MetaMedical™ Solutions Inc

Innovation in the diabetes care market: continuous glucose monitoring sensors

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are a class of medical devices used to assist in managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The market has experienced extraordinary growth in recent years and has become a rapidly evolving segment of diabetes care devices. These devices either completely replace or are a supplement to traditional blood glucose monitoring, which requires a traditional meter and a small blood draw from a finger. Within the CGM space, there are a variety of devices: both traditional CGMs, which have a use period of 1–2 weeks and are replaced frequently; and implantable CGMs, which are inserted into the body with a surgical procedure and last up to six months.

Traditional CGMs are small devices placed on the skin using an applicator, which is completed at home by the patient. The device itself consists of a transmitter, a sensor electrode, and an adhesive patch. These sensors have a lifespan of anywhere between one to two weeks, after which they must be replaced. Most traditional CGMs no longer require calibration via a blood draw, which is a major selling point for patients.

Implantable CGMs are sensors placed underneath the skin by a surgical procedure every three to six months. Compared to traditional CGMs, this procedure is significantly more invasive and requires a visit to a hospital for both insertion and removal. Additionally, the implantable CGM still requires a transmitter to be placed above the implanted unit, and a daily calibration requiring a blood draw. However, the implantable CGM does have a higher degree of accuracy than traditional CGMs.

According to the GlobalData marketed products database, there are currently 97 products in the CGM category. The overwhelming majority of these products are traditional CGMs, with very few implantable sensors. Additionally, there are a further 133 products currently in development or in the process of being approved, as reported in the GlobalData pipeline products database. As evidenced by this data, this market segment is growing rapidly and is a hotbed for innovative new technologies, such as implantable CGMs.

Continuous glucose monitors are a rapidly evolving, highly innovative segment within the diabetes care market. The technologies behind these devices have become more accurate and advanced over the past few years, with multiple major medical device companies entering the market. Implantable CGMs have yet to gain a major share of the market; however, the prospect of a long-term, highly accurate CGM has the potential to disrupt the existing market.

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