The IDF further expects this figure to near 350 million by 2025, heightening concerns, particularly as diabetes is the leading cause of complications such as blindness, amputations, and kidney diseases and increases chances of strokes or heart disease by almost two to four times.
Given the rising diabetic population, there is a tremendous awareness drive that aims at communicating the importance of proper and regular glucose control. Compliance with glucose monitoring is vital to effective diabetes management, but many diabetics fail to test frequently enough due to numerous reasons. Principal among these reasons are the complicated nature of present day glucose monitoring devices and their invasive nature, which causes much inconvenience and pain.
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"Since the ideal glucose monitoring system would be a completely noninvasive device, different kinds of innovative technologies are under research to achieve this goal and ensure frequent monitoring and better glycemic control," notes Technical Insights Research Analyst (technicalinsights.frost.com) Nivedithaa Gopaalakrishnan. "With consumer-based medical devices, ease-of-use is also an area of focus. Features ensuring this include the use of graphical user interface, reduction in the number of steps necessary to take a reading, and easy-to-use buttons for operation."
Among the notable advancements in the field of blood glucose monitoring for hospital and self-care, Nes Ziona, Israel-based OrSense has developed the home-care blood glucose monitor, a pain-free method to monitor glucose levels. This point-of-care (POC) device, designed for spot or continuous monitoring, does not require blood withdrawal and has the capacity to record and display over 500 entries relating to blood glucose values, date, and time. Moreover, it displays glucose excursion trends, supports telemedicine applications, and has an invalid measurement alarm, in addition to another, that warns the user of low and high-glucose levels.
Notwithstanding these advancements, the major challenge for the glucose monitoring industry is to develop cost-effective technologies that offer high-quality standards at reasonable costs. Furthermore, glucose meters are often distributed at heavily discounted prices or given free with the purchase of multiple strips or packets. This free meter proposition is a big challenge for both the major market participants and others who are trying to find a place in the market.
"The single most important reason for low-testing frequency of diabetics is the pain associated with finger-stick testing and the repeated trauma to fingers," says Gopaalakrishnan. "Hence, the need is to develop noninvasive/minimally-invasive devices that make it easier, more comfortable, and more practical for patients to monitor frequently."
In ensuring the success of their glucose monitoring technologies, market participants should invest in mass-marketing campaigns and diabetes awareness initiatives that can be highly effective in developing brand image and expanding the diagnosed population. While marketing strategies could target the high-test frequency consumer population to gain higher market penetration, establishing and developing relationships with primary care medical facilities, primary care physicians, nurses, and other medical practitioners will further help widen the customer base.
Glucose Monitoring Technologies – Hospital and Self-Care, a part of the Sensors & Instrumentation Subscription, identifies and analyzes emerging technologies or novel advances in existing technologies in the context of glucose monitoring. The study endeavors to cover advances in R&D, product development, and regulatory aspects specifically related to advances in glucose monitoring. Interviews are available to the press.
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