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August 13, 1999

Research: Monitoring

Question from Bellevue, Washington, USA:

I am a 43 year old Type 1 diabetic. A friend told me she read somewhere that there is a new treatment being developed which involves wearing a patch on the skin. Do you know anything about this patch?


The treatment of Type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes is still insulin by injection although there have been encouraging early results with the use of inhaled insulin. I think the patch that you read about must have been the one that is part of the GlucoWatch system. This is an instrument for measuring blood sugars that is about twice the size of a large men’s wristwatch and provides three readings per hour. Final FDA approval is expected soon and the instrument may be available commercially before the end of 1999.