The Emerging Trends in Diabetes Management - Digital Diabetes

Diabetes is a clinical condition wherein the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin causes increased glucose levels in the body, if not managed, leads to complications such as retinopathy (eye), nephropathy(kidney), neuropathy(nervous system), foot ulcers which many lead to amputations, cardiovascular diseases, even hypertension and liver (lipoprotein metabolism). As diabetes has no cure and only can be managed, diabetes patients face daily challenges such as dietary restrictions and the need for the regular administering of insulin. According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 464.1 million adults were living with diabetes in 2019 and this number is expected to reach 700 million by 2045.

Digital diabetes includes technology capable of providing individualized accurate and evidence-based solutions to people living with diabetes and their caregivers. Caregivers consist of not only family members but also healthcare professionals and healthcare system administrators. The solutions may be instructive, diagnostic or therapeutic in nature but, significantly, an ideal digital diabetes network should be able to achieve integration of all these aspects.

The adoption of digital technologies such as Bluetooth-enabled meters, CGM, Smart insulin pump (tethered and patch pump) and Smart insulin pen helps in management of diabetes enables patients to address their health issues by connecting with the healthcare team and sharing data in real-time. This is creating a digital ecosystem of data-driven tools that can connect patients and their care team for better management of diabetes. As digital technology is continuously advancing, the market is expected to witness a wide range of innovations in the field of diabetes management, which could have the potential to change the way patients manage the disease.

The advancements in smartphones technology has a great impact on digital diabetes care as it brings forth several smart apps that help the consumers to track their blood glucose levels, diet, physical activities, sleep pattern, and so on at their fingertips. New innovations are being developed to provide more compact and efficient solutions to diabetic people, especially the geriatric population in remote areas of the world.

One of the most important trends in digital diabetes management is the introduction of wearable devices such as CGM sensors which are manufacturing by Dexcom which has lifespan of 7 days and 10 days, Medtronic which has lifespan of 7 days, Abbott which has 14 days and Senseonics CGM coming up with implantable that has high life span of 3 months and 6 months. These devices can be worn on the body with much ease and are capable to provide round the clock assistance to the consumer. The advantage of these wearable’s could be continuous monitoring of the blood glucose levels of the person, providing required amounts of insulin to the body without any external assistance, sharing patient condition to the respective healthcare provider or doctor, providing regular alerts about health status, offering suggestions to improve health and so on.

However, the future looks more promising for digital care in diabetes with the augmenting innovations in technology such as data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), which will further intensify the quality of services offered at more affordable prices. Similarly, the added style factor in wearable devices by several manufacturers around the world will further create a huge demand for digital diabetic solutions. Furthermore, the growing elderly population of the world, who prefer home healthcare, will become the lucrative segment of end-users for these devices. Now a day’s Artificial Intelligence (A.I) associated software creating new trends in digital diabetes and the companies are adopting this technology for developing software. For instance, in October 2018, Sensyne Health launched GDm-Health A.I. app that enabling remote management of gestational diabetes. This allows patients to connect blood glucose meter to their smart phone so they can monitor and securely submit real-time via an app.

Considering the attractiveness of the digital diabetes market, several venture capitalists are aggressively investing. According to IQ4I analysis, funding received by digital diabetes companies during the period 2018-2019 was worth ~$1,023.2 million. The funding is aimed towards the expansion of digital care programs, to help the pregnant woman at risk of Type 2 diabetes, development of biosensor patch for CGM and hybrid closed-loop automated insulin delivery app. The funding has been utilized to help the pregnant woman at risk of Type 2 diabetes and expansion of digital care programs and expansion of biosensor patch for CGM and also to develop hybrid closed-loop automated insulin delivery app. Digital diabetes clinical trials data indicate globally, 50.0% are in phase 2 and 50.0% are in phase 3. The majority of clinical trials are focused on developing smart insulin pumps and artificial pancreas such as hybrid closed-loop devices.

The digital diabetes global market is estimated to be $9,489.7 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% from 2019 to 2026 to reach $16,329.6 million by 2026.

Major players in the digital diabetes global market are Abbott Laboratories (U.S.), Dexcom Inc. (U.S.), Insulet Corporation (U.S.), i-Sens Inc (South Korea), Livongo Health, Inc. (U.S.), Medtronic PLC (Ireland), F.Hoffmann-LA Roche AG. (Switzerland), Senseonics Holdings, Inc. (U.S.), Tandem Diabetes Care Inc. (U.S.), and Ypsomed Holding Ag (Switzerland).

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