sugarBEAT continuous glucose monitoring from Nemaura Medical for Type 2 diabetes




We covered sugarBEAT in this column back in June 2016,

and it's good to be able to come back with positive news that

it's developed significantly and expected to be available for

purchase around Easter this year. Key users? T2s.

By Sue Marshall.

What could easily be described as a

unicorn, in terms of being a mythical

beast, non-invasive blood testing has

been researched for nearly 40 years.

Now, Nemaura Medical is bringing a noninvasive CGM to market.

Based in Loughborough,

Nemaura Medical is focused on the

commercialization of sugarBEAT, a

non-invasive, affordable and flexible

Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) for

people with diabetes and prediabetes. It

will be the world's first non-invasive, safe,

needle-free CGM. The devise already has

a CE-mark and it sits on top of the skin and

intended to be worn during waking hours.

This allows continuous glucose readings

to be done on non-consecutive days, if

wished. It means users can monitor only

on the days they want to or as suggested

by their healthcare professional.

So, this new device is a daily sensor,

as opposed to lasting seven days (as per

the Medtronic Enlite) or 10 or 14 days (as

with Dexcom's G6 or Abbott's FreeStyle

Libre respectively). One advantage of

this is that the adhesive needed to keep

the device in place does not need to

endure for so long, so is a lot less likely to

cause skin irritation in users. Once used,

the sensor goes in the bin, but there

are no disposable electronics involved

so they are relatively 'green' in terms of

environmental impact. The transmitters

are reusable and should last for years.

You can get two when you sign up to

sugarBEAT, so one can be charged while

the other is being worn.

The fact there are no electronics in the

sensor and the transmitters get reused

means that there's a lot less waste than

with other sensors, which also brings

the cost down, making sugarBEAT

cost-effective. Speaking on behalf of the

company, Dr. Fred Schaebsdau explains

that the users that the device is being

directed at adults with Type 2 and even

pre-diabetes saying, "We see that the

sensor arena for people with Type 1

diabetes is quite well served, whereas

Type 2s are in our view underserved as

regards continuous monitoring, and they

make up around 90% of all people with


New paradigm

The value even of blood testing for Type

2 diabetics has long been disputed.

Qualifying for blood test sensors has

been deemed necessary only for those

on medications that can induce hypos.

But use of sensors is changing that. Put a

sensor on anyone with diabetes and you

can start to build a profile of that person's

control which can confirm or influence

medication decisions. If no one is really

checking on the control of Type 2s, how

can it be known that their medication is


To build up a profile without a sensor

requires a person to do 21 blood tests

over 24 hours. Unsurprisingly, there's a

high failure rate in those asked to do this

by their clinicians.

The pricing and penetration of the

FreeStyle Libre sensor in the diabetes

healthcare sector is the standard that

sugarBEAT is up against. That product,

along with other sensors, have moved

the discussion away from HbA1c and

towards time-in-range (TIR) which, as

a signifyier of 'good' control, is far more

useful than a three-month average.

Schaebsdau, who has experience

working at Abbott, Roche and Dexcom

and who clearly knows diabetes

technology estimates that sugarBEAT will

be very competitively priced compared

with the Libre. He says, "The sugarBEAT

is soon due to be available for sale to

the public via Nemaura's UK licensee,

(headed by Dr. Dallas Burston), on a

subscription basis, self-funded by people

with Type 2 diabetes who want to be able

to access their blood glucose data in an

easy, pain-free way."

Beat it

Beyond supplying the sugarBEAT sensor,


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