Gizmos Topic of the Week

Control-IQ is a revolution in diabetes management

Diabetes patients that use the Control-IQ software can rest easy, knowing that a smart device regulates their blood sugar. This software, developed by Tandem Diabetes Care, recently gained FDA approval. That’s no suprise, after the software proved competent at controlling the disease.

Type 1 disease and Control-IQ

Type 1 diabetes is a disease without a cure. The pancreas stops producing insulin, which leads to a rise in blood sugar. Patients require insulin, which they receive either via injections mulitple times a day or an insulin pump. This device infuses insulin all the time, depending on patient needs. As you can see, type I diabetes requires complex, daily self-care by patients. Those that don’t take care of their diabetes suffer from deadly complications, such as heart disease.

Here comes Control-IQ

This high-tech software regulates the rate of insulin infusion to maintain normal blood glucose levels. In essence, it works just like the pancreas does! It works with any “interoperable” insulin pump (this is an FDA designation), adjusting the insulin dosing based on the input from the glucose sensor. That said, it probably works best with Tandem’s own insulin pump, the t:slim X2.

Control-IQ’s innovative glucose control

Instead of reacting to sensor readings, the Control-IQ software tries to predict highs or lows in patients’ glucose and adjust the pump’s insulin output. With this method, there is never too much or too little glucose in the blood. The software also contains Exercise Mode and Sleep Mode. In Exercise Mode, the device aims to allow a little higher blood glucose levels, so as to avoid exercise hypoglycemia. During Sleep Mode, on the other hand, glucose control gets a lot stricter. This has the potential of reducing patients’ glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). When it comes to this parameter, the lower it is, the lower the risk of diabetes complications later in life. A study with 100 patients is underway, aiming to actually prove that Control-IQ is actually better for patients’ health.

Take-home messages

  • Control-IQ promises hassle-free glycemic control in type 1 diabetes patients.
  • After proving flawless and safe operation, it recently received FDA approval.
  • Control-IQ’s interoperability with any compatible insulin pump is a major win. Rigid, proprietary implementations only stymie progress in the mHealth sector.
  • Whether or not there’s actual benefit in using this software will be made clear in a study that is currently ongoing.

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