FDA Approves Continuous 7-Day Glucose Monitoring System

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Glucose Monitoring System

U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a device that measures glucose levels continuously for up to seven days in people with diabetes.

While a standard fingerstick test records a person's glucose level as a snapshot in time, the STS-7 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (STS-7 System) measures glucose levels every five minutes throughout a seven-day period. This additional information can be used to detect trends and track patterns in glucose levels throughout the week that wouldn't be captured by fingerstick measurements alone. However, diabetics must still rely on the fingerstick test to decide whether additional insulin is needed.

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"The STS-7 System supplements standard fingerstick meters and test strips, providing diabetics ages 18 and older with a way to see trends and track patterns," said Daniel Schultz, M.D., director of FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "It can help detect when glucose levels drop during the overnight hours, show when glucose levels rise between meals and suggest how exercise and diet might affect glucose levels."

The STS-7 System, manufactured by DexCom Inc. of San Diego, Calif., uses a disposable sensor placed just below the skin in the abdomen to measure the level of glucose in the fluid found in the body's tissues (interstitial fluid). Sensor placement causes minimal discomfort and can easily be done by patients themselves. The sensor must be replaced weekly. An alarm can be programmed to sound if a patient's glucose level reaches pre-set lows or pre-set highs.

Diabetes is caused by the body's inability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that unlocks the cells of the body, allowing glucose (sugar) to enter and fuel them.

An estimated 20.8 million people in the United States

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