According to GlobalData, the prevalence of diabetes in the US is set to grow by a third over the next decade.
At this rate, more than one in five of the US population will be diabetic, resulting in over 68 million cases of diabetes in the US. As diabetes has a huge impact on the quality of life of patients, this is one of the most important health issues that America will face in the near future.
Life as a diabetic is dangerous; patients must constantly monitor their glucose levels. Blood sugar levels that are too low or too high can have serious health effects for a diabetic anywhere from long term damage to death.
Currently, diabetics have to rely on the finger prick test to check their blood sugar.
While this will tell the patient whether their blood sugar is dangerously high or low, it will not tell them whether their blood sugar is rising, or dropping.
In a recent survey, many diabetics expressed frustration at this limitation of their testing; the constant guesswork over their blood sugar levels increases long-term levels of stress and anxiety, which is itself another factor that worsens long-term health prospects.
With the increasing awareness of diabetes, the percentage of diabetics who are getting tests is ever increasing: GD estimates that by 2025, over 90% of diabetics will be diagnosed and regularly testing themselves.
There is a large established need for improved blood sugar tests, and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems are set to fill this need.
CGM products allow the user to see their blood sugar levels almost in real time, as they supply constant readings throughout the day. Thanks to this, patients can see whether their blood sugar levels are on the rise or dropping and plan accordingly.
While these devices are not new by any means (the first CGM system was approved in 1999), recent improvements use more accurate and up-to-date sensors that can be worn for long periods of time.
As the technology of implantable sensors is developed further, they will become smaller and able to be implanted for even longer periods of time.
GlobalData expects that this will eventually result in sensors that will outcompete the standard finger prick tests.