From Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:
Have you had the opportunity to review the new GlucoWatch non-invasive, automatic, continuous blood monitoring device? It seems to be a giant leap forward in assisting good control. If not, are there any plans to do so?
The GlucoWatch Biographer is now available in the US. It is quite expensive at US$ 595 for the starter kit and US$ 4.36 for each 12 hour sensor. There have been some problems with this instrument in a study on children because the two hour equilibration malfunctioned in a significant percentage of instances. This has been corrected in the GlucoWatch II which will not be available until near the end of the year. The original version can then be upgraded for US$ 50. It is not yet officially FDA approved for children over the age of age seven, but it has been recommended that this be expedited.
It is certainly an important technical achievement, but my personal guess is that it will be a device reserved for special occasions (e.g. early morning hypoglycemia, during intercurrent infections and in vigorous non contact exercise), and that increased use of insulins like Lantus (insulin glargine), Humalog, and Novolog with carbohydrate counting and with meters like the FreeStyle or One Touch® Ultra will do much to ensure acceptable control and at a more modest cost.
Original posting 14 May 2002
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections
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