Diabetes Device Guide

What Kind of Diabetes Tech is Out There?

Diabetes technology has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and we want you to be informed and educated about your choices and what is available not "someday," but today. Whether you are a novice, intermediate, or expert with diabetes tech, follow this guide to get the most out of your gear!

Need more guidance on what diabetes technology is available for you? Check out DiabetesWise to see if your devices are still the right fit for you.

What's New in Diabetes Technology in 2019?

Are you wondering what new technology is out there in the land of diabetes? Are you interested in what’s in the pipeline to keep your blood sugars in check? We’re here to give you a little more info on what is currently available (hot off the press). We will discuss Tandem’s Basal-IQ, the Omnipod Dash and Eli Lilly’s glucagon nasal spray.

What is Basal-IQ?

If you haven’t seen it yet, the Tandem t:slim X2 pump has Basal-IQ. It is an automated insulin delivery system that combines the t:slim X2 insulin pump, the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and a built-in Basal-IQ algorithm that automatically suspends basal rate when a low is coming. This is a first step into a closed-loop system from Tandem and it is great at avoiding the lows in the middle of the night. The t:slim X2 will automatically suspend delivery if you are heading towards a low.

 

I’ve heard about the Omnipod DASH, but what is it and when is it coming?

The good news is that it is out and available! The Omnipod DASH System combines a tubeless, waterproof wearable Pod that provides up to 72 hours of non-stop insulin with an easy-to-use, touch-screen, Bluetooth-enabled Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) that looks like a normal smartphone. To learn more about the new system, click here.

 

I heard there is a new Glucagon shot and it’s not a shot…

You heard correctly. BAQSIMI, also known as the new glucagon nasal powder, is the first and only dry nasal spray that can treat severe hypoglycemia. It is a form of glucagon given as a puff in the nose. In a study, BAQSIMI raised blood sugar successfully in 100% of patients ages 4 through 16 within an average time of about 12 minutes. BAQSIMI has not been studied in children under the age of 4 years, but if it works, it will be a great alternative to the glucagon shot that needs to be administered carefully and by someone who knows what they are doing. BAQSIMI can be given in a low blood sugar emergency even if you are passed out, because BAQSIMI does not need to be inhaled.

These are just some examples of advancements in diabetes therapy that we wanted to shed light on but there are many more available and in the pipeline. If you need a refresher on your available options, check out our Glucose Monitoring and Insulin Delivery comparison guides and our tips for upgrading your diabetes device game below!

Technology for Delivering Insulin

What is an insulin pump? An insulin pump is a device about the size of a cell phone that contains a cartridge of rapid-acting insulin. A pump has a screen and buttons for programming the pump's internal computer, and a precise motor that pushes the insulin from the cartridge into your body through a thin plastic tube called an infusion set.

Want to compare different methods of delivering insulin?

Check out our Insulin Delivery Comparison Chart.

Got a question about insulin pumps?

Visit our Diabetes Devices FAQ to learn more.

Technology for Monitoring Glucose

What is a CGM? A CGM (continuous glucose monitor) is a way to measure glucose levels in real-time throughout the day and night. A tiny electrode called a glucose sensor is inserted under the skin to measure glucose levels in tissue fluid. It is connected to a transmitter that sends the information via wireless radio frequency to a display device or cell phone.

Want to compare different models?

Check out our Glucose Monitoring Comparison Chart.

Got a question about CGMs?

Visit our Diabetes Devices FAQ to learn more.

What kind of diabetes tech user are you?

1

Novice

Tech User

Who You Are

You might be pretty new to diabetes or you might just be happy with your ‘old school’ ways. If it isn't broken, why fix it? 

 

If you’ve had diabetes for a while and your control is awesome with your current methods, by all means, feel free to disregard the rest of the page! If you are interested in adopting more technology for your diabetes, read on.

What You're Using

You are most likely on needles or pens, daily injections and should be checking your blood sugar 4-6 times a day.

Tips to Level Up

Educate yourself and better understand the options out there. Read up on some common questions about pumps and CGMs in our Diabetes Devices FAQ.

 

Maybe the next time you’re in clinic, you can ask the Diabetes Educator to touch and feel the different Insulin Pumps.

Check out our ‘Introduction to Insulin Pump’ class today detailed on the Clinical Programs page.

 

Check out books like Pumping Insulin by John Walsh to better understand what an pump is and it’s capabilities.

2

Intermediate

Tech User

Who You Are

You understand your choices and consider yourself ‘diabetes technology aware.’

 

You know what to do when you’re high, you know what to do when you’re low. In other words, you have a pretty good control on things.

 

Perhaps you are new to the world of pumping or you’ve been a loyal, long-term pump user for a while.

What You're Using

You are using an insulin pump and are supposed to check your blood sugar 4-6 times a day (but let’s be honest, sometimes it’s more and sometimes it’s less).

Tips to Level Up

Did you know most CGMs check your sugar continuously and with accuracy - no more middle of the night checking (just take a glance at the CGM and you’re good to continue your zzz’s). It is still recommended to check yourself 4-6 times a day, but if you are wearing a CGM, you can see exactly when you’re high and low throughout the day. You have a much better idea of your trends and habits.

Check out these comparison charts of the latest CGM devices and Insulin Pumps.

 

Check out books like The Pink Panther Book on Understanding Insulin Pumps, Continuous Glucose Monitors and the Artificial Pancreas.

3

Expert

Tech User

Who You Are

You are an expert technology user, and you know your diabetes tech options. You also know that technology is always changing and that the diabetes landscape is constantly shifting.

 

Perhaps you have a pump or a CGM, but not both..."what’s the point of having two sites"? Or you are a pump and CGM user and would love to learn some tips and tricks of the trade.

What You're Using

An insulin pump, CGM, both, or just one - and it’s by choice.

Tips to Level Up

Brush up on diet tips and tricks to improve your BG control even further. Check out sites like DiaTribe for ideas!

Did you know a recent study has shown that CGM could lead to better HbA1c values?

"Randomized controlled studies have provided evidence that...HbA1c results can be improved in patients with type 1 diabetes with elevated baseline HbA1c when using a CGM frequently enough..."

(Source)

 

Stay updated; stay educated and learn about the many options out there. Check out these comparison charts of the latest CGM devices and Insulin Pumps.

 

Do you have a digital watch to see your CGM data? Are you using a closed-loop system or do you prefer your trusty Dexcom and pump? Are you on a G4 or G5?

 

Check out expert classes such as Advanced Pump Features or Refresher Class given by our clinic or read books like John Walsh’s Pumping Insulin: Everything for Success on an Insulin Pump and CGM.

Also, check out this guide for Dexcom G5 CGM users that was developed by a fellow pediatric endocrinologist with tips for real time use of CGM. If you are interested in using these tips, please discuss with the diabetes team.

CGM and sharing data gave us a lifeline and freedom that we didn't know even existed.

- Amy O, parent of 2 T1D patients

© 2019 Regents of the University of Michigan