Tech Giants Race to Develop Pain-Free Device to Monitor Blood Sugar

Premier Health Now

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Patients with diabetes currently have the ability to use devices known as continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) to keep constant tabs on their blood sugar levels, but these also require embedding a needle underneath the skin. However, a new non-invasive technology is emerging that will allow anyone to monitor blood sugar levels in real time.

Fitbit, for example, recently invested $6 million in a technology startup called Sano. They’ve designed a thin device that can be worn painlessly against the skin and delivers immediate blood glucose level results — through hundreds of tiny “microneedles” — directly to an app on a smartphone.

Premier Health Now reached out to family practitioner Joshua Ordway, MD, of Franklin Family Practice to ask about the impact devices such as these might have on a person’s health.

Painless Results, Powerful Potential

“This could be a really powerful tool for people who maybe had no idea that they were diabetic or are at risk for developing the disease, and it does all of it without the fear of having to poke yourself with a needle,” says Dr. Ordway. “You will be able to track your numbers immediately and potentially connect the way you are feeling with what you’ve recently eaten.”

New CGM technology could play a critical role in the battle against obesity and its corollary diseases, such as diabetes, by helping people properly regulate their diet and hopefully prevent new cases from emerging. Other technology giants such as Apple and Google have also seen this technology’s potential and are investing in the development of similar tracking devices.

“The only concern I have is that this might not be made available at a lower cost,” says Dr. Ordway. “As with many things, new technology always seems to have an expensive price point. It would be amazing if everybody could have access to something like this.”

As always, talk with your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of using technology to monitor your own health.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.