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From Bethesda, Maryland, USA:

An adult male friend of my mother, who has typeá1 diabetes and cannot handle pricking his fingers so much, would like to purchase the new GlucoWatch, from Cygnus. Is the GlucoWatch on the market yet? How successful is this compared to the 'old-fashioned' invasive blood glucose testing?


The GlucoWatch has now been approved by the FDA. In both England and the U.S., it is nonetheless still confined to what might be called marketing trials and is only available on loan through a limited number of centers. It will probably be early 2002 before it is released in the U.S. Even then, it still has to be calibrated once for each 12 hour period.

In the interim, it might be a good idea to consider one of the new meters such as the FreeStyle or One Touch« Ultra which use only a minute drop of blood from the forearm and are essentially painless.


Additional comments from Dr. Jim Lane:

Physicians are learning how to use these tools. I would have to say, at present, these are not ready to replace routine home glucose monitors. There are a number of things we still need to know about them. One is whether all the hypoglycemia we see with them is clinically relevant. Additionally, you need special instruction on how to use them.

My suggestion to your friend is to work with a diabetes education team to find a way to monitor sugars in a more traditional fashion. The alternative to not monitoring is poor control.


Original posting 24 Jul 2001
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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