The convergence of small-scale electronics and sophisticated biocompatible product designs is giving hope for a better future to millions of diabetes patients worldwide.
Glucose monitors that are designed to be implanted and can continually measure glucose levels have the capability to improve glycemic control and patient well-being. By integrating the sensing element, electronics and a power source in a single package, implantable glucose monitors are creating new options for caregivers and their diabetes patients.
The current generation of continuous glucose monitors integrate several patient-friendly features that have evolved over time, including minimally invasive sensor insertion, higher reliability and accuracy, and wireless data displays. Sector participants are targeting a segment that will continue to expand due to the aging of the population in most developed countries, new criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes that emphasizes lower glucose thresholds, and expansion of technologies into emerging market populations.
While the current generation of continuous monitors begins to address a long-awaited need, several challenges remain for product developers. Signal processing improvements — including improved signal-to-noise ratios and interference filtering — will continue to be critical to the commercialization prospects of continuous monitors. Extending sensor life beyond the current limit of 72 hours and reducing sensor drift and the need for frequent calibration are also high priorities.
While the market potential for continuous glucose monitoring is substantial, for most participants the road to commercialization will contain numerous speed bumps and delays that will strain capitalization requirements and investor patience. Successful players will be those that realize the value of partnerships and strategic alliances.
These findings are contained in a new and comprehensive report, “Continuous Glucose Monitors: the Current Generation and Beyond.” More information is available at www.applieddata.org.