Sorrento Valley Biotech On Cutting Edge Of Diabetes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sorrento Valley Biotech On Cutting Edge Of Diabetes

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A Sorrento Valley biotech company is on the cutting edge of diabetes care. DexCom makes a wireless blood sugar monitor that's helping patients take control of their diabetes, and their lives.\r\n\r\nDoctor Steven Edelman is a diabetic on a mission to help patients cope with the lifelong disease.\r\n\r\n"This is the single biggest advance for people with diabetes in insulin," Dr. Edelman said.\r\n\r\nThat's why he's so excited about the wireless device that allows patients to keep track of their blood sugar levels minute by minute. It uses a small, wireless transmitter inserted under his skin.\r\n\r\n"What's under the skin is a very thin little thread," Dr. Edelman said.\r\n\r\nFor decades, diabetics have been required to test their blood sugar levels by pricking their fingers four or five times a day. The new device, made by DexCom in Sorrento Valley, allows diabetics the luxury of continuous blood glucose monitoring all day long, without having to stick their fingers as often.\r\n\r\n"Takes a couple minutes to insert, install, and you're up and running," Dr. Edelman said.\r\n\r\nDexcom CEO Terry Gregg says the wireless device plots a patient's blood sugar levels on a visual graph every five minutes for about seven days before the small transmitter needs to be replaced. The receiver sets off an audible alarm if sugar levels get too high or too low.\r\n\r\n"The product is waterproof. You can swim, you can surf - there's no hindrance whatsoever. It's a very small footprint, so patients don't even know they have it on," Gregg said.\r\n\r\nThe seven-day glucose monitor is assembled in clean rooms at the DexCom facility. \r\n\r\nMore and more insurance companies are agreeing to reimburse patients for most of the costs. For Dr. Edelman, the monitor has made all the difference.\r\n\r\n"I've never been more relaxed about my diabetes, because I see where I'm at all the time, and I can see which way I'm going," Dr. Edelman said.\r\n\r\nYou can also download readings from the receiver into a computer and print out graphs. The system costs $600, and about $60 per week after that, but medical insurance usually picks up most of the cost.\r\n
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