In 2014, Amanda Rosengren, who was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of four, had a continuous glucose monitor implanted.

For years prior, Amanda had to rely on needles, blood samples, and blood sugar controls to manage her condition.

Her diabetes was first suspected by her teacher, who alerted her parents that something was not quite right. Amanda would visit the bathroom frequently and always seemed thirsty, as well as not feeling tired for a nap as she normally would.

“Since my teacher had diabetes, she understood that these could be symptoms of the disease and called my parents,” says Amanda.

Amanda’s CGM device was designed with parts supplied by leading medical wire supplier, Sandvik. The company’s EXERA® range provides polymer-coated precision wire solutions for in vivo diagnostics and thermotherapy, where electrical signals or currents are conducted micro-invasively.

How it works

The number of people living with diabetes is approximately 414 million, which is roughly nine percent of the world’s population.

With CGM devices, this group of patients can monitor their blood glucose level in real time using an app on their smartphone. They will receive a warning if at any time their blood sugar level is too high or too low.

The device consists of three components – the monitor, the transmitter, and the sensor. Sensors are the most significant component of the CGM, and they are smaller than needles. Sensors detect glucose levels by using glucose oxidase, which converts glucose to hydrogen peroxide. As the hydrogen peroxide reacts with the platinum-based sensor, electrical signals are generated and sent to the transmitter by a minute wire.

Amanda, for example, also has an insulin pump implanted in her stomach to deliver the correct amount of insulin based on measurements sent by the app.

Why a CGM device is a necessity

The blood sugar levels of diabetics can be hard to control while eating and taking insulin injections. Amanda’s blood sugar levels fluctuated frequently, making it difficult to monitor, which put more strain on her family. Amanda’s family were always concerned for her safety, but with the CGM program, she can live more independently.

In fact, Amanda and her family have been given a whole new lease of life thanks to Sandvik’s technology. It provides Amanda and her mother with a sense of safety. According to Amanda’s mum: “This method is everything to us.”

To find out more about the medical materials Sandvik does, download the whitepaper below.