Managing Type 1 Diabetes in children can be difficult. Type 1 Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. To stay healthy and monitor blood sugar levels, patients using conventional blood sugar monitoring technology must prick their fingers several times a day to test their sugar level — and even with frequent finger pricking, it can be difficult to know if blood sugar levels are trending up or down. This lack of information can lead to hypoglycemic episodes, when blood sugar levels are dangerously lower than normal. This can require emergency treatment.
Seeking to help children and young people better manage their Type 1 Diabetes, the Yukon Government launched a pilot program to provide individuals up to age 25 with continuous glucose monitoring equipment and supplies. Continuous glucose monitoring is a new technology that provides insight into a person's blood glucose levels on a continuous basis and can identify whether blood sugar levels are trending up or down. A continuous glucose monitor is a small, wearable device that actively and continuously tracks glucose (sugar) levels every few minutes in the blood of patients with T1D. The device provides real-time, dynamic blood sugar information, showing not only highs and lows but also the rate at which sugar levels are changing. Users can easily access their blood sugar data using a smartphone app or other device to which the monitor transmits data.
In March 2020, Qatalyst completed an evaluation of Yukon's continuous glucose monitoring pilot. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the outcomes achieved by the pilot for individuals with Type 1 Diabetes and their families, to situate these outcomes within the context of a current literature review, and to develop recommendations on how to best support people with Type 1 Diabetes in Yukon after the pilot ended.
We're proud to say that our evaluation helped secure funding for the program beyond the pilot stage. Our evaluation demonstrated that the program worked: participants were able to better manage their Type 1 diabetes, improve their quality of live, and reduce the financial burden associated with managing the disease. As of April 2020, the Yukon government is providing funding for continuous glucose monitoring to all Yukoners with Type 1 diabetes between the ages of 2 and 18. Read more about the Yukon Government's decision and our evaluation in this article from Yukon radio station CHON FM: