C8 MediSensors Noninvasive CGM is Welcome News for Type 1 Diabetics

C8 MediSensors HG1-c CGM

C8 MediSensors HG1-c noninvasive CGM could make living with Type 1 Diabetes a little less painful.

Each year more than 30,000 Americans, half of them children, are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  They join the nearly three million Americans already suffering from the disease, who, like me, are faced with multiple daily finger pricks to test the amount of glucose in their blood.  In order to cover the period of time when we’re not pricking our fingers, many Type 1 diabetics use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).  Up until this point, the most successful and reliable of these devices are all invasive, requiring the user to inject a metallic filament under the skin, which analyzes the amount of glucose in the body’s interstitial fluid.  This measurement is not reliable on its own and needs to be calibrated with traditional finger pricks several times a day.  In addition, the insertion of this type of CGM is both discomforting and at times painful.  Just last week I bled so much from my insertion site that I had to remove the CGM sensor and start over (not to mention clean up the blood that dripped onto my shoes and clothing).

Yesterday, my wife sent me a link to a blog post that mentioned the invention of a new nCGM (noninvasive Continuous Glucose Monitor) that is being manufactured by C8 MediSensors, Inc.  The device uses a laser beam of light to measure the amount of glucose under the skin.  A small amount of the incident light from the beam causes the glucose molecules (as well as other molecules) to vibrate.  The light that is reflected off of these vibrating molecules will have different colors than the original incident light.  This effect is known as Raman scattering.  The C8 MediSenors nCGM device analyzes these colors, looking for a unique Raman spectra that can be used to identify the chemical structure of the glucose molecules.  More details regarding the technology behind the C8 MediSensors noninvasive CGM can be found on the company’s web site.  For a brief overview of the device, watch the C8 MediSensors video below.

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From what I have learned so far, C8 MediSensors’ nCGM device, labeled the HG1-c , is promising for a number of reasons:

  • It is noninvasive and the company claims that it is completely pain free since it uses only optical light.
  • It comes pre-calibrated from the factory and does not require constant finger stick calibrations (although, like current CGMs it measures the glucose in the body’s interstitial fluid and not in the blood, so it does not replace the need for the more accurate finger stick tests).
  • It begins working after five minutes instead of several hours like current CGMs.
  • It transmits glucose readings via Bluetooth to the user’s smartphone (a huge plus), and it is also rumored to be able to call an emergency number if the user hasn’t responded to the device’s alarms (another potential huge plus).
  • It does not require the need for costly disposable sensors or other consumables in order to function.
  • It can be worn all day or taken off at the user’s convenience.

The company is claiming that the cost of the C8 MediSensors nCGM, the HG1-c, is equivalent to the price of three finger stick tests performed daily over the course of four years.  So, if we can assume that a test strip costs on average fifty cents, the equation becomes 365 x 4 x $1.50 = $2,190.  If we add in the minimal cost of lancets, we can expect to pay somewhere above that total, before factoring in insurance coverage.

Of course, the big question is, how accurate is the HG1-c?  The C8 MediSensors company website claims that it is “comparable in accuracy to currently available CGMs.”  However, most of us who use CGMs know that the accuracy is relative to our levels during calibration, and if our glucose levels are rising or falling too much when we calibrate, it can corrupt the accuracy of the CGM.  Since the HG1-c doesn’t require constant calibration, does this mean its accuracy is more consistent?

In conclusion, the C8 MediSensors noninvasive continuous glucose monitor looks to be a promising tool for Type 1 diabetics.  The device is expected to be available overseas in late 2011 for countries that accept CE Mark approval.  With regard to the US, the company expects FDA approval sometime during the 2012 calendar year.  I’ve contacted the company for more information on a possible approval timeframe for 2012.

4 Responses to “C8 MediSensors Noninvasive CGM is Welcome News for Type 1 Diabetics”

  1. monique says:

    Thanks! I can’t take anymore painful gadgets. This seems better.

  2. Kari says:

    So cool! Thanks for blogging about this – I hadn’t heard of it before. I will definitely be watching to see when this one gets FDA approved. I’d love a CGM but I’m super terrified of the crazy looking insertion devices….I have enough issues just getting myself to put in new sites for my pump!

  3. Steve Morris says:

    This will be a promising tool for Type 2 diabetics as well. In theory I should be able to regulate my blood sugars mostly with diet but in practice it is hard to know exactly what to do when. With continuous feedback to teach what foods cause which results over time it would be the difference between theory and practice. Make a mistake and see the results, do it right and see the results. That is the ideal training situation.

  4. Beck says:

    Wo ist die Fa. c8medisensors geblieben ich finde sie nicht mehr

    Können Sie helfen Danke!!

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