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Experts call for blood glucose meters with acoustic signals for blind people with diabetes
According to the German Diabetes Aid “diabetesDE”, around 2,000 people go blind every year due to diabetes. The lack of barrier-free insulin pens, insulin pumps and blood glucose meters force those affected to have to seek help for their everyday medical care. Blood glucose meters with acoustic signals and other barrier-free medical devices could often be manufactured without great effort. So far, however, most medical device manufacturers have refused to make such aids available for the visually impaired. The reason is the cost.
Visually impaired diabetics need blood glucose meters with acoustic signals. One in three diabetics suffers from retinal damage, which results from increased blood sugar and blood pressure. Often, those affected do not notice anything for years, because until the visual acuity is reduced due to the so-called diabetic retinopathy, the disease must have progressed. "Type 1 diabetics have to have an annual retinal examination from the fifth year of illness, people with type 2 diabetes should go to the annual screening immediately after diagnosis," reports Professor Dr. med. Thomas Danne, CEO of "diabetesDE" and chief physician of the children's hospital "Auf der Bult" in Hanover. Unfortunately, it is estimated that only one in five affected people would follow this medical advice. After 25 years, up to 85 percent of all type 1 diabetics and up to 80 percent of type 2 diabetics develop damage to the retina 15 to 20 years after the onset of the disease.
Since diabetes is associated with impaired vision in most cases, it is important that all medical aids for diabetics are equipped with acoustic signals. Only in this way can those affected carry out their daily therapy independently and do without 24-hour assistance. "Instead, device manufacturers are producing less and less accessible pens and blood glucose meters that can be used by the visually impaired," explains Jan Twachtmann, CEO of Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe - People with Diabetes (DDH-M). If visually impaired diabetics are unable to carry out their treatment in full, the risk of secondary diseases such as organ damage can increase drastically. However, 24-hour care for diabetics is also not a solution. Such care was neither desired by those affected nor did society want to bear the costs.
German Diabetes Aid demands the best possible care for people with diabetes
The trained nurse and diabetes consultant, Diana Droßel, is herself affected by type 1 diabetes and has been blind since 1982. "I asked a pen manufacturer whether accessibility could not be taken into account for new developments. I got the answer that blind diabetics shouldn't inject themselves. A measuring device manufacturer informed me that even the marginal cost of 50 cents per measuring device for accessibility has a negative impact on the competition, ”reports Droßel.
DDH-M and diabetesDE are committed to the rights of people with diabetes and call for the standard manufacture of all medical technology aids for diabetes self-therapy in an accessible version. With the “STOP Diabetes - Now!” Campaign, you are fighting for the best possible care to ensure an equal quality of life for people with diabetes.
Diabetes also increases in children Diabetes diseases are also increasing in children and adolescents. While type 2 diabetes occurred almost exclusively in the elderly a few decades ago - henceforth also referred to as adult diabetes - adolescents are now increasingly affected by the metabolic disorder. According to a new study by the University of Ulm, children and adolescents with a migration background in particular suffer particularly frequently from type 2 diabetes. The proportion of children affected in the type 2 diabetes diseases recorded was, at 40 percent, more than twice as high as the proportion in the total population, the researchers said. Especially children with Turkish, Eastern European or Russian descent are affected above average. According to the Ulm researchers, socio-economic reasons are primarily responsible for the increased risk of diabetes among children with a migrant background. (ag)