Dr Robert Gabbay Highlights 3 Exciting Areas of Developing Diabetes Technology

June 10, 2017

There are a number of exciting technological advances that could change diabetes care as we know it, such as improved continuous glucose monitors and convenient decision support tools, said Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center.

There are a number of exciting technological advances that could change diabetes care as we know it, such as improved continuous glucose monitors and convenient decision support tools, said Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What developments in diabetes technology will we see in the next year after the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions?

Diabetes technology is about to explode in terms of its impact on diabetes care, and I think there are a few different ways that’s going to happen. One is in the realm of continuous glucose monitors; they’re about to become cheaper, more accurate, and a new one on the market that doesn’t require calibration, ultimately has the potential if it’s inexpensive enough to replace blood glucose monitoring as we know it with a lot more information. That added information could be used to help drive better outcomes for patients with diabetes, so that’s one big exciting area of technology.

The second one I’ll mention is using that continuous glucose data to drive insulin pump changes, and the first step of that is the Medtronic 670G, which will allow titration of insulin through the pump overnight to maintain near-normal glucose levels. It’ll be a self-regulating system, the first time that’s really been available. Initially it’ll be only for a small subset of people, mostly those with type 1 and some with type 2 that are on insulin pumps, but I think that technology will continue to evolve and improve and become more widely available.

The third area that I’ll mention that I think is also very exciting is the decision support tools and the ability to provide real-time information to patients, but also potentially to providers on how to better manage patients, and for patients how to better care for themselves. Being able to capture all the information—glucose levels, activity levels through step counting and other mechanisms, and dietary information—all on somebody’s smartphone to help guide and coach them towards a better lifestyle could be very effective. Similarly, that information transmitted to providers in an intelligible and actionable way could also drive better care.