Diabetes technology There’s a range of diabetes tech that can help you manage your diabetes. These are usually the devices that help you check your blood glucose levels (BGLs) or give insulin. Before you choose which tech is right for you, consult with your healthcare professional first. You can also contact us or call the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Helpline on 1800 637 700. Diabetes tech to monitor your blood sugar levels Blood glucose monitors A blood glucose monitor measures the glucose levels in your blood. How it works: Prick your finger with a lancet and put the blood onto a test strip connected to the blood glucose monitor. The monitor then gives you a reading. How it helps: Blood glucose monitoring can: Allow you to self-check as often as you need or as often as recommended by your GP or Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) Help you understand how your diet, exercise or medication affect your BGLs Provide information to determine the best diabetes management strategy. Data from the blood glucose monitor can be stored online. This makes it easy to share with your healthcare team. Devices available: Blood glucose meters are usually sold as kits, including a monitor, a lancet device and test strips. There are many different types of monitors with varied features. They’re available at different prices from pharmacies and some diabetes centres. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or CDE which type is best for you, and how to use one. Flash glucose monitoring Using sensor technology in a flash glucose monitor, you can test your glucose levels without pricking your finger. How it works: A small white disc (the size of a twenty-cent coin) is positioned on the back of your upper arm. This holds the sensor, which is worn just under the skin. It will stay in place for 14 days. To get a glucose reading, you hold a reader over the sensor. How it helps: Each scan provides the last eight hours of glucose data and a trend arrow showing the changes in glucose levels. You can download the data from the Freestyle Libre Software for a deeper understanding of your blood glucose patterns. Devices available: FreeStyle Libre 2 Continuous glucose monitoring Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) allows continuous measurement of glucose levels to gain insight into patterns and trends throughout the day and night. How it works: A sensor is inserted under your skin to measure the level of glucose in your body’s interstitial (body tissue) fluids. They stay in place for 7-10 days, depending on the brand of sensor. How it helps: CGM can sound an alarm if your glucose level changes rapidly. For example, when your blood glucose level has dropped too low (hypoglycaemia or hypo) an alarm is triggered, alerting you or an emergency contact to provide treatment immediately. Devices available: Dexcom G6 and Medtronic Guardian Connect. Find out more about CGM on the NDSS website. Diabetes tech to help you take insulin Insulin pumps An insulin pump is a small battery-operated electronic device that holds a reservoir of insulin. It’s about the size of a small mobile phone and is worn 24 hours a day. How it works: The pump is programmed to deliver insulin to your body through a thin plastic tubing known as the infusion set or giving set. The infusion set has a fine needle or flexible cannula that is inserted just below your skin where it stays in place for two to three days. There’s also information available on NDSS pump consumables. Only fast-acting insulin is used in the pump. Whenever you eat, you enter the amount of carbohydrates in the food and the pump will deliver a pre-programmed dose of insulin into your body. Between meals, a small and steady rate of insulin is delivered. How it helps: According to research, insulin pump therapy can reduce the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia, as well as improve your quality of life. Using a pump may also Increase your time spent in target blood glucose range. Pump therapy requires motivation, regular blood glucose checking and the ability to learn pump technology. And because it is not a cure for people who require insulin for their diabetes, you should keep in regular contact with your CDE or endocrinologist for review and adjustment of pump rates. Read all about Renza’s experience using an insulin pump in her story What I’ve learned from 12 years pumping. Devices available: There are a range of insulin pumps available in Australia, including: Ypsomed Insulin Pump Medtronic 640G and 780G Tandem t:slim Accu-Chek Solo Omnipod DASH® System Gold Tier (top level) private health insurance policies cover insulin pumps. Check with your health insurer to see if you are covered. Type 1 diabetes Insulin Pump Program Through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Insulin Pump Program fully subsidised insulin pumps are provided to eligible families. Who’s eligible: If you are considered a low-income family with dependents under 18 years of age living with type 1 diabetes, and do not have access to other means of reimbursement such as private health insurance, the Insulin Pump Program could be for you. Devices available: The following pumps are available under the program: MiniMed 640G MiniMed 770G You can find out more about the Insulin Pump Program or call (02) 9966 0400. A precaution on using DIY tech for type 1 diabetes If you are living with type 1 diabetes, maintaining glucose levels within the optimal range is vital to maintaining good health. This involves regularly monitoring of your BGLs to adjust insulin doses. This can be a difficult and tiring process. You could consider using do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions to make the process easier. However, there is currently no approved product that automates insulin delivery and glucose monitoring. Stay informed by reading the Diabetes Australia position statement on DIY tech solutions for those with type 1 diabetes.