POCTech – Another CGM and why is it important to us?
Just today, Ascensia (formerly Bayer Blood Strips) announced a strategic partnership with Chinese company POCTech that manufactures the rtCGMS system! For those who don’t know, rt is an abbreviation of real time, so it refers to devices that continuously send data in real time and have alarms for high and low sugar levels. Ascensia will start distributing this rtCGM in 13 countries, where POCTech has no independent distribution until the end of the year.
Why is this especially interesting to us?
The company called MediLAB, in Croatia, is the so-called market leader in the field of blood glucose measuring strips with Ascensia strips. As such, it will almost certainly have priority in obtaining distribution for modern technologies from its superior, Ascensie. In other words, although there is no official confirmation, it is possible to expect that Croatia is one of the 13 countries from the press release where POCTech would become available through MediLAB in the second half of 2019!
What kind of CGMS is this?
In short, this device is most similar in appearance and function to the Dexcom G5. So, we have a sensor that we put on the skin, and on it a Bluetooth transmitter that sends data to an application on a mobile phone. What is worth noting here is that the transmitter battery is widely available “almost on every corner”. Unlike, for example, Dexcom’s transmitter in which the battery is integrated, you have to buy everything when the battery leaks (or pay an hacker for an unauthorized battery replacement).
The sensor should last for 7 days and will require calibration once a day. A friend buys a Dexcom G6 for her child, which she has been using intensively for some time. Formally, the G6 does not require calibration, but she claims that once a day calibration gives fantastic results and that this one finger prick a day is a small sacrifice for such a higher quality of life and precision almost identical to that provided by GUK blood test strips. If POCTech is going to be like that, it won’t be bad.
The fact that POCTech is a company from China tells us that the price of this device could be quite low, but that there will be resistance to the “Chinese”. However, it can also be said that the just announced collaboration with a very serious and quality brand, such as Ascensia, speaks in favour of the quality of this product.
What about precision?
I have been convinced countless times that CGMs are much more similar to insulins than, say, blood strips. Namely, just as insulins work differently in different people, it is similar with CGMs. So, when I write to you that Libre or Dexcom, for example, is perfectly accurate for me, it does not mean that it will be for you. It is similar with other CGM devices, since their accuracy is affected by many things, from the algorithm that “corrects errors”, location on the body, body constitution, hydration, etc. In other words, it is very important to read reviews, but also in person, try out an individual device and make your own judgment.
Having said that, I am enclosing a precision table from the manufacturer itself, which was transmitted by the DiabetTech portal:
We already know that the lower the MARD, the better, but we also know that the manufacturer has to “bring water to its mill” when it comes to precision, because otherwise it will not be like other manufacturers. In any case, these figures are very nice, even if they are a little “hooked”.
The ATTD2019 technology conference in Berlin is approaching at the end of February and on this portal you will have the opportunity to read incredible news first hand, about both POCTech and Medtrum, and some interesting things they are preparing for us from Abbott’s kitchen. We must not forget the last Medtronic Guardian stand-alone Bluetooth rtCGMS available in Slovenia.
And the insulin pump??
Believe it or not, there is a compatible insulin pump for this CGM without a catheter! It’s called EOPatch and it looks like this
See eoFlow.com for details
Although we got Libre through CHIF, which is great, we are aware that too few CGMs are available in the market, especially ours. But, even this latest partnership is proof that things are changing. The Chinese always come and form partnerships with top European companies. Another interesting potential partnership will be discussed soon. In any case, of all the predictions made on this portal, let only half of them come true and it will not be bad.