By Andrew Liszewski
As if the health and physical problems weren’t enough, people with diabetes also have to deal with testing their blood sugar on a regular basis, which usually involves pricking a finger to get a blood sample. The SEVEN system from DexCom however uses a flexible, platinum wire-based device that goes under the skin to continually read glucose levels for a period of seven days. The sensor is currently the smallest on the market (about the size of a quarter) and it attaches to your skin via a waterproof adhesive patch so you can wear it non-stop for an entire week without any special care.
The sensor also features a wireless transmitter which sends information about your blood glucose level to a receiver every 5 minutes, providing a more comprehensive record of your sugar levels on an hourly basis. The SEVEN receiver, which is about the size of a cellphone, has a large LCD display which can be used to show graphs of your blood glucose level over 1, 3 and 9-hour periods. It also has a set of high and low blood glucose alerts that can be customized to your needs, and a Hypo-Safety-Alarm that will alert you when your glucose falls to 55 mg/dL or lower. Since the transmitter on the sensor runs on a minimal amount of power, the range between the sensor and the receiver is limited to about 5 feet, so you’ll always need to keep it on or near your person. But if you can get a prescription for it from your doctor, and it’s reasonably priced, it could be a far better alternative to pricking your finger every morning.