CGM systems and data visualization
Since I have started using the iBGStar and the app, I am seeing a fuller picture of my readings.
One of the main things I see is how periods of many low blood sugars can lead to periods of high-blood sugars.
Always knew that, but data visualization makes it so clear.
Now the main point: when I go to my doctor’s office, the main points of reference are
1. HA1c: since HA1c only measures average and not standard deviation, this gives only a limited picture.
2. Current blood sugar: only meaningful if it is extreme, even that can be an outlier.
3. Log book: Useful if it is good, though a few minutes of flipping through gives little time for in depth analysis.
I think we can do a lot better than this with more complete data sets.
How do we make CGM the standard for care?
Insurance companies in Germany don’t like to cover CGM, it all comes down to return on investment. There is not yet enough clinical proof that CGM systems will save them money. They don’t care about quality of life issues, just cost.
And if the measure of success is HA1c, CGM might not show significant enough improvement. But this is a false measure of control, as it is an average value!
Also CGM prices have to come down, and we have to organize to get better care. I have to believe that if more people are using CGM this should lead to the potential for lowering manufacturing prices. (didn’t work for strips, but funny that 20 different types of strips all cost almost the exact same amount.)
Preventing diabetes long-term side effects is in everyone’s interest.