Continuous glucose monitoring systems are devices that include a sensor, a transmitter and a receiver (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Components of a continuous glucose monitoring system

 

A continuous glucose monitoring system samples interstitial glucose levels every few minutes, which allows for collation of all the glucose values into glucose curves (Figure 2).

Figure 2: A continuous glucose monitoring system collates all glucose values into glucose curves

 

Each sensor is able to provide readings typically for up to 6 days. This helps to fill in the gaps of missing information from doing only intermittent capillary blood glucose readings (Figure 3a).

"Continuous glucose monitoring systems enable a more complete picture of glucose trends and patterns to enable more precise insulin dose titration," says Dr Daphne Su-Lyn Gardner, Consultant at the Department of Endocrinology, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

As a continuous glucose monitoring system samples glucose readings every few minutes rather than snapshots of the capillary glucose at any one point of time (Figure 3a), it is able to provide information on the glucose trajectory (Figure 3b). This allows the user and healthcare provider to overcome what would have been ‘blind spots’ in the glucose profile.

 

Figure 3a: Self-monitoring of capillary glucose readings (mmol/L) over the course of 5 days

 

Figure 3b: Continuous glucose monitoring tracing over 1 day. With continuous glucose monitoring, glucose curves are generated that allow a more comprehensive view of glucose trajectories beyond capillary glucose readings, and how food/medication/exercise interact with glucose levels.

See next page for the benefits of diagnostic and real-time continuous glucose monitoring.

Ref: O17