Worldwide, there are an estimated 347 million people with diabetes (1). The number of diabetics worldwide is expected to increase by more than 50% in the next 20 years (2). In the U.S., 8% of the population (26 million people) have diabetes, and a further 79 million people are classified as pre-diabetic. Nearly 1 in every 400 children has type 1 diabetes and is insulin-dependent (3), and by age 60 about 20% of the population has type 2 diabetes.
The disease affects an increasing number of people each year and is increasingly costly to treat. It is important for diabetics to avoid high glycemic levels to prevent dangerous chronic conditions including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, amputations, dental diseases, pregnancy complications, sexual dysfunction, and nervous system disease (3). It is also crucial to avoid dangerously low glycemic levels associated with acute cognitive dysfunction. Current treatments, however, based on conventional monitoring methods, only approximate the function of the normal pancreas, and the blood glucose profiles of even the most diligent patients remain markedly abnormal.
A recent major clinical trial funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation concluded that patients using continuous glucose monitoring devices experienced significant improvements in glucose control. Over the long term, this improvement in control is expected to lower the risk of complications for people with diabetes (4,5).
The worldwide annual expenditure on home and self blood glucose monitoring products has been estimated at $7 to $10 billion with half of the sales occurring in the U.S. The total economic cost of diabetes in the U.S. is estimated to be currently $198 billion (6). The direct cost of the disease has more than doubled in recent years and continues to grow.
With diabetes already affecting so many people, the prevalence of the disease increasing at a staggering rate, and conventional technologies inadequate for optimal treatment, there is significant need for advanced technology to monitor and treat the disease. GlySens will provide glucose monitors that meet this need and help people with diabetes better control their glucose levels.
- Goodarz, et al. "National, regional, and global trends in fasting plasma glucose and diabetes prevalence since 1980: systematic analysis of health examination surveys and epidemiological studies with 370 country-years and 2.7 million participants." The Lancet. 378.9785 (2 July 2011): 31-40.
- International Diabetes Federation. "Diabetes Atlas" accessed July, 2011 <http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/diabetes>.
- CDC. National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, 2011.
- The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Continuous Glucose Monitoring Study Group. "Continuous Glucose Monitoring and Intensive Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes." The New England Journal of Medicine. 359. 2008.
- "JDRF Funded Clinical Trial Demonstrates Continuous Glucose Monitoring Improves Blood Sugar Control." Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. September 2008.
- American Diabetes Association. "Economic costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2007." Diabetes Care, 31:596-615, 2008.