In November 2016, the International Diabetes Federation estimated that there were 1,086,300 diabetics living in the UAE. This represented a 35% increase in those living with the disease in just 3 short years. *
The UAE has one of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the world. Not only does this put added strain on the healthcare system, but it has huge societal implications too.
The good news is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. In recent years, the government has launched several healthcare initiatives aimed at reducing morbidity, educating the population of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet, and identifying preventative measures.
One of the most innovative initiatives are the introduction of wearable sugar testing devices, designed to help people living with the disease to better manage their condition.
Approximately the size of a Dh1 coin, wearable sugar testing devices are a blessing for the approximately one million diabetics in UAE. A water-resistant patch, they can be placed directly on to the skin.
Once applied, they measure blood sugar levels from the skin cells. Traditional monitoring of glucose levels by pricking fingers to draw blood is considered effective, yet uncomfortable and painful – especially for young children. Wearable sugar testing devices allow for consistent monitoring throughout the day, without having to draw blood.
How Diabetes Affects Daily Routine
The impact a diagnosis of diabetes can have on someone can be lifechanging. The risk of hypoglycaemia (severely low blood sugar levels) is evident and serious. Diabetics can easily slip into a coma or even die if their disease isn’t effectively managed. Monitoring blood glucose levels is an essential part of living with the disease.
Before the advent of wearable sugar testing devices, more than a million diabetics were forced to carry a blood glucose machines, alcohol swabs and lancets with them every single day. This greatly impacted their daily lives. Whether at work, socialising or playing sports, diabetics couldn’t go anywhere without their diabetes kits.
The Superiority of Wearable Sugar Testing Devices
Once placed on the skin, readings are sent from the sensor to the reader in a single second scan. There’s no need for continuous finger pricking. But, perhaps most importantly, wearable sugar testing devices deliver accurate glucose readings instantly. This allows those with diabetes to plan meals and activities accordingly.
The Importance of the Technology to UAE
Given that it’s estimated that as many as 20% of UAE residents may suffer from diabetes, the importance of actively monitoring the condition with ease cannot be overstated.
But, perhaps the greatest advantage of wearable sugar testing devices to patients in the UAE is that they can take control of their ongoing treatment and play a more active role in managing their health.
Not only that, the ability to monitor glucose levels easily means that many diabetes sufferers no longer worry about the societal stigma of treating their diabetes in public. The choice to monitor glucose levels without having to prick their fingers, as often as 40-60 times a day in some cases, is a life-changing opportunity – one that will hopefully positively impact the lives of the one million people living in Dubai who are living with the disease.
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