To many, diabetes is a battle that is fought every day – but this battle is not an easy one. About 20.1 million people have been diagnosed in the U.S. alone and about 8.1 million people remain undiagnosed – whether from receiving poor diagnosis from doctors or failure to get symptoms checked. About 90% to 95% of diabetes diagnoses are type two diabetes. Type two diabetes is when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. Also, in some cases the pancreas produces enough insulin, but the body does not use it effectively. It is necessary that these diabetes patients get the medical attention that they need and in a timely manner. New advances in bioTech can help with this problem. bioTech, short for bioTechnology, is the use of living organisms to manufacture drugs or other products to help solve real world problems. In this case, bioTech is being used to help prevent diabetes. Tech giants are pouring hundred of millions of dollars into inventing new technology, but will it be worth it? A few of the newly released products that are already making a difference include socks that monitor diabetics’ feet for injury, sensors that continuously measure patient’s’ glucose levels, and an app that predicts how food intake will affect blood sugar levels.
The main question remains however, is it worth it to spend large sums of money on these new products? Quoted from Dr. Lori Laffel, a Harvard Medical School professor who oversees the pediatric diabetes clinic at Boston’s Joslin Diabetes Center, “It’s truly an exciting time.” While these new innovations can be exciting, the high prices of these gadgets only add onto the expense of other necessary medications. This is brought to surface by Adam Brown who is head of technology at the diabetes advocacy group the diaTribe Foundation. He stated, “especially with high deductible health plans … it’s a big expense to use some of this technology right now,” expressing the problem clearly.
The list of ideas on this topic pile high. An arm patch invented by Abbott, reads glucose levels every 15 minutes and an app called
“Sugar.IQ” that presents warnings to patients informing them on how certian foods may affect their blood sugar, are just a few.
It certainly is an exciting time in the advancements of BioTechnology. I wonder what will be thought of next!