Continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a portable minimally invasive system that provides continuous information on glucose patterns and trends, and have alarms that alert the patient when the glucose level crosses preset hyper and hypoglycemic thresholds. The information collected by the glucose monitor is communicated through a sensor-coupled wireless transmitter to a monitor, which displays real-time glucose values or trends. In contrast to traditional fingerstick glucose monitoring that only offers glucose values a few times each day, this technology offers substantially more glucose inofrmation. Some have use the analogy of a video camera for CGM as compared to a regular camera for a glucose meter.
Another important difference between a CGM and a glucose meter is that it measures glucose in the tissue space underneath your skin rather than the actual glucose in your blood. This means that there is a significant delay in glucose value detected by CGM when there is a change in the glucose value in blood. One must take this fact into consideration when managing diabetes. This device has the potential to greatly improve your control of diabetes and the quality of life, but you should have an in-depth discussion with your health care provider to learn more.
Answer by: William Hsu, M.D.