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The Newsletter
Issue 1 June 2001
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New device aids in the fight against diabetes
By Michael Seaforth
Diabetes is very prevalent in many families and most people know of a relative or close friend with it. Unchecked it can lead to a variety of complications including damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and even limb amputation. Many people have diabetes for over a decade before they find out that they have it. Diabetes is a condition where the body does not produce enough insulin or is unable to use the insulin it produces. Insulin is required by the body in order for the cells to absorb glucose.

A new device being introduced in the UK and granted US Food and Drug Administration approval as a prescription device for adults 18 years and over threatens to become another useful weapon in the battle against diabetes. Cygnus, Inc has unveiled a new product called the GlucoWatch® Biographer.

The GlucoWatch® Biographer is a glucose monitoring device that is worn on the GlucoWatch Biographerhand like a watch. It provides automatic glucose readings every 20 minutes for up to 12 hours at a time. It consists of a processor and a replaceable sensor that sticks to the skin of the person being monitored. The Biographer uses an extremely low electric current to absorb glucose through the skin then analyzes the sample collected to determine the concentration of glucose. This information is displayed on the LCD readout and stored in memory for later retrieval. No incision in the skin is required.

During each 10 minute testing period, the Biographer spends 3 minutes absorbing glucose and 7 minutes measuring its concentration. The reading displayed is derived from two samples and computed by comparison with a "finger-stick" blood sample which must be taken each time the device is worn.

The GlucoWatch® Biographer is not intended to replace a regular blood glucose meter but instead to provide supplementary information that might assist in the treatment of this disease. Among its chief benefits is its ability to detect trends and patterns in glucose level readings and alert the user if the levels are too high or too low. A regular glucose meter is still required as the principal means of testing and to calibrate the Biographer before each use.

For more information on the GlucoWatch® Monitor, visit:
For more information on diabetes, visit:

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