Continuous blood glucose monitoring offers reliability and comfort to the patient. The occurrence of dangerous hypo glycaemia episodes is reduced, along with potential late onset diabetic complications caused by high blood glucose values. For these reasons health insurance companies are currently negotiating the inclusion of these devices in their approved formularies.
The FiberSense system from EyeSense GmbH does not measure glucose in the blood, but rather painlessly and safely in the subcutaneous interstitial fluid. A miniature fiber optic sensor, worn on the arm or abdomen, sends the monitored value wirelessly to the monitoring device device.
Diagram of FiberSense System. Below left: Cross-section of fiber optic (light blue) subcutaneously with sensor (dark blue) as well as plaster and coupling on the skin surface. Below right: FiberSense system with fiber optic and sensor, plaster, coupling and fluorescence detector (blue)
Currently, Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems (CGM Systems) play a minor role in diabetes treatment, despite being able to not only show the current glucose concentration, but also 24 hour trends, as well as issue warnings about hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
Generally this is due to the limited precision and high material costs of the current systems which mean that health insurances do not cover the costs. This is despite the fact that clinical studies have shown better therapy successes with the regular use of a CGM System (for at least 5 of 7 days). The limited precision also hinders the potential of an automatic closed loop system where the monitoring device relays to the insulin pump and hence controls the insulin delivery for the patient.
The CGMS market is currently growing at a rate of 13 percent. It has a current size of approximately 190 to 250 million euros. The improved precision and reduced costs of FiberSense, along with an increased acceptance from health insurances will help to greatly strengthen the growth of this market for release in the near future.