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Continuous glucose monitors are devices that can be worn to monitor blood glucose levels over long periods, providing a better alternative to traditional finger-pricking methods. These devices can be worn on the belly or arm, allowing users to make decisions throughout the day based on their glucose readings, which can be helpful in managing diabetes. Continuous glucose monitors scan and transmit glucose levels either in real-time or intermittently, and factors to consider when choosing a device include scan frequency, connectivity options, sensor placement, and insurance coverage. Additionally, continuous glucose monitors require a prescription from a doctor and are not available over the counter.

Top recommendations for continuous glucose monitors include the Dexcom G6, which can connect to a phone or Apple Watch to provide wireless reading every 5 minutes and offer customizable range alerts for blood sugar levels. The Eversense CGM System has a sensor life of up to 180 days, eliminating the need for frequent changes, and can transmit data to a phone app for easy monitoring. The Guardian Connect System provides predictive alerts for potential high or low blood sugar levels and includes the Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant app to help users manage their condition. These monitors offer more intensive monitoring of blood sugar levels and can provide valuable information to users and their doctors for more comprehensive diabetes care.

Factors to consider when shopping for continuous glucose monitors include scan frequency, connectivity options, sensor placement, and insurance coverage. While anyone can buy a regular blood glucose meter, a prescription is required for a continuous glucose monitoring system. CGM devices can offer more information about blood sugar levels than standard meters, providing data on trends and alerts for potentially dangerous fluctuations. Insurance plans, Medicaid, and Medicare may cover the cost of continuous glucose monitors, although coverage may require prior authorization. The Abbott Freestyle Libre 2 is one of the more affordable CGM options, with a retail price of $116, and insurance coverage may provide the opportunity to obtain a monitor for free. Always consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice on managing diabetes and blood sugar levels.

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