Sensor Continuously Monitors Glucose in Diabetics

STS-7 system lasts up to 7 days

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MONDAY, June 4, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a disposable sensor placed just below abdominal skin that monitors diabetics' glucose levels every five minutes for up to seven days.

While users must still rely on a fingerstick test to decide when to administer insulin, the STS-7 device tracks patterns in glucose levels through an entire week, the FDA said in a prepared statement.

"[The device] can help detect when glucose levels drop during the overnight hours, show when glucose levels rise between meals, and suggest how exercise and diet might affect glucose levels," said Dr. Daniel Schultz, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

The device measures glucose in the interstitial fluid found in the body's tissues. Placement of the sensor, which must be replaced weekly, causes minimal discomfort and usually can be done by the patient, the agency said. An optional alarm will warn patients if glucose levels get too high or low.

The STS-7 device is produced by DexCom, Inc., of San Diego. A three-day version was approved by the FDA in March 2006.

More information

The FDA has more about this approval.

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