Are You Prepared for Technology Changes?
Last updated: October 2022
Technology is everywhere. Laptops. Computers. Phones that do everything but walk and chew gum. Digital cameras. Smartwatches that attach to Smart home technology. Bluetooth pet feeders. Insulin pumps. Continuous glucose monitors. It boggles the mind how far technology has come in the last 30 years!
Preparing for type 2 diabetes technology advancements
Technology is great when it works. But are we really prepared for when it doesn't work? Or when the newest version is released? Will the cost of the latest version increase, or will it stay the same? Is it still affordable if the price goes up?
Continuous glucose monitors and flash monitors
We are so reliant on technology that these are becoming daily questions. I could feel my anxiety rising when I found out the Libre 3 CGM has been approved in the USA and will be released soon. I live in Canada, and Abbott, the parent company, hasn't even applied for approval here. Okay. That's 1 issue. But what about when the tech fails, or we think we can't rely on it? Such is the case with flash monitors and new continuous glucose monitors (CGM).
Insurance coverage and cost
When I first started hearing about CGMs, it was all about Dexcom. I looked into it. Clearly, it was way beyond what I needed or could afford. Then the Libre flash glucose sensor arrived. This seemed like a piece of tech I could use. I had no insurance coverage through mine or my husband's plans. Hmm.
Could I afford, did I want to afford, 89 dollars every 14 days? As I struggled to get my diabetes back in line, we decided it was worth it. For about 18 months, I spent the money to use it. After 18 months of costs and much nationwide advocacy, it was accepted for coverage by insurance companies.
CGMs worked great for me
For me, the technology worked great. It was a success for me. I didn't have any issues. In online groups, others struggled with it; they had significant rashes developing under the device from the medical-grade glue, the sensor didn't stick to the skin, and accuracy was a big issue for many as well. Enter the Libre 2. More bells and whistles, better accuracy. I switched again; I had no issues.
Others experienced technology issues
Others did. Some complained that the accuracy was worse and either went back to Libre 1 or finger poking. Rashes and complaints of not adhering to the skin continued. In other groups, the issues were the same with Dexcom. People were left returning to what was considered "the old way."
I can understand the disappointment people were feeling. The technology failed them. Or something associated with the technology failed them. The apps for these devices tried but did not catch up with the phone updates. And older phones were being phased out of the app updates.
This can be upsetting if your phone works well and you don't have hundreds of dollars to get a new phone just so the app for this device will work. Sometimes there was a workaround. Libre 1 and 2 had a reader/glucometer that you could purchase.
For Libre 1, they were readily available. For Libre 2, you were lucky if you could find a model for almost a year, at least in Canada. I wonder what the Libre 3 or advances on the Dexcom front will bring. I also consider what disappointment will be felt if the tech does not turn out to support what we need it to.
Technology can improve type 2 diabetes care
We all want technology that will improve our lives with diabetes, make managing diabetes a bit easier, or for some, just for something fun to use with a condition that sucks. When technology fails, it fails big. If it fails for you, it can be disappointing, dashing hope, and having to accept another thing you can't control.
For those who can afford to update technology and it functions as it is supposed to, tech makes dealing with the disease more manageable. If I have learned nothing else, I have learned to have a backup plan in case my tech fails. What is that, you ask? A blood glucose monitor and test strips. It's old, but it will do the job, just not as efficiently.
This or That
Have you ever had trouble accessing your medication do to shortages?
Do you find it difficult to "eat right" and stick to a nutrition plan?