Only 6.3% Of People With Diabetes Rely On Continuous Glucose Monitors For Diabetes Management, Possibly Due To High Costs And Accuracy Concerns

Although continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) continue to be promoted as an innovative tool for diabetes management, overall adoption is low because there are several issues with these devices that make it difficult for patients and providers. These issues are detailed in a new, in-depth blog by Smart Meter, the leading supplier of Cellular Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) solutions.

The first and foremost issue is the cost of using a CGM, which not only includes the initial setup of as much as $1,200, but ongoing fees that can be up to $300 a month. This presents a large barrier to many people with diabetes who cannot afford that kind of out-of-pocket expense.

“While CGMs have been widely commercialized, they are simply not attainable for a large number of people with diabetes,” said Casey Pittock, Smart Meter CEO. “In addition, the enormous amount of publicity that weight-loss drugs have received has complicated the CGM market, slowing demand. These two factors are leading more and more physicians to prescribe glucose monitors that use a small drop of blood to measure the patient’s current glucose level.”

Another major problem with CGMs is disconnection issues because they rely on Bluetooth, WiFi, and a smartphone to send the reading. When one of these connections is lost, patients, the supplier of the device, and sometimes the physician’s office, must spend time pairing, synching or troubleshooting to regain the connection. This leads to missed readings and lost data that is critical to diabetes management.

There is also concern about the accuracy of CGMs. One reason for inaccuracy with CGM readings could be how they measure glucose. With traditional blood glucose monitoring, patients are measuring the amount of glucose that is present in their blood at that exact moment in time. In contrast, CGM devices pierce the top layer of skin and measures glucose in the interstitial fluid and not actual blood, which is not as accurate. CGMs may also require periodic calibration with traditional blood glucose meters. For example, an Abbott press release about Libre Rio, an over-the-counter CGM, states "if readings do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick value from a blood glucose meter for treatment decisions."

One study1 found that while CGM devices may lead to improved glycemic control in patients with diabetes, there were many issues with the technology, which often led to patient dissatisfaction and discontinued use. Among the top reasons cited was varying levels of accuracy between sensors, particularly on the first and last day of wear. This led to 59% of participants stopping use of their CGM device for at least one month. Another 32% of users continued to test their blood sugar using traditional blood glucose monitoring six or more times a week, to ensure they were getting accurate blood glucose readings.

“These critical issues can lead to uncertainty, frustration and lack of adherence to testing protocols among patients,” Pittock said. “Smart Meter’s iGlucose Plus meets the highest standards for accuracy and as soon as the patient tests, the result is sent immediately to a provider or healthcare organization.”

CGMs are only used by about 6.3 percent of the 34 million Americans with diabetes, but it’s important to understand this complex technology. To help educate patients and healthcare providers on CGM devices as a treatment for the management of diabetes, Smart Meter has created this important blog, which can be read in its entirety here: Challenges With Continuous Glucose Monitoring: Connectivity, Costs, and Usability - Smart Meter (

About Smart Meter, LLC
Smart Meter is the trusted supplier of cellular Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) and Chronic Care Management (CCM) solutions. We empower a nationwide network of SmartPartners™ who are working directly with healthcare providers to transform patient care. Millions of vital health data readings are reliably delivered across our platform every day to enable real-time, better-informed health care. Our proprietary patient-friendly, cellular FDA-registered monitoring devices are connected to an exclusive AT&T 4/5G private data network to ensure an engaging patient experience for improved adherence. For more information, visit

1 - Perceptions of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems in the T1D Exchange Diabetes Registry: Satisfaction, Concerns, and Areas for Future Improvement - PMC (