Today we´re used to manage diabetes with the help of smartphones, applications and many other electronic devices. But how did diabetes management look like some decades ago? This article briefly reviews the evolution of diabetes health-care.
Nowadays we dispose over many applications and devices that help us to control our diabetes 24/7. At the beginning, controlling your diabetes can be quiet challenging and we often feel overwhelmed, with so many new tasks which should become habits the sooner the better. Especially when we have a child with diabetes, we often have sleepless nights and live with the constant fear of unpleasant hypoglycemias! So how did people even manage all this without apps and electronic devices?
The discovery of Insulin
From how people test their glucose levels to how long they can expect to live; almost everything has changed over the past 50 years for people with diabetes. “Before the discovery of insulin, a diagnosis of diabetes meant certain death.” Even on a strict diet, life expectations of a diabetic didn´t increase 3 to 4 years.
Diabetes could kill me?
Even after the discovery of insulin and many years of research, back in the 50’s people with diabetes were expected to live into their 40’s or early 50’s. Today a person with diabetes has the same life expectations than anyone else.
In the early 20’s, one of the first treatment options of type 1 diabetes was to inject animal insulin, which came from cows or pigs and sometimes caused adverse reactions in people. Today, we are able to use human insulin, produced by microorganisms. There are not only fewer adverse reactions to it, we also don´t have to worry about running out of it.
How did I know my glucose levels?
Another big change has also been made in the way that glucose levels are tested. The only way to asses diabetes control back then, was by testing for sugar in the patient´s urine. Today we have numerous different ways to measure average blood glucose levels. Not only punctual tests are possible, even measurements over a three-month period (so called A1C Tests), which shows if the person is on the right way or not, are possible.
How did the presence of smartphones affect diabetes management?
Diabetes management has evolved with the presence of smartphones, offering a serious of applications to assist technologically savvy users. This rapidly growing field of mobile apps has changed the way of diabetes monitoring significantly. Self-monitoring of blood glucose is recognized as an important tool for guiding management strategies and decision making for everyone, patients and their carers and of course, their doctors. Historically, patients have used paper log books to document their blood glucose values and report their findings to their doctors at their next scheduled appointment. Advances in blood glucose meters and mobile technology have empowered patients to record blood glucose values electronically on the go.
In addition to the recording of blood glucose values, most of the apps also offer special features
Nutrition databases and carbohydrate tracking, are very popular among these specials.
Monitoring carbohydrate and caloric intake are important basics to maintain an optimal glycemic control. Food directly affects our blood glucose levels and therefore also the amount of insulin that a person needs. The apps shouldn´t only monitor the glucose levels, and alert when there´s already a hyperglycemia, but also help to make right nutritional choices from the beginning.
Beside the food intake, physical activity and modest weight loss have shown improve in insulin resistance and overall health. We all know classical fitness apps, that should help us to stay motivated and show us new fitness activities through visualization.
The FreeStyle Libre Sensor
I guess everyone related with diabetes is familiar to the FreeStyle Libre Sensor, using it or once read about it. The sensor from Abbott, is the most spread on the market, and plays an important role in diabetes management nowadays. A small sensor automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings day and night, with every scan you get your current glucose reading, the last 8 hours of glucose data and an arrow showing the direction your glucose is heading. The Sensor can be used two weeks and is designed to be water-resistant.
I can obtain glucose readings without having to scan or pinch myself?
Now imagine you don´t even have to think about taking the readings from your sensor, because a smart bracelet can make this for you. Wear a small bracelet, that constantly reads the sensor, directly over your FSL and monitor these readings comfortable through your GlucoNightWatch app. Regulate your glucose values once and a revolutionary alarm system will alert you in case of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Especially while sleeping, practicing sports or during other activities, this system will change your life. The bracelet – GlucoSentry – can be worn even under tight clothes and will be hardly noticed.
Receiving alarms via short messages or phone calls?
Especially for parents of diabetic children, this option is an important factor, and will be a tremendous help in the way of diabetes management. Within the app of GlucoNightWatch you are able to registers so called carers that will receive a phone call or message anytime there is an alarm on the users phone. Moreover they are able to see the values of the last days, and get all the information necessary, to monitor the users glucose-levels. This special features is not only super helpful during the day, most of all will help you to sleep calm again, without getting up to take measurements.
If you´re interested in getting more information about GlucoSentry, please klick here.