Blood sugar monitoring devices are test systems used to measure the amount of sugar or glucose present in the blood. Glucose is a type of sugar that is used by our bodies as an energy source. With various mechanisms, our bodies regulate the amount of glucose present in the blood. This is hampered when one suffers from diabetes. Individuals that suffer from diabetes may need special diets and medications to control the blood sugar levels in their bodies. Blood sugar monitoring is a test for the quantity of sugar, and is required to monitor the glucose levels in the blood. The readings taken from a blood sugar monitor are used by the doctors to determine the daily adjustments in the treatment, to know if the patient has dangerously high or low levels of glucose in the blood, and to understand how diet and physical activity levels change the amount of glucose present in the blood of the patient.
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The accuracy of blood sugar monitors depends on various factors. The primary factors are the quality of the blood sugar monitor and the quality of the test strips. Another factor is the number of red blood cells present in the blood. If the quantity of red blood cells present in the blood is less, then the results from the blood sugar monitors are less accurate. Some substances like Vitamin C and others may interfere with the blood sugar monitoring. These may be avoided depending upon the instructions written in the blood sugar monitor literature provided to the patients. Other factors like temperature and humidity and as well as altitude may also affect the readings displayed by blood sugar monitors.
The scourge of diabetes has spread worldwide due to the change in the lifestyle that has become fast paced and dependent on fast food and processed food. According to the data provided by the International Diabetes Federation, roughly 8.5% of the global population, or one in eight adults suffer from this disease. While the prevalence of diabetes was seen largely in developed countries earlier, however, now the disease is also widespread in low and middle income countries. Hence, there is a huge market for the monitoring of the blood sugar in the world, with this increasing prevalence of diabetes.
The other important factor driving the worldwide blood sugar monitoring market is the robust healthcare system of the developed countries, especially North America and Europe regions. With a matured healthcare structure already in place in such regions, the reimbursement options are always available, making the market for blood sugar monitors more far spread. The diabetes patients in the developed countries thus prefer health insurance plans that cover all the expenditure incurred on the blood sugar monitor device. These plans also cover other expenditures associated with the blood sugar monitoring such as glucose test strips, glucose meters and diabetes testing supplies. In the United States alone, the Medicare covers nearly 80% of the cost of blood sugar monitoring devices.
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However, the main restraint affecting the blood sugar monitoring devices is the low awareness regarding diabetes. Most of the patients don’t know that they are suffering from diabetes till the condition becomes life threatening. As per the estimation of International Diabetes Federation, almost one in two cases of diabetes will remain undiagnosed. This is a huge number and globally billions of dollars are spend on the prevention of diabetes. The picture is not that good in the developing and low income countries where not enough medical support is available for the control of this disease and people cannot afford the blood sugar monitoring devices.
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