Olympic athletes are utilizing a new device that they believe will increase their chances of winning medals this summer: minuscule blood glucose monitors that adhere to the skin.

The makers of these continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs, led by Abbott (ABT.N) and Dexcom (DXCM.O), planned its use to aid diabetic patients, but they also focused its prospects in the field of sports and wellness. Despite the lack of evidence that the technology can improve sports performance, the Paris Olympics  is a chance to exhibit the technology.

Jacob Leach, Dexcom’s Chief Operating Officer, declared: “I do see a day where CGM is certainly going to be used outside of diabetes in a big way.” 

The CGM market 

Diabetes patients’ demand for the coin-sized adhesive skin patches with a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone has already made the CGM business worth billions of dollars. These patients use the patches in place of finger sticks to obtain blood. If an insulin dose is required, it can be ascertained from the readings. 

As early as 2020, Abbott released a CGM device in Europe for athletes, both amateur and professional, who do not have diabetes. CGMs have been used by elite athletes and the people who support them to maximize calorie intake and exercise intensity in the run-up to competitions.

Abbott stated that the non-diabetic consumer segment is their target market. It plans to bring its Lingo health and wellness smartphone software and device, which has been offered in Britain for £120–£150 ($152–$190) a month, to the US market.

Athletes who use CGM 

Dutch marathoner Abdi Nageeye, who took home silver in the Tokyo Olympics, revealed that he and his coaches are keeping an eye on blood glucose levels as a measure of the body’s energy supply. With the help of his CGM, the athlete—who made it to Paris—has been able to optimize his food and sleeping schedule to consume as little energy as possible while training.

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Nageeye expressed: “That’s your energy, actually, that’s your fuel. We have to monitor that.” 

Furthermore, Chelsea Hodges, an Australian swimmer who competed in the Olympics and won gold in the relay, said that by modifying her calorie intake and training schedule, CGMs had assisted her in overcoming episodes of acute fatigue and lightheadedness during endurance training.

 

Source: CNN

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