According to The International Diabetes Federation, 1 in every 11 adults worldwide and up to 4½ million South African adults have diabetes. Furthermore, increasing longevity and the rising prevalence of unhealthy behaviours, including poor diet and lack of physical exercise, means that these figures are expected to rise dramatically in the future.1 Over the next 20 years, the current population of some 14.2 million people with diabetes in Africa will increase to over 34 million!1 In response to this alarming global epidemic, Abbott, the leading global healthcare company, has introduced an innovative glucose monitoring system called FreeStyle Libre Pro flash glucose monitoring system to help doctors and people with diabetes gain early and better control of their disease, and ultimately live happier, healthier lives.
Glucose monitoring is essential to manage diabetes
Diabetes is associated with absence of, or insufficient response to insulin, the hormone that enables the body’s cells to use the glucose from food as energy. Without the proper activity of this hormone, not only are the cells starved of energy, but the levels of glucose in the blood remain abnormally high, which causes devastating damage to arteries and organs.1 Because of this, people with diabetes need to meticulously monitor their glucose levels to help maintain blood glucose within its fairly narrow normal range.
Few people with diabetes monitor their own glucose regularly
For people with diabetes, current glucose monitoring techniques can be difficult to perform and require a blood sample taken from pricking a finger. Perhaps it is not surprising that fewer than one in four people requiring insulin and less than one in ten on oral medication regularly check their own glucose.3 Common reasons for not monitoring glucose include fear of needles and pain, stigma, cost and availability of the equipment required, and frustration and discouragement in response to having to interpret their own readings.4 Older people, who may be at the greatest risk for complications and dangerous hypos are especially less likely to monitor their own glucose.3,5 Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Pro system is a complete glucose assessment tool that fundamentally changes how doctors and people with diabetes test glucose levels, empowering them to take effective control of diabetes through easily accessible visual data.
Monitoring now more discreet and convenient
The FreeStyle Libre Pro (indicating “Professional” version) is designed to be administrated by healthcare practitioners in a health clinic setting to better understand their patients’ glucose levels over a period of time as they go about their daily life. The FreeStyle Libre Pro System consists of a small, round sensor, approximately the size of a five rand coin that is applied on the back of the upper arm. It is held in place with a self-adhesive pad for up to 14 days, requiring no finger-prick calibration, as is needed for confirming accuracy with traditional glucose monitoring systems. The sensor continuously measures glucose through the skin. Readings are recorded every 15 minutes, with up to 1 344 glucose readings for up to 14 days. At the end of that period the doctor uses a reader to scan the sensor and download the data, providing a comprehensive continuous graph (Ambulatory Glucose Profile, or AGP) of the glucose profile over time. AGP reveals trends where the glucose is abnormally high or low to facilitate better clinical decision-making and patient education.
Professor Larry Distiller, specialist physician, diabetes expert and founder of the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology explains that the Libre Pro will add a new dimension to the way diabetes can be monitored. “Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Pro system allows for in-depth analysis of glucose patterns including glucose variability throughout the day and night, time at target levels and whether glucose levels are falling too low. It empowers doctors and people with diabetes to better understand the effect of their treatment and lifestyle on glucose levels, and to make more informed decisions regarding therapeutic and insulin dose changes. Insertion of the device is painless and it is small enough to remain in place for up to 14 days without the wearer being aware of its presence. An added benefit for the person with diabetes is that the sensor is factory-calibrated and does not require daily finger-prick testing to confirm accuracy”, he says.