The rise of technology in diabetes care. Not all that is new is necessarily better

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Health-care technologies have brought many benefits to the medical profession and to patients. The introduction of the continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices offers patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) the opportunity to optimize their blood glucose control and are increasingly being championed as a routine treatment approach for young people. However, the current evidence base does not convincingly support arguments for the generalized application of CSII and CGM into routine clinical practice. The ‘patient-medical device interface’ is clearly a complex paradigm, and central to its success is the degree of adherence, understanding, and engagement demonstrated by the patient with the technology. The introduction CSII/CGM technologies into the daily routine care of the patient imposes both psychological and ‘time-effort’ burdens that many patients and families with T1D will find demanding. The current application of these devices cannot therefore be considered a panacea for the self-management of T1D, and raises a number of challenging problems, including those of a practical, health-economic, and ethical nature that need to be fully resolved before it and other emerging technologies can be considered to have achieved this status.

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