Breaking News
November 21, 2018 - Pulmonologists want more information on inhalation devices for COPD
November 21, 2018 - Cessation fatigue predicts relapse rate after attempts to quit smoking
November 21, 2018 - Special care should be taken with drugs that inhibit epigenetic factors, study suggests
November 21, 2018 - More than one in ten heavy cannabis users experience withdrawal after quitting cannabis
November 21, 2018 - Reflections on the California fires
November 21, 2018 - Donna Lynne Appointed to Key Leadership Role at CUIMC
November 21, 2018 - Smoke-free laws associated with reduced systolic blood pressure
November 21, 2018 - Achieving new guideline blood pressure goals may prevent 3 million cardiovascular events
November 21, 2018 - LDR brachytherapy for treating early-stage prostate cancer lacks conclusive data
November 21, 2018 - Purified omega-3 and aspirin reduce pre-cancerous bowel polyps, shows study
November 21, 2018 - Study warns that potential epigenetic therapy may boost lung cancer stem cells
November 21, 2018 - Noise pollution in hospital impact quality and safety of healthcare
November 21, 2018 - Higher Risk for Amputation, DKA With SGLT2 Inhibitors for T2DM
November 21, 2018 - Researchers stop ‘sneaky’ cancer cells in their tracks
November 21, 2018 - People who are afraid to draw their blood over-estimate the risk of fainting
November 21, 2018 - Personalized physical exercise reverses functional, cognitive deterioration in the elderly
November 21, 2018 - COPD linked to obesity in older women who have never smoked
November 21, 2018 - AHA: Cold-Weather Drinks Are Here, But Watch Out for the Calories
November 21, 2018 - Crowds line up at 1st East Coast pot shops
November 21, 2018 - Merck declares 2018 Life Science Award winners
November 21, 2018 - Many people underestimate the impact of sprains, say foot scientists
November 21, 2018 - Lower levels of protein make squamous carcinoma cells more invasive
November 21, 2018 - Study highlights a new predictor of type 2 diabetes
November 21, 2018 - NTU and TTSH join forces to improve doctor-patient communication
November 21, 2018 - New low-cost injectable hydrogel could help wounds heal faster
November 21, 2018 - Merck Announces Winners of 2018 Life Science Awards
November 21, 2018 - Check your medical records for dangerous errors
November 21, 2018 - Amount of weight regain after bariatric surgery helps predict health risks
November 21, 2018 - Heart failure patients with stronger hearts have more depressive symptoms, lower quality of life
November 21, 2018 - Women can be as resilient as men in undertaking arduous physical activity
November 21, 2018 - Receptor structure could be key to developing new osteoporosis drugs
November 21, 2018 - Researchers identify human white matter pathway associated with individual variability in human stereoacuity
November 21, 2018 - Vitamin D critical to early development of vertebrates, study suggests
November 21, 2018 - Myriad biological, societal factors that impact CKD severity for children of African descent
November 21, 2018 - Isofol Announces Initiation of a Pivotal Phase 3 Clinical Trial of arfolitixorin for the Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
November 21, 2018 - Experts offer more clarity on managing common ankle fractures
November 21, 2018 - About 300 million bits of DNA are missing from basic reference genome, report scientists
November 21, 2018 - Study explores how the moving brain processes visual information
November 21, 2018 - Biomedical engineers stop cancer cells from moving and spreading
November 21, 2018 - Gut protein mutations protect against spikes in blood glucose levels
November 21, 2018 - First probabilistic atlas of thalamus nuclei to better understand the brain
November 21, 2018 - Peanut allergies could soon have a drug treatment
November 21, 2018 - Vanderbilt researchers isolate antibody that can neutralize West Nile virus
November 21, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Health nerd books for the holidays
November 21, 2018 - MDMA could help gain trust but does not make one naive find researchers
November 21, 2018 - Study uncovers new mechanism controlling the master cancer regulator
November 21, 2018 - Online communication technologies could stave off depression among seniors, shows study
November 21, 2018 - FDA Approves Gamifant (emapalumab-lzsg) for Primary Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis
November 21, 2018 - Artificial intelligence predicts treatment effectiveness
November 21, 2018 - A bicyclist’s road to recovery after traumatic brain injury
November 21, 2018 - New research project to combat obesity, type 2 diabetes receives NIH funding
November 21, 2018 - Humans play key role in distribution and transmission of Bartonella bacteria
November 21, 2018 - First modeling system developed for testing age-specific human immune responses to vaccines
November 21, 2018 - FDA Alert: Gilenya (fingolimod): Drug Safety Communication
November 21, 2018 - Uric Acid Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 21, 2018 - Researchers use genetics to predict response to antipsychotic medications
November 21, 2018 - Proposal to include the price of drugs in television ads is flawed, Stanford scholar writes
November 21, 2018 - Disrupting reproduction strategy of disease-causing parasites could help fight malaria
November 20, 2018 - ACAAI: Almost 2 Percent of Children Have Milk Allergy
November 20, 2018 - Congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract – Genetics Home Reference
November 20, 2018 - Can video games improve the health of older adults with schizophrenia?
November 20, 2018 - Can flicking a molecular switch restore the aging immune system’s competence?
November 20, 2018 - Restek launches new Oregon cannabis pesticide standards
November 20, 2018 - Health sector coalition urges Government to safeguard patients in future UK-EU relationship
November 20, 2018 - Study evaluates second-hand marijuana smoke exposure among children
November 20, 2018 - Scientists identify three genes responsible for recurrent molar pregnancies
November 20, 2018 - Researchers identify multisystem disorder caused by bi-allelic variants in CCDC47 gene
November 20, 2018 - Dining Out With Allergies Is Tough, But These Steps Can Help
November 20, 2018 - Breastfeeding protects infants from antibiotic-resistant bacteria
November 20, 2018 - AI matched, outperformed radiologists in screening X-rays for certain diseases | News Center
November 20, 2018 - Adolescents increasingly choose marijuana over cigarettes, alcohol
November 20, 2018 - World’s first medical imaging scanner produces diagnostic scan of the whole human body
November 20, 2018 - Cytocybernetics receives NIMH award to move into neuronal drug development
November 20, 2018 - Researchers discover new information on pathological mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease
November 20, 2018 - ‘Unknown’ enzyme may be key to new treatment for inflammatory diseases
November 20, 2018 - Recreational drug may help people regain trust in others
November 20, 2018 - Researchers identify gene vital for post-stroke recovery
November 20, 2018 - Scientists identify novel target for neuron regeneration, functional recovery in spinal cord injury
November 20, 2018 - Potential new therapeutic approach developed for synovial sarcoma
November 20, 2018 - Skeletal imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom
Continuous glucose monitors proven cost-effective, add to quality of life for diabetics

Continuous glucose monitors proven cost-effective, add to quality of life for diabetics

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Newer models of continuous glucose monitors can transmit data to smartphones and smartwatches. Credit: Matt Wood, UChicago Medicine

Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) offer significant, daily benefits to people with type 1 diabetes, providing near-real time measurements of blood sugar levels, but they can be expensive. A new study by researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine, based on a 6-month clinical trial, finds that use of a CGM is cost-effective for adult patients with type 1 diabetes when compared to daily use of test strips. The results are well within the thresholds normally used by insurance plans to cover medical devices. During the trial, CGMs improved overall blood glucose control for the study group and reduced hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar episodes.

The study, published April 12, 2018 in Diabetes Care, a journal from the American Diabetes Association, also simulated the costs and health effects of CGM use over the expected lifetime of patients. It showed that CGMs also increased quality of life by extending the amount of time patients enjoy relatively good health, free of complications.

“If you map out the lifetime of a patient, it’s impressive. The CGM adds years of life and years of quality life,” said Elbert Huang, MD, Associate Director of the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study. “While it does cost additional money, the costs saved by lower risk of complications offsets the upfront costs.”

A continuous glucose monitor uses a tiny sensor inserted under the skin to test blood sugar levels every few minutes throughout the day and wirelessly sends those data to a monitor. The first generation of CGMs transmitted data to a stand-alone electronic device that looks like a pager, but newer models can work with apps on smartphones and smartwatches. This provides near-real time information and allows diabetics to adjust their physical activity, food intake or insulin levels quickly, preventing severe high or low blood sugar episodes.

The study was a randomized trial of 158 patients with type 1 diabetes who relied on multiple, daily injections of insulin (not an insulin pump). Two-thirds of the group used CGMs, and the remaining third used the finger prick method with test strips and a meter to check their blood sugars.

At the end of the six-month trial, the total health care costs of using a CGM was $11,032, compared to $7,236 for manual testing. The cost differences were mostly due to the upfront cost of the CGM device, about $2,500. But the CGM group saw reductions in their hemoglobin A1C levels, a common measure of blood sugar control, and experienced fewer non-severe low blood sugar events.

The researchers also used a statistical model to simulate costs and health effects of CGM use over the average expected lifetime of patients. The model calculated a value called quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) for each patient, which represents the amount of time they live free of any complications or serious medical incidents. In the lifetime analysis, the CGM was projected to reduce the risk of complications from type 1 diabetes and increase QALYs by .54, basically adding six months of good health.

The analysis calculated an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, which shows the difference in costs for a treatment, in this case the CGM vs daily test strips, over the health benefit it adds, or the quality of life years. The cost-effectiveness ratio for the CGM was about $100,000 per QALY for the overall population. This is well below the threshold insurance plans and government agencies such as Medicare normally use to decide whether or not to cover a new treatment or medical device. The ratio was calculated based on the recommendation to use a CGM sensor for seven days, but if that use was extended to 10 days, as many people do, that ratio was reduced to about $33,000 per QALY.

“Based on this analysis, the CGM looks like a very valuable technology, one that doesn’t cause harm and makes people’s lives better,” Huang said. “Hopefully, this will become an important part of the decision-making process to make the CGM available to more people.”

Advances in CGM technology will also continue to lower costs, as it further integrates with software and everyday digital devices such as smartphones.

“It hints at a future of chronic disease management that’s more cost effective and gives patients more control,” Huang said. “Basically, all the CGM does is provide information, but that allows patients to change the way they eat or time their medications. It empowers patients to manage their own health.”


Explore further:
Personalized blood sugar goals can save diabetes patients thousands

More information:
“Cost-effectiveness of Continuous Glucose Monitoring for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes Compared with Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose: the DIAMOND Randomized Trial,” Diabetes Care (2018).

Journal reference:
Diabetes Care

Provided by:
University of Chicago Medical Center

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles