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This article was medically reviewed by Amanda Ciprich, MS, RD. Last updated on 2/7/24.
People living with type 2 diabetes have a variety of diabetes devices to assist with their management, make informed treatment decisions, and improve their quality of life. These diabetes devices, ranging from glucose monitors to insulin pumps, have significantly enhanced the self-care and treatment options available for people with type 2 diabetes. In this article, we'll explore some of the most noteworthy diabetes devices that have paved the way for more effective and convenient treatment in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Blood glucose meters
Blood glucose meters are the cornerstone of diabetes management. These compact and portable devices allow individuals with diabetes to measure their blood sugar levels at home or on the go. They analyze a small drop of blood, usually obtained by pricking a finger. The meter then displays the glucose reading, which helps people with diabetes make informed decisions about medication, diet, and exercise.
Modern blood glucose meters often come with user-friendly features, such as memory storage, data sharing, and connectivity to smartphone apps, making it easier to track and manage blood sugar levels.
Continuous glucose monitoring systems
While blood glucose meters provide snapshots of your blood sugar levels at specific moments, continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGMs) offer a more comprehensive view by measuring glucose levels every 5 minutes. CGMs consist of a sensor placed under the skin which continuously monitors interstitial glucose levels throughout the day and night. The data is transmitted to a receiver or compatible smartphone display device, providing real-time information and trends in glucose levels.
This can enhance diabetes management by providing people with diabetes and their healthcare teams to identify patterns and make timely adjustments to their treatment plans. The out-of-pocket costs for CGMs with type 2 diabetes can vary widely depending on several factors including your insurance coverage, the specific CGM device, and whether you are taking insulin. Some CGM manufacturers offer assistance programs to help offset the costs for eligible individuals. It is worth checking with the manufacturer to see if you qualify for any programs.
Smart insulin pens
Smart insulin pens are an innovative tool that can help individuals with diabetes, including those with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes. Smart insulin pens incorporate technology to track and manage insulin doses, making it easier for users to monitor and maintain their insulin regimens. Smart pens are also equipped with alert features to remind users to take their insulin injections as prescribed so there are fewer missed doses.
Insulin patch pumps
Diabetes management has traditionally centered around insulin pens and pumps, which often requires frequent injections or a degree of technology proficiency. For individuals with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes, insulin patch pumps have emerged as an alternative option. These devices are available in various options, providing choices for the delivery of basal (background) and bolus (mealtime) insulin, or just bolus or basal insulin. Insulin patch pumps offer a discreet and convenient means of administering insulin for those who wish to steer clear of multiple daily injections or opt for a simpler insulin delivery method. Current insulin patch pump options include:
- V-GO: all-in-one patch pump that has both basal and bolus insulin capabilities
- CeQur Simplicity: an insulin patch pump with bolus-only insulin administration
- Omnipod GO: an insulin patch pump with basal-only delivery
Insulin pumps can be a valuable treatment option for individuals with type 2 diabetes, particularly those who require intensive insulin therapy to manage their blood glucose levels. The primary benefit of using an insulin pump is the option to adjust insulin doses into precise increments throughout the day and night to fine-tune insulin management. Selecting the most appropriate insulin pump will depend on individual preferences, lifestyle, and insurance coverage. It is important for those who are interested in using an insulin pump to discuss their options with their healthcare provider to determine which option is best suited for their diabetes management.
Embrace the opportunity to explore new diabetes devices as they continue to evolve and enhance type 2 diabetes management. Remember that the choice of devices may vary from person to person, depending on individual needs and treatment plans. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable devices for your case.
About Amanda Ciprich, MS, RD
Amanda Ciprich, a registered dietitian with a specialization in type 1 diabetes, was diagnosed with T1D herself at the age of 18. With her expertise and personal experience, she has authored two books, including "The Caregiver's Guide to Diabetes: Practical Advice for Caring for Your Loved One." As the founder of T1D Nutritionist, a virtual insurance-based private practice, Amanda provides counseling and guidance to individuals with T1D and their families, supporting them in effectively managing diabetes.