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New Approaches and Evolutions to Reshape the Diabetes Management and Care

ByASNF

Aug 29, 2021

As per the WHO, “the number of people affected with Diabetes has grown significantly from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. A rising trend in prevalence is observed in low- and middle-income countries as compared to high-income countries”. Additionally, Diabetes is a significant cause of the number of deaths worldwide, in 2019, around 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes, and between 2000-2016, a 5% increase in premature mortality from Diabetes was observed.

There are three main types of Diabetes namely, Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. Among the mentioned four types, Type 2 Diabetes accounts for nearly 90% of the cases. As per the CDC, in the USA, around 1 in 10 have Diabetes which is nearly 34 million people and around 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Similarly, in the UK, around 10.7 percent of the population (approximately 5 million people) are at increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes with an HbA1c ( as per the Diabetes UK, based on data from the Health Survey for England). In Type 2 diabetes, the body cells become resistant to insulin. Several genetic and lifestyle factors are observed to be the factors for the development of Type 2 diabetes. The pancreas produces insulin that helps glucose get into cells to be used for energy. Due to Type 2 diabetes, either the body doesn’t make enough insulin or it doesn’t use insulin properly as a result the blood glucose or blood sugar gets too high. High blood sugar consequently impacts the body negatively and can lead to severe health conditions such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, lower limb amputation, and many others. 

Being a chronic metabolic disease, the management of Diabetes is a major challenge that requires continuous monitoring. As of now, there is no cure for Diabetes, however, medication and treatment options are available in the market that can help the patient to live a healthy life. Apart from medication, remarkable improvements in diagnostics have also been registered over the past few years. In terms of overall development, today the Diabetes diagnostics and treatment are observing phenomenal growth and ensuring high quality of life. Through this article, we have compiled some of the major advances in the Diabetes market in recent years, which includes – 

Insulin Pumps 

Insulin pumps are an alternative to self-injection. Insulin pumps have created a noteworthy impact on the lives of patients who require multiple insulin injections in a day and also provide quick delivery. These pumps come in various shapes and sizes and can be worn around the body part. Insulin pumps have several benefits as they can easily be used while the person is busy with other activities. Today, smaller wearable pumps are available in the market that can sync with continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), with the assistance of smart algorithms that can automatically adjust Insulin delivery and also self-inject. In a way, it provides a high level of flexibility and saves valuable time. Some of the key companies such as Insulet, Dexcom, and Medtronic are leading players in the Insulin pumps market. With the improvement in technology, the Insulin pumps delivery system is expected to improve the life of the patients significantly.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) provides vital information related to glucose levels on a continuous basis as compared to the meter which only provides for a specific time period. The CGM helps in better glucose control and can be used with or without an insulin pump. A CGM consists of a small sensor inserted under the skin into fatty tissue.  The sensor is connected to a transmitter that continuously transmits information to a receiver or smartphone. The CGM can also provide valuable insights related to insulin delivery, glucose history and can predict which way it’s progressing. The analysis can be helpful to prevent conditions such as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

Connected CGM-insulin Pumps

The insulin pump in combination with CGM uses predictive technologies to deliver insulin and manage diabetes. These devices can provide information related to insulin delivery and glucose history on a smartphone or other web platform. The FDA has also approved the combination Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitor. Several Connected CGM-insulin pumps products from global Medtech giants such as Tandem, Medtronic, Dexcom, and others are available in the market, providing valuable benefits to users across the globe. Over the past few years, several companies from different segments of the industry have signed collaboration deals for data analytics, shared device manufacturing, glucose monitoring system, and commercialization agreement. 

Diabetes Medications

The Diabetes medications prescribed are broadly classified into two categories, oral drugs, and injectable medicines. Distinctive improvement has been made in the development of targeted medicine. Metformin is administered as the first line of treatment for type 2 diabetes. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors (also known as gliptins) are a new class of oral drugs. These drugs are prescribed if the patients do not respond well to drugs such as metformin and sulphonylureas. Apart from the available market therapies, currently, global companies in Diabetes Market such as Bayer, Eli Lilly, and Company, Oramed and AstraZeneca, etc. are devotedly working towards the development of new innovative therapies. 

Insulin Innovations

The insulin treatment and delivery method have innovated over the years. Insulin today is more effective and safe. Similarly, the duration of action is also enhanced. Insulins today are available in various forms, formulas, and delivery methods. These are easily injected with syringes, pumps, and pens. With the ongoing research and development around insulin, the treatment of Diabetes is expected to get better in the coming years as well. 

Glucagon Administration

Glucagon is administered to people with Diabetes who experience severe low blood glucose (hypoglycemia/low blood sugar). Exclusively used when someone with Diabetes has lost consciousness or has lost the ability to swallow. Progress has been observed in the Glucagon Administration as well along with other developments. 

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Xeris Pharmaceuticals prefilled glucagon rescue pen (marketed as Gvoke HypoPen).  Evoke is the first ready-to-use, room-temperature stable liquid glucagon for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia in pediatric and adult patients with Diabetes ages 2 years and above. Recently,  Zealand Pharma’s Zegalogue (dasiglucagon) ) injection has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sale in the United States. Zegalogue is helpful for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia in patients with Diabetes in the age group six years and above. Similarly, several other companies are exploring the Glucagon market and a few of the products are in line to be approved in the coming years. 

Diabetes Smartphone Apps

The demand for smartphone-based technology/application in Diabetes management is also rising at a significant pace. Smartphone applications provide information related to nutritional status in recipes by segmenting them into fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and sugars. Simultaneously, it can alert the user about daily activities such as medication, exercise, yoga, and hydration goals with push notifications. High-end paid versions applications provide personalized guidance with voice recognition, replying to frequently asked questions, community support, and are compatible with other devices such as CGM and insulin pumps which help in glucose monitoring and symptom management. These applications are uniquely catering to the needs of different individuals living with Diabetes with increased convenience and knowledge.  

Apart from these, the entry of big data and Virtual health technologies will also provide new insights and support to Diabetes management immensely in the coming years. 

What lies ahead

Diabetes is a complicated disease that may lead to several other health conditions including blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation. In the case of Type 2 diabetes, it mostly affects people after the age of 45, however, a rising trend is observed in children, teens, and young adults.

Over the past few years, the advancement in Diabetes treatment has significantly contributed towards better management of diabetes. The existing treatment therapies coupled with the latest innovation in technology have delivered a new dimension to Diabetes care. The innovation especially in CGMs and insulin pumps are bringing remarkable change into the lives of the patients and stimulating the Diabetes market growth positively. Attracted by the growing prevalence, rising demand, and adoption of therapies and devices, prominent global companies are also heavily investing and focussing on innovative solutions in order to capture the market share and generate revenue. Along with these factors, the favorable regulatory policies, virtual Diabetes care, and the affordability by the consumer will also propel market growth. Analyzing the consumer perspective, with each passing day Diabetes management is getting more convenient with very high accuracy and flexibility which is increasing their confidence and health status.

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