Continuous glucose monitoring devices, or CGMs, are rapidly replacing fingerstick glucose meters as the standard of care for most type 1, and a number of type 2, diabetic patients. CGMs are wearables used to track interstitial glucose values throughout the day without the need for a fingerstick. Monitors include a very small sensor that is worn on the body, and all it takes to get an instant reading for blood sugar values is a quick tap of a smartphone to the sensor, and current values are displayed.
Over the course of the day, a patient’s CGM will periodically draw and measure the sugar present in a small sample of fluid that is collected, meaning there is no need for finger sticks or blood samples to be collected and manually loaded into a glucometer. It will then record the result, and store it on a digital platform without any further action from the patient. This information can be used to better guide clinical decision-making and improve health outcomes for patients.
Patients who would benefit the most from the inclusion of a CGM would be those who are taking time out of their day to manually test their blood sugar with a finger stick test frequently, like at each meal and during periods of exercise. Testing can be burdensome and time-consuming for these individuals, so any way that testing can be streamlined is ideal. There are also patients who have episodes of extreme highs and lows with their blood sugars, both of which are very dangerous medical emergencies and can require hospitalization in many instances. For these patients, testing is crucial to avoid these emergencies, so they can see when they are trending higher or lower and can respond appropriately. CGMs could provide great benefits to those who have a hard time determining when their levels are abnormal without testing or those who are tired and frustrated with multiple fingersticks per day.
Currently, there are 3 major options when it comes to CGM devices, those being the Dexcom G6, the Freestyle Libre, and the Guardian Sensor 3 from Medtronic. Each of these devices offers the same basic functionality, but each has its own unique features and companion technologies for testing glucose levels. With a variety of monitoring and communication features, evaluation of each product is paramount to selecting the right monitor for each patient to ensure the greatest utility and improved patient outcomes.
CGM offers a variety of health benefits for patients, most notably lower hospitalizations in patients when compared to fingersticks alone1. When patients feel more in control of their diabetes, it empowers them to make healthy choices regarding their diet, exercise, and medication adherence. This can ultimately help to limit disease progression, reduce comorbid complications, and suppress the signs and symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes. When used appropriately, the benefits of CGM have significant implications not only on the health of patients but the organizations they belong to as well. Improving the quality of diabetes management often has a direct, positive impact on patients’ quality of life, medical absenteeism, and hospitalizations. One study evaluated the effectiveness of CGMs and their impact on reducing healthcare utilization. Researchers found that for one Non-Medicare Advantage plan, continuous glucose monitoring resulted in an average savings of $417 per member per month.
If you are interested in learning more, Profero Team can work with you to identify target populations and streamline product coverage. Visit us at our website https://proferoteam.com/ or call us at (937) 813-4888
- Riveline JP, Roussel R, Vicaut E, et al. Reduced Rate of Acute Diabetes Events with Flash Glucose Monitoring Is Sustained for 2 Years After Initiation: Extended Outcomes from the RELIEF Study. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2022;24(9):611-618. doi:10.1089/dia.2022.0085