Abbott has announced that it has received CE Mark (Conformité Européenne) for the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system indicated for children and teens with diabetes ages 4-17 years old.ii This means that children and young people with diabetes living in the UK are able to experience the liberation from the pain and hassle of routine finger pricks.i
A person with diabetes typically self-monitors their glucose by pricking their fingers routinely to check their glucose level, enabling appropriate adjustments to insulin and diet to help achieve good glycemic control. However, according to researchiii, there is often reluctance from people with diabetes, especially children and adolescents, to perform this task, based in part on the discomfort and pain of finger prick.
Abbott's FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system, which is available in the UK via the Abbott FreeStyle Libre website, is designed to change how people with diabetes measure their glucose levels and ultimately help them achieve better health outcomes. The system reads glucose levels through a sensor that can be worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days, eliminating the need for routine finger pricks.i In addition, no finger prick calibration is needed - a key differentiator from current continuous glucose monitoring systems.
"Children and teens with diabetes and their families have to navigate many challenges in their daily lives as they care for this complex condition," said Jared Watkin, senior vice president, diabetes care, Abbott. "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."
In a recent accuracy studyiv, Abbott's FreeStyle Libre system was clinically proven to be accurate, stable and consistent over 14 days without the need for finger prick calibration, for children and teens ages 4-17 years old. In addition, more than 97 percent of these children and teens said that FreeStyle Libre system is easier to use than finger prick testing.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the European region has the highest number of children - ages 0-14 - with type 1 diabetes compared with the other IDF regions* . Within this region, the United Kingdom, the Russia Federation, and Germany have the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in children.v
"The availability of FreeStyle Libre system for children is a critical milestone for children living with diabetes," said Dr. Emanuele Bosi, associate professor, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Università Vita-Salute in San Raffaele, Milan." The technology in Abbott's FreeStyle Libre system is transformative because it changes how self-monitoring has been done for decades - and is proven to be accurate and stable. I look forward to seeing my young patients achieve better diabetes management, while giving their parents and caretakers more peace of mind."
Caregivers of children with diabetes also can be challenged as they worry about such things as night-time hypoglycaemia (a low blood sugar level). Authors of a 2013 study published in the journal Quality of Life Research noted that people with diabetes - type 1 or type 2 - experience hypoglycaemia while sleeping more frequently than many doctors realise.vi A parent or caregiver often has to wake their child up during the night to test glucose - now with FreeStyle Libre system that can be done quickly, painlessly and without disturbing sleep.
Abbott's FreeStyle Libre system is currently available in the United Kingdom, Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Spain.