Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition which is manifested by elevated blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes, which results from auto-immune reaction destroying the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, requires patients to constantly monitor their blood glucose level, adjust their lifestyle and inject insulin several times per day in order to maintain glycemic balance. Type 2 diabetes, which results from lower effectiveness of insulin in lowering blood glucose, also requires daily monitoring and in some cases injection of insulin.
In both cases, the complications arising from high blood glucose over the long term include heart diseases, kidney failure, retina degeneration and others. “Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people of similar age but without diabetes”, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Diabetes is a world pandemic afflicting over 420M people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization(WHO) and the number is fast growing. An estimated 8.5% of the world’s adult population suffer from diabetes, and a similar percentage of deaths are attributable to high glucose. No longer a problem of the western world, diabetes has become a major healthcare concern in China (with 92M people estimated to be diabetic and additional 148M pre-diabetic), India and the middle east. Diabetes afflicts people of all income levels, with middle-income populations suffering the most (World Health Organization). The total impact of diabetes on world economy is huge and expenditure was estimated at $612B (International Diabetes Federation). The direct cost of healthcare products (pharmaceuticals and medical devices) is estimated globally to be around $45B/year including $11B/year spent yearly on glucose monitoring. “Medical expenses for people with diabetes are more than two times higher than for people without diabetes”, says the CDC.
The “holy grail” of diabetes care is the Artificial Pancreas (AP) system, including a continuous glucose sensor, an insulin pump, and a control algorithm, that controls the rate of insulin injection based on glucose readings, automatically balancing the patient’s glucose levels. Apart from releasing the patients from the burden of managing their condition 24/7, the Artificial Pancreas is expected to result in improved long term glycemic balance, as indicated by lower A1C, and lowering long term diabetes complications.
In order to make this long-standing vision a reality, one of the key components is a high quality continuous glucose monitor, providing high accuracy, long term operation and low calibration frequency. Currently available Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) sensors must be replaced weekly and require two daily calibrations vs. blood. GluSense brings the promise of a breakthrough in glucose sensing that will make the Artificial Pancreas a reality.