Health Female Adda
6 months ago
Will needle-less devices revolutinise the treatment of diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic lifestyle disease, and the incidence is ever increasing. The number of projected diabetics in India alone will be 109 million people by 2035. Approximately 30-40% of all diabetics eventually require insulin supplementation. However, only 10-15% actually use insulin. The most common excuse for not taking insulin for diabetics is the fear of getting injected.

Hence, according to Dr Harsh Sheth, Fellow – Fellow, Advance Minimal Access Surgery, Digestive Health Institute by Dr Muffi, needle-free injectors will go a long way in reducing the number of diabetics non-compliant to insulin therapy. But even though various needle free injectors are available overseas, however, none of these companies have started retailing in India yet.

Many diabetics have to draw blood and test their blood glucose levels for multiple times in a day, but instead they can now scan the sensor and get a reading in less than a second. Most diabetics with well-controlled blood glucose levels need not constantly prick themselves to test their glucose levels very often. The most accurate estimate of glucose levels is from blood drawn from veins. Glucose monitoring systems use a sensor placed over the skin which pairs with a device and estimates glucose levels in the blood. There are two types of sensors, one, which is implanted under the skin, and another, which is placed over the skin.

Both these devices aren’t as accurate as blood glucose monitoring, but however, are a boon for that small fraction of patients who do require continuous monitoring.

Insulin pump works while maintaining and controlling blood sugar levels: An insulin pump is a small device, which is usually clipped over the belt and attached to a delivery system over the skin. Precise doses of rapidly acting insulin are infused into the subcutaneous tissue over time at a basal rate, which keeps releasing insulin and a bolus dose, which delivers insulin to match the food one eats or to normalize blood sugar levels. The dose settings are adjusted by a healthcare professional.

How the diabetes device CGM System works This is used concurrently with the insulin pump. The CGM system monitors glucose levels in the interstitium and program the insulin pump to inject bolus doses to maintain blood glucose levels closer to normality. This is used mainly for patients who want to reduce their HbA1c levels without hypoglycemia episodes, are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant, or are children or adolescents.

The biggest advantage of needle-less devices: Needle-free injectors work by developing a high-pressure jet, which pierces the skin and delivers the drug to the subcutaneous space. This technology has the potential to disrupt the use of needles for not only insulin injections, but also vaccinations and other injections.

Image source: Shutterstock

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