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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Europ Continents brings diabetes prevention device to market

Kali Kotoski
Post Plus reporter Kali Kotoski wired up on the ANS1 testing device. Luckily all signals are on “green”. Kali isn’t running the risk of getting diabetes any time soon. Hong Menea

Europ Continents brings diabetes prevention device to market

Ever since Europ Continents opened its first office in Cambodia in 1992, their mission has been to provide the most reliable hi-tech medical equipment to hospitals, laboratories and clinics across Southeast Asia. With 14 offices in nine ASEAN countries and the support of 200 professional collaborators, Europ Continents has been a long-term partner in the development and facilitation of the healthcare industry in emerging countries. Their services vary from providing medical imaging devices, surgical supplies to oncology planning and treatment.

Now they are introducing a revolutionary product designed to prevent the onset of diabetes and avoid potentially fatal complications through early detection.

“Currently there is no other technology offered in Cambodia that helps to identify the onset of diabetes through early detection and management,” said Elida Delbourg, a product specialist for Europ Continents. “This device allows for patients and medical practitioners to get fast and accurate results. It shows if people have signs of insulin resistance, an indicator for the onset of diabetes.”

Kali and Elida Delbourg
Kali and Elida Delbourg discuss the final evaluation output of the diabetes check-up. Hong Menea

The device called ANS1—a white rectangular box that processes the data gathered from the autonomic nervous system—is outfitted with a grey blood pressure cuff, an oxygen sensor that attaches to the finger, and a metal footplate that sends an electrical current through the legs to detect nerve damage. The device then relays the information to a computer programme that analyses it through a “pre-diabetic algorithm with results in seven minutes,” said Delbourg. The results are then displayed on a computer screen that documents everything from organ function, arterial constriction and heart rate variability, to the imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic system.The myriad of graphs paints a picture of a patient’s health with low green measurements indicating a healthy range, to spikes of orange that show a cause for alarm.

The computer system provides “a visual understanding of what is going on. And by using the database, it allows for [patients] to follow up and see where they get better or worse,” she said.“It shows if there are the warning signs of insulin resistance. If you are borderline insulin resistant, doctors would add recommendations to avoid the onset of diabetes or refer the patient to a dietician.” Such recommendations include“eating less carbohydrates and sugar” and increasing healthy protein consumption, like chicken or fish, “while engaging in simple exercises like walking to gain strength.”

check neurological activity
The metal plates are used to check neurological activity in the feet and legs. Hong Menea

Through the visuals, “it allows people to take ownership of their bodies and encourages them to take control of their health” by educating the patient, she explained. And, she added, because it is noninvasive, without the pin prick and drop of blood to test blood sugar, it allows patients to be comfortable.

Produced by LD Technology, a US medical device company based in Miami, Florida, the ANS1 system has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is recommended by the American Diabetes Association. “Currently there are 600 units used throughout the US and 100 in China,” a country that has seen a dramatic rise in diabetes, she said.

According to the International Diabetes Federation most recent figures of 2014, there are 229,000 reported cases of people who suffer from the disease in Cambodia, with almost another 88,000 estimated to be undiagnosed. The official mortality rate stands at 5,534 deaths last year.

“If someone shows the signs of being pre-diabetic, a healthy lifestyle can reverse the damage. This machine is all about prevention. Nerve damage can be repaired and high glucose,” or blood sugar, “can be brought back to normal healthy levels,” she said.

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Diabetes is a life threatening illness that if gone untreated results in medical complications that includes a two-fold increase in risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and amputations caused by nerve damage in the feet and legs. It can also cause damage to the blood vessels in the eye, resulting in the vision loss and eventual blindness.

The disease is typically linked to obesity and a lack of exercise. But other factors include having a diet of calorie-dense refined foods and beverages, such as sodas or drinks with a high sugar content, significantly increases the risk of diabetes, explained Delbourg.

“We can train people how to use the machine and we also have specialists in the US that can train them online,” she said. She added that the goal is to educate people about how to care of their bodies in a pro-active way and it enhance the level of communication between the doctor and patient.

“The first person to help is the patient. Diabetes can be prevented with a different attitude and if people take responsibility over their body.”

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