I have seen the future of CGMS, and it looks pretty damn good. OK, I admit, I just caught a glimpse, ’cause I was disqualified for a current study of the Abbott FreeStyle Navigator in the last round due to potential “skin allergies to medical adhesives.” Curse those DexCom shower patches (which irritate my skin and made me look iffy here). Curse them!
Anyway, the Navigator is reportedly hekka accurate. Even my new endo says so. (More on that later; and no, I’m not giving out any names). So much more accurate, I hear, that it will blow away existing CGM models. Maybe. Man, I would’ve liked to take it for a 90-day test drive.
The receiver is certainly smaller than the DexCom’s — a nice compact-like square thingie — with a FreeStyle blood glucose meter built right in. That will surely make those many daily calibrations a helluvalot less inconvenient.
The sensor, however, is larger and bulkier than DexCom’s, more akin to the size of an OmniPod insulin pod, looks like. So that’s one disadvantage. But the Navigator sensor will be waterproof, which is HUGE. No need for those irksome shower patches. To make it waterproof, naturally they’ve got to find the magical medical adhesive that will 1) keep the thing on, even when submerged, and 2) not irritate the heck out of patients’ skin. Which brings me back to my disqualification: since my skin reacts quite unhappily to the DexCom shower patch, it seems I may be too sensitive to test adhesives — at least not if the master plan is for overwhelmingly positive study results.
I had originally reported that Abbott hoped to get the Navigator on the market by the end of this year. But that doesn’t seem to be happening now, does it? Frustrating, but I guess I’m not the only one willing to wait a while longer for something that really and truly is hekka accurate!
Editor’s note: In case you’re wondering, I’m taking a mini-break from my DexCom this week, to give both my belly and my wallet a much-needed reprieve. I’m still enthusiastic about the company and what they’re doing, but the required 4+ calibrations per day involving hooking up a cable to a traditional monitor that I don’t particularly like (the OneTouch Ultra) can get old — especially when accuracy isn’t great. *sigh*