which will help to quickly and efficiently adjust the treatment process.
The technology gives more information to the doctor, allows you to see a complete picture of the patient’s condition 24 hours a day and seven days a week. With the help of special software, the doctor can build a so-called ambulatory glucose profile – the average profile for the last few days. The doctor sees the full picture: what was during the day, what was at night, what is the trend… He can assess the patient’s compliance with the doctor’s recommendations, consistency in diet and make timely adjustments to therapy, resulting in increased treatment effectiveness.
It is worth mentioning the possibilities of continuous and at the same time painless analysis for children. To take readings at night you do not have to wake the child and even more so to cause pain by piercing the finger.
- In the West, this system is already used. When will it officially appear in USA? What delayed the introduction of this technology?
- The FreeStyle Libre system first went on sale in 2014, and is now available in 42 countries, where it is used by more than 800 thousand. man.
In Russia, the system was officially registered in January 2018. Moscow will become a pilot region for product launch: there is a higher population density and concentration of medical institutions, which means we can make the system accessible to more patients and be confident in its proper use. Abbott makes every effort to make the system available to all USA consumers as soon as possible. Now we continue to work on the next stage of increasing production capacity, investing in expanding production. At the same time, our goal is to provide uninterrupted care to those patients to whom the system is already supplied to prevent disruptions in their daily management of diabetes.
- To what extent, in your opinion, are patients ready for a sufficiently deep level of involvement in the process of monitoring their vital signs?
- In modern society as a whole there is a great demand for improving the quality of life: sports and proper nutrition are becoming a trend among young people, there is a mass abandonment of bad habits. People with diabetes, after learning about their diagnosis, usually become more attentive to their eating behavior, introduce physical activity, their lifestyle improves markedly.
The task of the developers is to provide qualified advice and quality of the technological product. We have opened specialized centers in Moscow, where users can consult, learn how to use the device and create an account for registration in the personal account, which will allow you to make purchases on the official website in the future.
As a manufacturer, Abbott is responsible to patients for its products, and we use only the direct sales channel to guarantee the originality and quality of the device and its consumables: the company’s official website is the only distribution channel for the Flash monitoring system. This is a unique practice that has already paid off in Europe.