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March 27, 2006

Comments

Jared Clemence

This is a very interesting article, but I don't see where you have gotten the information regarding the three day lifespan of the implant. Could you please send me a link that describes this? (jrc42@drexel.edu)

Thank you,

Jared Clemence
Biomedical Engineer

Carlos N Velez

Sure! The link is here: http://www.dexcom.com/sts.php.

I quote:

The DexCom™ STS™ Sensor includes a wirelike sensor which is inserted via the DexCom™ STS™ Applicator by the user or clinician just under the skin where it is held in place by an adhesive to the skin. Once inserted the user would wear the DexCom™ STS™ sensor for up to three days before being replaced. After three days, the patient simply removes the sensor from the skin and discards it. A new sensor can then be used with the same receiver.

Jared Clemence

Thank you for the link.

I am not so sure that replacing the device every three days will be as much a problem as I originally presumed from your comments. The implant itself is quoted as being "wire-like."

If this implant is similar to a fine-wire used in fine-wire EMG, then this could be an improvement on the current system of finger pricking three times each day. Being able to prick yourself once every three days AND receive continuous, time-averaged, and instantaneous readings on demand sounds like a dream.

There are other devices that may prove to be too competative for this device to take hold. Like you, others will see that the DexCom STS needs to be replaced every three days. They will focus on the words "implanted," and become scared. Words like this become larger deterants when compared with words like "non-invasive" that are being used to describe another type of device that is growing in utility but not yet to market. One such device blows away all competition if it can match its creators claims. The GlucoTrack announced on February 16, 2006, claims to be able to monitor the glucose concentration of up to three people at any time without needing to break the skin.

The GlucoTrack is not completely non-invasive however. It too must be calibrated with occational physical contact to the blood of its users. However, this calibration process is necessary only once each month. This is a tremendous improvement over current industry standards set by Sensys Medical in AZ, USA, who is able to achieve non-invasive detection with a single calibration, daily (based on conversations with their technical support staff).

While these devices offer "non-invasive" solutions, neither can provide continuous data streams or time-averaged values. Perhaps this will be sufficient for the DexCom STS to become a marketable device, but I do not believe that diabetics recognize a need for continuous minitoring, especially when it has been acceptable to check glucose concentrations only three times each day.

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