We live in the era of “smart” devices. From doorbells to refrigerators to cars, items we use every day now interact with our phones or computers to give us immediate control and information that can make our lives safer and more convenient. For individuals with diabetes, the rise of “smart” insulin pens as well as continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) are transforming how they manage their condition. The technology behind these devices not only provides a better insulin delivery experience, it can also do a better job of keeping blood sugar levels in range when used in conjunction with CGM.
What Are Smart Insulin Pens?
Smart insulin pens offer not only a more user-friendly insulin delivery option but also track dosing data that users can share on digital platforms and integrate with other vital diabetes management information. They include digital caps that record data and send it to mobile apps, as well as Bluetooth connectivity that builds in data-tracking inside the device itself.
One On The Market, But Many More To Come
Currently, the only FDA-approved smart pen on the market is the InPen by Companion Medical. But many other companies are in the process of developing or testing pens with a range of capabilities, including integration with CGM technology.
When smart pens connect and share information and data with CGM, it allows the user to make dosing decisions based on real-time information about their blood sugar levels. Importantly, this increased integration will also help those with diabetes improve their amount of “time in range.”
What Is Time In Range?
Since traditional finger-pricking only provided a snapshot in time of blood sugar levels, it was difficult, if not impossible, to know where those levels were at most of the time.
CGM makes it possible to see how much time a person spends with low blood sugar, especially while sleeping, as well as the amount of time they live with high blood sugar. Greater time in range has been linked to more stable glucose control, which can minimize the chances of developing complications.
The advent of continuous glucose monitoring brought with it a new way to evaluate how well an individual with diabetes is controlling their blood sugar levels: “time in range” (TIR). This refers to the percentage of time a person with diabetes spends with their blood glucose levels in a target range. Time in range can also be understood as “hours per day” spent in-range. For example, 50% time-in-range (70-180 mg/dl) means 12 hours per day spent in-range.
In 2019, diabetes experts from around the world came together to establish clear targets for CGM metrics and optimal time-in-range. The range will vary depending on the individual, but general guidelines suggest starting with a range of 70 to 180 mg/dl.
Learn More About How CGM Can Change The Way You Manage Diabetes
CGM is a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes stay in control of their condition and their life. As smart insulin pen technology continues to develop, the use of CGM to keep blood levels in check will become even more beneficial.
Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for years or if you’ve recently received a diagnosis, CGM may be an excellent glucose monitoring solution. Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.