Monday, April 16, 2012

Apps and CGMS?

A CGMS (continuous glucose monitoring system), such as the DexCom pictured below,  is an FDA-approved device that records blood sugar levels throughout the day and night. There are several approved devices -- Medtronic's MiniMed device, DexCom, and the Navigator, for example -- that can provide up to 288 blood sugar measurements every 24 hours.

The continuous glucose monitor is not a replacement for standard blood sugar monitoring. It is only intended for use to discover trends in blood sugar levels. This helps the health care team make the most appropriate decisions regarding the best treatment plan.

Several clinical studies have validated improvements in diabetes outcomes related to the usage of CGMS (such as steadier glucoses noted above). However, insurance companies still do not always pay for it as sometimes patients obtain the device then never use it.

A solution: perhaps adding apps that focus on patient engagement, like the EndoGoddess app, to CGMS could increase CGMS engagement. This increase in engagement could really increase the value of CGMS to insurance companies and thereby improve diabetes outcomes, save lives, and decrease healthcare costs overall. Sometimes 1+1=3 so I am definitely interested in exploring this idea further!

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