Insulin pumpers uk glucowatch

Latest information: 31 March 2006. Cygnus, who made GlucoWatch Biographer, has closed down, and its assets were bought by Animas (who make insulin pumps). Animas is no longer making GlucoWatch Biographers, and the stock it bought is being sold in America by Diabetic Promotions. The American Federal Drugs Administration reports that at least 50% of users experienced mild or moderate skin irritation.

This new device for measuring glucose has been authorised for use in Britain. The GlucoWatch Biographer does not measure blood glucose directly, but measures slight chemical reactions on the surface of the skin. US manufacturers Cygnus report that it is only being released gradually at selected centres around the UK. It potentially has the ability to help insulin pump users to fine tune their overnight basal rates.


The meter is worn like a wrist watch, and has a sticky pad which keeps the watch in firm contact with the skin. The pad lasts for 12 hours, and the meter gives a reading every 20 minutes. It is reported that the next version of this GlucoWatch, which is already being tested in America, will give readings every 10 minutes.

The rash came up for me a couple of days later and took up to ten days to heal. Also it skips readings with the slightest disturbance in terms of change in temperature, perspiration and even using mobile phone in the same hand as you are wearing the watch. The warm up period isn’t 3 hrs as they say, it’s 3hrs then it’s ready for calibration which takes a further 20 mins if you get it right first time.

The Glucowatch is being sold in the UK. Fifteen centres in the US are enrolling initial patients, patients who use the watch regularly. Besides the two comments here, where are the reports from people who have used this watch? I would like some confirmation of my own beginning experience with this device. I bought mine in the UK. I do not live there. I am not part of a test or trial. I am involved in a self-test. Skin irritations are non-existent. It skips a reading for perspiration, ie when physically working or active. Otherwise it posts numbers that are completely within the ballpark. It is tracking consistently and within expected parameters (formed by my own knowledge and experience with diabetes). It records numbers all night, every twenty minutes. On a steady night you can scroll back in the morning and see how you glided through the night – 4.6, 5.2, 4.8, 5.7, 5.3, 5.2 etc. Alarm goes off for high or low (which you set yourself; so far mine is 9.0 and 4.4) and makes enough noise to wake you up. This item will be terribly useful to those who are on a pump or other forms of intensive management. Someone else on this board posted that their acquaintance reported that it was a "Godsend". This is my experience. This is a remarkable machine.

Given that this is new technology, I find the information invaluable to helping me maintain optimised BG control. I look forward to the day when a PC interface is developed to download readings and the day when the instrument can provide information during exercise or when walking around the streets of Bangkok!

I have had the watch for 6 days. The first day I had a nurse come to go through the running of it and I found it not too hard. I did not have a problem using the watch and I was hoping that it would work for me as I had heard that there has been a lot of people that it has not worked for.

Anyway – back to the first day. I thought the watch was working until after a period of 6 hours I remembered there is a warm up period of 3 hours. I started to get SKIP PRSP and the time come up on the watch. This means a perspiration skip. The watch can not function in damp or hot places. (Just a note: I work in a kitchen.) I got 3 readings of the same. In fact the watch did not work for me the first day.

The next time I put the watch on was that night – 3 hours before bed – to see if it would work through the night. I got a few readings in the early part of the night. The night passed and morning arrived. At 6.30am it was time for me to get up for work. I had a look at the watch reading and I did get a good few readings, till I started to get low blood sugars. The watch must have alarmed but I did not hear it and, after a few SKIP PRSP had showed up, it turned off. I could still see all the readings that were on the watch before I started to sweat my way to morning.

Today I was at home. No work – just a day at home. TV and a friend around for lunch. How did I get on today with the watch? Well – I got over 23 readings. However, near the end of the afternoon I started to get a reading of CAL. This message is asking me to enter a blood glucose reading from my normal meter and it did this over 5 times. There was something going wrong I think. So I got on the phone to the company and went through the readings that I got all day. They made a note of it and are going to forward them to someone who will know a bit more. I asked the guy how long had he worked there? 2 weeks he told me. So I am prepared to wait for more help.

Also after I took off the watch, (I had the watch on the arm where, as the company had told me) I had little burn like blisters, little red 1/2 inch dots where the AutoSensors pressed to the arm. I had to shave the arm, so the watch could be placed on the skin with no interference from the body hair.

Finally I made my mind up, and with GlucoWatch people. That was, because of my life style, it is not practical for me or any other person to use the watch if they work in a kitchen, the watch is too sensitive. Because I spend most of my time at work it is not practical for me. So I have sent it back to them and I will be getting back the cost of the watch £250.00. I was one of the lucky ones, as they do not offer this now to new customers.

They found that some people were using the watch just to get their blood sugar readings over 12 hours, every 20 minute interval, useful if you need a full night’s readings. And they were returning the watch before the time had lapsed and they would have to pay the cost out right. In my return letter, I asked them to keep me informed of the improved watches just in case they will work for me.

Very interesting to read these comments. I have been thinking about getting a Glucowatch should I become pregnant to achieve the best control possible but also have very sensitive skin so worry about rashes/reactions. I initially thought I could wear the watch 24 hours a day, but this sounds like a very expensive and uncomfortable plan! Perhaps a newer version will be more user friendly and YES we should have them available on prescription – think of all the problems that better control would prevent.

Our 12 year old daughter received the watch about three weeks ago. We are still working with it to try and figure out the best way to use it. So far the readings are not consistant and after several hours of wearing the watch can be off by as much as 50 mg/dl. However, the pads took one month to arrive and therefore may not be good (they are only supposed to be at room temperature for 30 days and must be used within that time frame). We just received a quality control kit to test them and have not done that yet.

We did find that she needs to wear it on the inside of her arm, where we got much better readings than the outside. Skipped readings due to perspiration would be frequent. We have not yet been able to get "accurate" readings for a long enough period to do any adjusting to basal rates. We are aware that this is new technology and they are still working out the bugs, although I will admit we had higher hopes for its current effectiveness.

I’ve been using my Glucowatch for 1 month now. I can’t tell you how incredibly happy I am with it. It’s not difficult to use, there is almost no skin irritation, the amount of data is invaluable. What a great tool. NOTE: I had to purchase it myself as my insurance does not yet cover it….though they tell me they are considering it.

I am 27, have been a Type 1 diabetic for 7 years, and suffer from eratic blood sugar levels. I am thinking of purchasing a gluco-watch but I am unsure after reading the users’ messages. I think I will think about it for a while before doing anything about it.

Interesting. I hope one day the watch will help me but I am managing without it at the moment and will wait till some of the problems are ironed out. It would be reassuring to have at night but as my blood sugar is well controlled at the moment. I dont think it would be worth the money, skin irritation or lack of use during exercise. I still find it hopeful as this research will surely lead to a reliable monitor which will change my life. Good luck.

Prior to the GlucoWatch… I used to dream of a device similar to a watch (to check blood glucose) because everyone wears watches. It took a long time but thank goodness it finally arrived. Now that it is here we must suffer through skin irritation as a by-product of the process. The price of $711 for the GlucoWatch was a bit pricey. Should you wear the GlucoWatch 24 hours a day the sensors would put you in the "Poor House".

This watch would benefit a lot of people and, in principle, I think that it is a good idea and would definitely benefit me. I do, however, feel that £50 each month (or whatever) to get the best diabetic care seems to me to be a bit excessive.

It almost forces us into a no win situation as we cannot help the fact that we are diabetic. With this in mind, is it really fair that we should be purchasing the watch knowing that we have an initial outlay of £350 and then £50 for each box of 16 sensory pads?

I found that the Glucowatch is a great tool. While it is not perfect, it does provide me with much more information than I had before. I do get several data skips. I probably average 26 readings per wearing cycle. I have to say I have lowered my HbA1c since wearing by adjusting my basal rates, and I feel comfort wearing it at night. I have woken several times to the alarm, to check my BG and it was low! Worth every bit of itching and rash.

The G.W. is not suitable for everyone. I’ve had one now for over a year. Strenuous activity where there is lots of jolting to the muscles where it is attached is a no-no. (Or sit down & rest until you get a BG reading to shut off the 6 continuous Skip Datas that stop it working)

First, I know this is just the first version, just like the first versions of the insulin pump, but we were very fortunate to get one during the trials. His A1c is almost "normal" now due to the feedback we get from the GW. This has allowed us to "tweak" the basals. My son doesn’t sweat much so the PERSP hasn’t been much of a problem, but this is a great item for improvements, and I’m sure they are working on this.

I wanted to share some "tricks" we use for making sure you don’t have any irritation. One way is to just take off the watch and shower or bathe with the sensor. It falls right off if you don’t pull on it, and there is no irritation that way. The other is to get some Unisolve pads. They take the sticky part of the sensor right off, and if you just use water after, there is no problem. There is also a cream/lotion called "Fingers" for diabetics that contains Tea Tree oil and it seems to be really great at making sure there is no irritation after the sensor comes off.

Also, the second version is going to be amazing. The new NIH trials are very supportive of continuous monitoring. The second version will be used in the trials. It has a shorter warm up, six versus the current 3 read outs per hour and a much better rate of first time calibration.

If you are having trouble calibrating with this version, take a look at your post meal "hi" numbers (post prandial bg excursions…) due to the GW, we started to shoot for lower numbers pre-meal, and we have started to bolus earlier. It has been a big help. Most people have no idea how high they go after meals. This first version of the GW seems to be sensitive to severe rises, and frankly, we need to make sure our kids aren’t having these anyway. I guess we never knew before how bad it was because we only tested pre-meal. Take Care.

I use an insulin pump, and decided to buy a Gluco watch in May 2001, as it sounded invaluable to a pump user. The first time I used the watch, I was guided through by a nurse, and all seemed well … until it came time to calibrate the machine. It took 4 attempts to calibrate – at 20 minute intervals, and after getting 5 readings after successful calibration, I had a long string of SKIP PRSP messages, after which the watch turned itself off. I too had quite severe reaction to the glue used to secure the sensor to my wrist. I tried it on my forearm – front and back. After phoning the helpdesk, I tried it on my forearm, and then on the back of my lower leg. No good – I had two bright red itchy marks where each sensor had been attached, the worst of which took 3 – 4 weeks to disappear completely.

The final straw with the watch, before I returned it to the manufacturers, was when I had been wearing the watch for 6 hours (the first 3 of which were for calibration). I was feeling ill, and so checked back on the readings in the watch memory … 7.7 … 7.9 … 8.8 … 6.6 … 7.7 … 7.5 etc. When I used my finger prick machine, it was 21.9 … the watch had given me a reading of 7.5 5 minutes earlier. NO, I didn’t have sugar on my fingers!!!!! I do realise there is a lag time between blood sugar levels, and the level measured by the watch, but not 7.5 to 21.9!!!

Oh when when when will all this be available in Australia ???????? I have terrible trouble with nocturnal hypos and with my husband doing night shifts one of these monitors would make me feel so much safer. Can anyone help PLEASE thanks so much