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Abbott launches FreeStyle Libre system in India

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Real-time continuous glucose monitoring by people with diabetes is suggested to target improved clinical outcomes

Abbott announced that its FreeStyle Libre system, a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology, is now available for adults and children (above the age of four) living with diabetes in India and women with gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), offering them the choice to check glucose levels anytime and anywhere, ultimately improving glucose control, as per reports.

As per a release, first introduced in 2014, the FreeStyle Libre portfolio has more than 2.5 million users in more than 50 countries.

The FreeStyle Libre sensor measures glucose every minute in interstitial fluid through a small (5.5mm long) filament that is inserted just under the skin and held in place with a small adhesive pad. A quick scan of the sensor with a reader provides a real-time glucose reading on demand and a complete picture of a person’s glucose levels, without the need of painful, routine fingersticks or daily calibration, enabling meaningful lifestyle and therapy interventions.

Kalyan Sattaru, general manager, diabetes care business, Abbott said the device has helped people with diabetes make more informed health decisions allowing them to live fuller lives.

India has the second largest diabetes population in the world, estimated to cross 100 million in the next decade, as per The Lancet and multiple publications. Multiple international and national professional medical bodies have reportedly recommended CGM use for people with diabetes to target improved clinical outcomes including Indian professional bodies such as Diabetes India and The Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI).

RSSDI in its published recommendations in 2017 quotes that technology in diabetes management may be used in patients for better outcomes and to minimise complications. Evidence suggests that continuous glucose monitoring system can influence patients for diabetes self-care practices, which in turn results in glycaemic control enhancement over a wide range of baseline therapies.

Explaining how a CGM system scores over a glucometer, Dr Banshi Saboo, President, and lead member of the CGM panel at RSSDI said, “Monitoring glucose levels is a pre-requisite to ensure optimum glycaemic control. While glucometers are handy portable devices that help detect the single point-in-time capillary glucose, CGM devices provide complete visibility of the 24×7 glycaemic profile of the patient with diabetes up to 14 days. This technology helps fulfil an unmet need in diabetes helping patients make better choices in diet and exercise.”

Dr Saboo also pointed out that given the social, cultural and emotional connect with food in India, which leads to unrestricted diet despite doctor recommendations, people with diabetes must have a disciplined approach to managing the condition. “In the current COVID environment, with reduced access to doctors and specialists, CGM empowers patients with actionable insights at hand that helps in remotely managing their glucose levels,” he advised.

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