Diabetes Patients Are Being Denied Access to Life-Changing Technology


This National Diabetes Awareness Month, Beyond Type 1 and Dexcom have partnered to raise awareness of the seriousness of type 1 diabetes and to advocate for life-changing technologies, including continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).

As part of our joint effort, we conducted a survey evaluating levels of adoption and awareness of CGM. The results indicate that a large percentage of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are unaware of CGM, and many are not getting adequate information from their healthcare providers.

Continuous glucose monitoring is indeed life-changing. A 2017 study showed the power of CGM. In addition to lowered A1C, patients saw the following benefits:

  • Reduced duration of hypoglycemia
  • Reduced duration of hyperglycemia
  • Reduced glucose variability
  • Better hypoglycemia awareness
  • Decrease in frequency of blood glucose meter testing

Despite the benefits, our survey showed that many people with type 1 diabetes are not aware of CGM. 34 percent of people with T1D have never heard of CGM or know little about it.

“With more than 1.25 million people in the United States diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it is critical healthcare providers prioritize improving education and awareness for CGM and other innovative diabetes management technologies that are available to patients,” said Daniel DeSalvo, MD, pediatric endocrinologist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.

One of the key findings from the survey is that health providers are not discussing CGM often enough with their patients. A full 31 percent of respondents said that their doctor seldom or never discusses new diabetes management technology. This is especially troubling when taken into account with the result that over 80 percent of people ranked their healthcare provider as a top source to find information about new diabetes management technology.

Even those who are aware of CGM technology don’t always have access to it. Over 35 percent of those surveyed said that the main reason they didn’t use CGM was because insurance didn’t cover it. Another 25 percent said that they didn’t use CGM because their doctor had not prescribed it to them.

Though the reasons for people not using CGM are varied, the satisfaction rate of those who do use CGM is remarkably consistent. 96 percent of people who use a continuous glucose monitor are likely to recommend it to others with type 1 diabetes. And 53 percent of users are satisfied with their health compared to 34 percent of non-CGM users.

In addition to the survey, Dexcom and Beyond Type 1’s campaign will include public awareness events in Los Angeles on Nov. 8 and Seattle on Nov. 14. Dexcom has also launched a “No More Fingerpricks” campaign on social media to raise awareness for CGM and support those living with diabetes. For every photo or video posted in November on Facebook or Instagram with hashtag #NoMoreFingerpricks, Dexcom will donate one dollar to Beyond Type 1. Learn more here.

About the Survey—Conducted between September and October 2018, the survey polled 1,002 people with type 1 diabetes over the age of 18 in the United States. The survey was fielded using the Qualtrics Insight Platform, and the panel was provided by Lucid.

WRITTEN BY Todd Boudreaux, POSTED 10/31/18, UPDATED 11/01/22

Todd was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000, and has been unofficially advocating for type 1 diabetes for the last 18 years. Before joining the team at Beyond Type 1, Todd wrote and produced television shows for Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and Animal Planet. When he’s not in the office, you can usually find him at a baseball game, traveling, or drawing on his Etch A Sketch.