New less invasive glucose monitoring device is trialled in the UK

Mon, 17 Mar 2014
Abbott Diabetes Care is working on a new way of measuring glucose levels that could do away with the need to take finger prick blood glucose tests several times a day.

The FreeStyle Libre has a small sensor around an inch in diameter that can be stuck onto the skin, such as onto the back of your upper arm. Readings are taken by swiping the reader over the patch. Readings can be taken as often as you like and will automatically take glucose readings once every 15 minutes otherwise. Each sensor can be worn on the body for up to 14 days.

The new continuous glucose monitoring product is being tested across Europe in a trial of 210 patients. The UK part of the trial is being overseen by Dr Gerry Rayman of Ipswich Hospital.

If the clinical trial is successful, the new glucose monitoring device will be submitted for consideration by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Whilst continuous glucose monitors are available in the UK for people with diabetes, they are yet to be routinely available on prescription. However, with many people with diabetes, particularly those with type 1 diabetes, failing to meet the required blood glucose targets, the case for continuous glucose monitors and supplies to be available on prescription is growing.

If the Abbott FreeStyle Libre is accepted for marketing approval in Europe, it could help people on insulin, either those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, to better control their blood glucose levels. The availability the devices has particular importance for people that need to regularly drive or drive long distances as an unexpected hypo can have dangerous consequences if behind the wheel.

Diabetes.co.uk will bring you more news on the glucose monitoring device when the current trial is complete.
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