Continuous glucose monitors: current status and future developments

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Advances in diabetes technologies allow patients to manage their diabetes with greater precision and flexibility. Many recent studies show that continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) can be used to tighten glycemic control safely and to ease certain burdens of diabetes self-management.

Recent findings

The following summary reflects the most recent findings in CGM and provides an overall review of who would most benefit from CGM use. Benefits of CGM may vary based on age, type of diabetes, pregnancy, health, sleep, or heart rate. Accuracy and reliability are critical in current uses of CGM and especially for new and future systems that automate insulin partially (e.g., low glucose suspend) or entirely (e.g., ‘fully closed-loop’ artificial pancreas). Clinicians are simultaneously testing available products in new patient groups such as the critically ill and type 2 diabetes patients not using mealtime insulin.

Summary

In a widening set of circumstances, use of CGM has been shown to promote safer and more effective glycemic control than self-monitoring of blood glucose. Imperfections remain in certain scenarios such as hypoglycemia and in certain populations such as young children. Ongoing research on sensors and calibration software should translate to better systems.

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