Diabetes is an ongoing health concern for many Americans. According to the American Diabetes Association, as of 2015, about 30.3 million Americans (roughly 9.4% of the population) had diabetes and another 84.1 million Americans, age 18 or over, qualified as “pre-diabetic”. Around 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year, and an increased number of cases are “adult onset” or Type 2 diabetes.
The key to treatment and management of diabetes is regular glucose monitoring through testing. Up until recently, this required a painful finger prick and expensive test strips, making necessary testing burdensome.
The FDA has approved the first glucose monitoring for diabetes patients that does not require routine finger pricking. The FreeStyle Libre by Abbott deploys innovative sensor technology to make painful, frequent finger pricking a thing of the past.
Using a sleek, portable sensor that can be worn on the back of the arm, affixed by a thin, flexible filament that you insert just under the skin to measure your glucose levels every minute. A handheld scanner with display screen is held over this sensor for a pain free scan that only takes a second.
The FreeStyle Libre allows for Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), a more effective glucose tracking method than finger pricking. CGM allows you to see established patterns and trends in your glucose levels, so that your care can be tailored accordingly. Each scan of your sensor will provide a current glucose reading, a trend arrow, and an 8-hour history of your levels.
Unlike some existing CGM systems, the FreeStyle Libre does not require finger-stick calibration, and it does not interfere with medication that contains acetaminophen.
While the FreeStyle Libre innovates diabetes care and makes testing a less cumbersome process, it can only help treat those who have been diagnosed. As many of us launch into New Year’s resolutions around health and well-being, it is important to note that around 7.2 million American’s have diabetes and go undiagnosed. Recognize the symptoms, talks to your doctor and leverage the power of new technology to maximize your level of care.
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