Whether you are a technology expert or a novice, technology can help you better manage your diabetes.
Optimal diabetes management in the modern era
The last century has seen a transformation in diabetes management. Since the discovery of insulin and the very first dose injected into a patient in January 1922, many discoveries and innovative technologies have made life easier for people with diabetes. Before 1922, diabetes was a fatal disease. Even with a very strict diet, diabetics lived only a few years Today, it is possible to manage it adequately.
Today, there are ways to keep it well under control and limit its short and long-term complications. As we live in the age of smartphones, state-of-the-art computers, and electronic tablets, it's good to know that technology also extends to the field of health. The last few decades have not only produced a number of innovative medicines, but also tools that can make everyday life easier for people living with diabetes. These include:
- increasingly thin and short needles to administer insulin
- insulin pens
- insulin pumps, and
- blood glucose meters with multiple technological benefits
When technology helps to monitor blood glucose
If you are living with diabetes, you know how important it is to closely monitor your blood glucose levels and to adequately manage the different aspects of the disease. Today, there are many blood glucose meters (meters that make it possible to monitor blood glucose levels) available on the market. The manufacturers of these devices are working hard to equip them with technological features that make life easier for users.
In general, a good blood glucose meter should allow you to:
- get accurate and reliable blood glucose results, which are close to those generated by a test done in a hospital laboratory
- store your data easily and for a long time, so that it is easy to consult and interpret (for example, you need to know if your blood glucose was measured before or after a meal)
- identify potential problems (hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, blood glucose trends, etc.) based on the interpretation of the results
- know what adjustments are required to stabilize your blood glucose
- better control your blood glucose levels, and therefore your diabetes
Features worth their weight in gold
Each meter has its own unique technological features. Pharmacy area staff can show you the various models, explain their differences and help you choose the right one for your needs. What most meters have in common is that they are very easy to understand and use. If you're not a technology expert, don't worry. Your pharmacist or a member of the pharmacy team will be able to answer your questions.
Here are some examples of technology features that make blood glucose monitoring more efficient, easy and interesting:
- downloading data to a computer or phone, including the ability to print it out as a graph
- ability to send data by email or text (to your doctor, for example)
- access to integrated diabetes management software
- automatic and wireless data transmission to a smartphone
- for people who use an insulin pump, possibility of controlling the pump with the blood glucose meter, owing to a two-way wireless communication system
- blood glucose reading without having to prick the fingertip, with certain devices, thanks to a sensor placed on the arm that you simply scan to find out the level of sugar in the blood
Pharmacists can always offer advice and provide information about the technological advances in diabetes. They can also help you make better use of the features of your device and tell you if it is still suitable. By being well-informed, you will be better equipped to maintain your health.
If you choose to change devices, be sure to inform the healthcare professionals who monitor your treatment (doctor, pharmacist, nursing specialist).