I’m calling it new but the device has a bit of a history under its belt. It is a wristwatch type that was approved some years ago; the time frame is reported as either ten or twenty years by the different websites. After being initially marketed as Sleep Sentry, it happened to be ahead of its time and was having a hard time with the marketing, so it went dormant for a while. After more time and an additional total redesign, the Sentry is once again available.
Diabetes Sentry is a non-invasive, hands-free way to keep track of the blood sugar lows. Even though most folks believe that they’ll always wake up when they’re low, the researches with continuous monitors show that it doesn’t always happen, actually people wake up less than half the time when low. Consequently most lows go undetected and can have serious consequences. This is especially true with hypoglycemia unawareness.
The device can be worn on a wrist or alternately on an ankle, thus eliminating skin irritation problems present with the Glucowatch. It doesn’t measure low blood sugars directly but monitors two of the most common symptoms of hypoglycemia, perspiration and a drop in skin temperature. If that happens, an audible alarm is triggered that will awaken most people. Then the alarm has to be verified by testing with the blood glucose meter.
If worn during the day, wearing long sleeve shirts or wearing Sentry on the ankle under a sock help reduce false alarms. It can be used as a backup for the GlucoWatch.
The bad news is the cost $499.95 including one set of batteries that should last about 6 – 12 months. The cost for the 3 replacement batteries is approximately $10 – $15. It isn’t clear whether it would be covered by insurance.