Management of Diabetes is a billion-dollar market and provides a huge market for pharmaceutical companies to look for opportunity. Measurement of glucose is required to keep a check on fasting glucose levels and also postprandial glucose levels. Hypoglycaemia is an important factor in the management of glucose management.
Spot Glucose level or Continuous Glucose monitoring
There are multiple ways to measure your blood glucose levels. You can walk up to the lab and have the nurse draw blood from your veins and get a blood glucose reading. Alternately, you can also have a glucose monitor at home that can measure your levels. The market is flooded with quite a several monitors from One touch to Dr Morepen’s. The cost ranges from 500/- to 2000/-. There is an incremental cost of having a lancet and also the glucose test strips that need to be procured.
Glucose meter readings vary based on the quality of the glucose test strip and the calibration of the glucose meter. Not many of us know, that we would need to get the instrument calibrated every 6 months to provide accurate readings. Also, check the battery used on the instrument. Readings taken on glucose meter and at labs can vary as much as by +/- 15 points. Check the CV (variance) on the glucose meters as well.
While the above methods are a spot value of the glucose level, the next step is to look for Continuous Glucose Monitoring or Ambulatory glucose Monitoring. There are now instruments that monitor glucose levels for a longer period of time continuously. One such device is the device from Abbott (Freestyle Libre) on the market.
Here is on how it works. You can attach a sensor to the back of your arm. The sensor reads your glucose levels continuously for 14 days with more than 1000 readings giving the practitioner a sense of the glucose level spikes. Once you have the glucose level spikes, it is easy to understand and manage your glucose metabolism thru analytics. The cost of these devices is on the higher side (I hear 5000/-) which makes it an expensive proposition but for people who are on insulin injections /pen, I would recommend if you are on the Bioenergica Diet program, as it helps to monitor while Diet rapidly brings down your levels in 14 days. I am sure alternate devices will come into the market soon.
The data that comes from the devices is extremely useful for predictive analytics and probably as a step towards Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques for pattern mapping.