With an estimated 285 million people worldwide suffering from diabetes, the disease has become an epidemic and the problem continues to grow at a startling rate. As the second leading cause of death in the United States, more than 26 million U.S. residents have been diagnosed with diabetes. Advances in effective management are more necessary than ever before. Luckily, an innovative company called PositiveID Corporation (OTCBB: PSID) is developing three new products that could drastically improve the world of diabetes management.
EasyCheck™, a hand-held device, checks glucose levels in exhaled breath, thus making the traditional finger-pricking method unnecessary. A second product, cleverly called iglucose™, communicates wirelessly with a diabetic’s glucometer, automatically downloading glucose data to a central location for further analysis. Finally, GlucoChip™ uses RFID technology combined with a tiny embedded bio-sensor system to measure glucose levels in the body in real-time, making it easier than ever to manage your health.
These unique devices, designed specifically to advance diabetes management, stand to make a significant impact on the medical industry, revolutionizing diabetes care and treatment for patients, doctors, nurses, health care providers, as well as the families of diabetics.
The Diabetes Problem
In 2010, the World Health Organization estimated 285 million people worldwide had diabetes, or 6.4% of the global adult population. Experts project the number of people suffering from diabetes will double from 2005 to 2030 bringing the worldwide total to 438 million people or 7.8% of the adult population. Clearly an epidemic, Type 2 diabetes has increased in frequency among children. In 2011, the American Diabetes Association estimated about 1 in every 400 children and adolescents under 20 years of age has diabetes.
Diabetes is the second leading cause of death is the United States, as well as the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, and new cases of blindness. Diabetes is also a major cause of heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Likely the world’s biggest health challenge in the twenty-first century, diabetes is quickly overtaking the world.
Current Diabetes Management
In order to achieve blood glycemic control, a patient must have the ability to effectively monitor their glucose levels. However, this remains difficult and painful for many people. Currently, checking glucose levels involves pricking the finger to access a drop of blood. This process can be so daunting for patients that it is the primary cause for poor compliance with treatments and ineffective disease management.
Check Glucose Levels Using Exhaled Breath
EasyCheck, a product currently under development by PositiveID Corporation, tests glucose levels in people with diabetes simply by analyzing the breath exhaled by the patient. The small hand-held device actually checks for increased levels of acetone which directly correlate to glucose in the blood. Using advanced microprocessor and laser technology, EasyCheck has built-in self-calibrating capabilities which ensure accuracy.
Once EasyCheck hits the market, it will be the world’s first and only entirely non-invasive glucose tester that provides precise data in a portable device. People with diabetes may finally experience a true breakthrough in glucose management, minimizing difficulty and reducing pain, ultimately encouraging frequent monitoring.
Manage Glucose Data Wirelessly
In addition to developing EasyCheck, PositiveID has also developed iglucose™, an FDA-cleared wireless, seamless device designed to connect to a glucometer and send blood glucose data to a central database where the data is used for better diabetes management. To make life a little easier, iglucose is compatible with data-capable glucometers, providing the patient with flexibility to continue to use their preferred glucometer brand.
PositiveID Corporation recently completed Phase II of their GlucoChip development program, focused on perfecting the glucose sensing system, the critical piece of the implantable GlucoChip device. This new closed-cycle system successfully responds to the body’s glucose levels and provides consistent, measurable results. In other words, the glucose-sensing system works.
Monitor Glucose Levels in Real-Time
Like a gadget from a futuristic movie, GlucoChip will utilize an RFID chip and tiny embedded bio-sensor to measure glucose levels in the body in real-time. Users will be able to read their glucose levels from an external scanner, can use the easy-to-use interface which interacts with the tiny embedded bio-sensor, making it easier than ever to manage your health.
The Rising Cost of Diabetes
Living with diabetes also means living with considerably higher health care costs. Because the prevalence of diabetes keeps climbing, the costs skyrockets. For example, in the United States, health care for diabetics costs roughly 2.3 times higher than for non-diabetic patients. The total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States, was $174 billion in 2007, according the American Diabetes Association, which has even gone so far as to create a Diabetes Cost Calculator that takes data from national diabetes costs and gives estimates at the state and congressional district level. Factor in the additional cost of undiagnosed diabetes and the total cost of diabetes in the Unites States in 2007 skyrocketed to $218 billion.
With a growing diabetes pandemic, health care providers will quickly become overloaded and patients will be encouraged both verbally and financially to engage in more self-management, which has shown to be more beneficial anyway. As these new products begin to hit the market, expect growing buzz surrounding these new life-changing products, as they will be very popular in the diabetic community.
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