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[IP] GlucoWatch trial

About a week ago I participated in a trial of the GlucoWatch Glucose sensor
from Cygnus and I thought you might be interested in it.  About a month or
so ago, someone on the list posted a phone number for the East Bay Clinical
Trials group that is doing the trial.  I called and gave my name and number.
A week or so later they called back to have me join the study.  

I don't have the study info in front of me, but I will try to remember how
the watch works.  The GlucoWatch is a glucose sensor that sits snugly
against the skin and measures the glucose level in the fluid that is just
under the skin.  It uses electrical current to gather a small amount of this
interstitial fluid and then processes it to give a reading.  The amount of
glucose in this fluid is supposed to equal the amount that is in the blood
at the time, so it can give an accurate reading without having to get to
blood.  The current that it uses is very small, so at first I could feel a
light tingling sensation.  As the day wore on, it got less noticeable.  The
idea is that you could wear the watch and get frequent readings. The watch
is about the size of a large, large men's digital watch.  For the trial, we
had to wear one on each arm.  They said eventually you would also be able to
put it on other parts of the body that aren't quite so visible.  There were
4 buttons on it.  They didn't explain what they did, although they used some
combination to calibrate it to each person and we used one of the buttons to
turn off the alarm that occasionally went off.  They still have a problem
where the watch isn't accurate if you perspire, so we had to stay calm and
cool for the trial.  That is something they are definitely going to have to
work on!

We had to arrive at the office in Concord, CA by 6:45am on the day of the
trial for preliminary blood sugar reading and putting the watches on.  They
also put an IV line in (just in case of emergency).  Then we had our blood
sugar tested with finger pricks twice an hour until 9:45pm that night.  They
purposely had our blood sugars go up and down throughout the day to see how
well the watch worked at various blood sugar levels.  They fed us 3 meals,
including strawberry shortcake after dinner, and we watched lots of movies
to pass the time.

The main down side of the day was that the watches that we were using did
not actually display the blood sugar readings.  You could tell they were
doing readings about every 15 minutes, because I could feel the tingling
sensation.  However this version of the watch just stored that information
into its memory.  Then they were going to download it when it got back to
the manufacturer so they could compare the readings with the blood samples
we took throughout the day.  They didn't say it, but I have a feeling they
didn't display the numbers because they didn't want us to know if it was
right or not :-)

There were 16 of us there that day and additional people on other days (for
a total of around 50-70 people).  There is supposed to be another round of
tests in August before the company submits for FDA approval.

One interesting side note related to pumps:  Everyone was told to fast from
dinner the night before and not to take their morning insulin.  Everyone had
to wait until about 9:30am to eat breakfast.  Since we were testing our
sugars twice an hour, we could see what was happening, and mine were
terrific.  I was flat around 100 without any worry, even though breakfast
was delayed.  Others on injections were going up or down and worrying about
waiting.  My sugars were really good all day and others were quite envious.
There were 3 other pumpers there that day, at least one is also on this
list.  Maybe he can add something to this information.

- Jodi

Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/
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