What are the innovations and significant technological advancements in treating type 2 diabetes?
Innovations in Type 2 Diabetes. The past few decades have made it easier to treat type 2 diabetes. Despite limited resources and accessibility to affordable treatment, technology and innovation in the medical field have made management and treatment of type 2 diabetes more accessible and convenient. Today, there have been significant advancements in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, which have revolutionized how we approach managing and treating the disease.
Here is a list of innovations and significant technological advancements in type 2 diabetes treatment and management.
Insulin pumps were first introduced to the market in 1974, aimed at making insulin delivery more convenient for diabetes patients who need daily injections. Since then, they have become the most suitable alternative to insulin shots, eliminating the inconvenience of self-injection. Insulin pumps are computerized devices that are implanted under the skin, continuously supplying insulin throughout the day. They typically consist of a pump, a thin plastic tube, and an infusion set.
Recent advancements in the medical field have led to the introduction of several varieties of insulin pumps. Among these, the insulin patch pump is the newest innovation that expands on traditional insulin pumps. Additionally, insulin pumps have become more ingenious over time with the addition of smart features and compatibility with Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems and smartphones.
Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs)
CGMs are an innovative way to keep track of your blood sugar levels. A small sensor attached to your skin measures glucose levels around the clock, and the CGM system sends wireless updates to your computer or personal phone. You can keep tabs on your glucose trends and monitor your levels in real time, something that’s not possible using a traditional blood glucose meter. With CGMs, you’ll get automatic glucose readings every few minutes, day or night!
CGMs eliminate the need for finger-prick tests. You will automatically know your blood sugar levels by tapping the attached sensor. Today, companies are working on connecting CGMs with insulin pumps. The integration of these devices will allow diabetes patient to manage their condition with more ease.
Oral diabetes medications
Insulin has been the primary treatment for diabetes since its discovery in the 1920s. But because not everyone with type 2 diabetes requires insulin, oral drugs have become essential. The latest advancements in treatment have made it easier to target specific types of diabetes with oral medications. Metformin, a type of biguanide, is a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. Other groups of newly developed oral diabetes medications include:
- DPP-4 inhibitors
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
- SGLT2 inhibitors
- Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists
Glucagon is used to treat severe hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. It’s an emergency treatment that can alleviate symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness, and prevent complications like coma or even death.
In recent years, new developments in glucagon treatment have emerged. One key innovation is the inhaled glucagon nasal powder, which offers a more convenient approach to treating severe hypoglycemia. Injectable pens are also available for administration.
Insulin delivery innovations
Innovations in insulin delivery have made diabetes treatment more accessible and convenient. Insulin pens and syringes allow for ease of use, while different types of insulin – including long-lasting, rapid-acting, and premixed formulas – cater to the varying needs of diabetes patients. Insulin pens are particularly useful for accurate dosing, as they come pre-programmed with the correct dosages and glycemic targets.
Development of diabetes smartphone apps
In recent years, the development of diabetes smartphone apps has grown tremendously. These apps can help patients manage their diabetes by tracking blood glucose levels, medications, and diet. Some apps offer additional features like reminders and social support to keep patients motivated. They are also widely accessible, with many available for free or at a low cost. However, it’s important to note that not all diabetes apps are created equal, and patients should choose apps that are reputable and backed by evidence-based guidelines. With the right app and proper guidance from healthcare professionals, diabetes patients can more effectively manage their condition and improve their quality of life.
In general, diabetes smartphone apps let you analyze, solve, and control your blood sugar with so much ease. These are some of our favourites:
1. MyFitnessPal: This app helps with weight management by tracking food and exercise habits.
2. Glucose Buddy: Glucose monitoring and tracking app that allows users to log blood glucose, medication, food, and exercise data.
3. Diabetes:M: A comprehensive diabetes management app that allows users to track blood glucose, medications, food, activity, and weight.
4. MySugr: An app that provides personalized diabetes coaching, blood sugar tracking, and insulin dose tracking.
5. Glooko: An app that allows users to download data from their diabetes devices into one place for easy tracking and analysis. It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these apps may vary from person to person, and patients should consult with their healthcare provider before using any new app or tool to manage their diabetes.