Looking back at two decades of CGM advances

The Freestyle Libre 2 from Abbott

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) have transformed how many people with diabetes manage blood sugar, but attempts to monitor blood glucose have a long history.

Attempts to manage glucose kicked off in earnest when researchers began measuring glucose in urine in the mid-1800s. Scientists’ ability to do so steadily improved over the years, but urine glucose testing wasn’t commercialized until 1908, establishing a foundation for diabetes care.

Elkhart, Ind.-based Ames Company refined the process in 1945 with the introduction of Clinitest reagent tablets, which are still commercially available, albeit from Bayer (ETR:BAYN). The company would introduce the first blood glucose test strip in 1965. The Dextrostix-branded strips were intended for use in doctors’ offices.  

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Looking back at two decades of CGM advances

FreeStyle Libre 2 from Abbott

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) have transformed how many people with diabetes manage blood sugar, but attempts to monitor blood glucose have a long history.

Attempts to manage glucose kicked off in earnest when researchers began measuring glucose in urine in the mid-1800s. Scientists’ ability to do so steadily improved over the years, but urine glucose testing wasn’t commercialized until 1908, establishing a foundation for diabetes care. 

Elkhart, Ind.-based Ames Company refined the process in 1945 with the introduction of Clinitest reagent tablets, which are still commercially available, albeit from Bayer (ETR: BAYN). The company would introduce the first blood glucose test strip in 1965. The Dextrostix-branded strips were intended for use in doctors’ offices. 

In the 1970s, Ames developed a device known as the Ames Reflectance Meter to measure reflected light from a Dextrostix strip. It was the first blood glucose mete…

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