Research shows FreeStyle Libre to be safe and accurate for kids

Benedict Jephcote
Fri, 03 Feb 2017
Research shows FreeStyle Libre to be safe and accurate for kids
Abbott's FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system is safe and accurate to use in children with type 1 diabetes, according to a study carried out by UK researchers.

The FreeStyle Libre, which was approved last year for use in the UK by children of 4 years old and above. The system provides charts to show how sugar levels have been rising and falling rather than the single number that blood glucose monitors show.

Users wear a glucose sensor on their skin for up to two weeks, which measures and stores up to eight hours of glucose levels and sends the data to a handset each time the sensor is 'scanned'.

Whilst the FreeStyle Libre does not completely replace blood glucose tests, it allows the user to monitor their sugar levels much more often than is the case without finger-prick blood glucose tests.

The research, which was carried out by a team from the Oxford Children's Hospital, wanted to find out the "accuracy, safety and acceptability" of the device among children.

Just under 90 young people aged between four to 17 took part in the study from nine different diabetes centres across the UK.

The authors concluded: "Accuracy was unaffected by subject characteristics, making the system potentially suitable for a broad range of children and young people with diabetes.

"It is anticipated that the provision of comprehensive glucose data for up to 14 days, from a system that is easy to use, with reduced pain and burden for the user since there is no requirement for finger-prick calibration, could support enhanced diabetes management."

The technology has become popular among the diabetes community because it is largely deemed a more convenient way of monitoring sugar levels because it alleviates need for so many finger-prick tests, measurements can be taken through clothing and the sensor can be worn in water.

In February 2016, European regulators approved the system for use in children.

Speaking last year, Jared Watkin, who is Abbott's senior vice president of diabetes care, said: "Children and teens with diabetes and their families have to navigate many challenges in their daily lives as they care for this complex condition.

"The scientists and engineers at Abbott have made it their life's work to provide the most innovative technology to help people with diabetes improve their diabetes management and ultimately, live happier and healthier lives."

The findings were published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood journal.
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