To help people living with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels, more and more technologies, such as new insulin pumps or new continuous glucose monitors, are available.
These devices offer new possibilities such as :
- Continuous blood glucose meters that communicate with certain watches or smartphones to easily and discreetly check blood sugar levels. Moreover, the latest versions no longer require measuring blood glucose at the fingertip to calibrate.
- Blood glucose meters that send data directly into the cloud, making it easy to share with the healthcare team.
- Insulin pumps which, connected to a continuous blood glucose monitoring system, automatically adjust a part of the insulin administered.
These new technologies, therefore, generally offer the possibility of facilitating blood sugar management, reducing hypoglycemia and improving the quality of life of people living with type 1 diabetes.
- Technical and regulatory concerns require new safety standards. Health Canada and its American bias, the FDA, are currently considering the issue of cybersecurity of these medical devices before they are released. These guidelines should lead to improved standards for future device approvals.
- The high cost and low accessibility of new technologies that are not, for the most part, supported by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) and depend on coverage by private insurance. However, RAMQ’s recent support of the Freestyle Libre reader, under certain conditions, should allow many more people living with diabetes to access these technologies.
A recommendation from the United Kingdom.
Recently, in the United Kingdom, a consensus was reached for both decision-makers involved in access and reimbursement and for health professionals to promote access to technology. This consensus indicates when technologies should be introduced to people living with type 1 diabetes. The goal is to standardize practices and facilitate access to technologies so that more people can benefit. Recommendations are also available to ensure that people receive the right information to use these new technologies optimally.
In Quebec, there is currently no consensus on the subject. However, it is hoped that decisions will be made considering the benefits of technology for people living with type 1 diabetes.
Among the goals of the BETTER project we want to identify the people and the situations in which these new technologies make it possible to better control blood sugar levels. We are developing an online training program that aims, among other things, to make optimal use of these technologies.
If you’re living with type 1 diabetes, do not wait and register now for the BETTER registry, one of the goals of which is to promote better access to technologies:
- P. Choudhary, F. Campbell, N. Joule & P. Kar (2019), A Type 1 diabetes technology pathway: consensus statement for the use of technology in Type 1 diabetes,Diabetic Medicine Volume 36, Issue 5, p 531-538.
- Editorial, Type 1 diabetes technology: advances and challenges.Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, The, 2019-09-01, Volume 7, Issue 9, Pages 657-657