A novel glucose-sensing technology promises a better quality of life for people who suffer from type 1 diabetes. The conventional monitoring devices often lead to disrupted glucose levels but this will not be the case with FreeStyle Libre manufactured by the pharmaceutical giant, Abbott.
Comparisons with the self-monitored glucose testing have shown that the use of this innovative device led to a hypoglycemia reduction by about 38%.
Funded by Abbott Diabetes Care, this randomized study conducted in 23 European diabetes centers ran from 2014 to 2015, while the significant findings were published today on 12th September, in The Lancet journal.
With enrolling 328 participants during the trials, the prime objective of the study was to analyze the effect of blood glucose level monitoring on the incidence rate of hypoglycemia.
During this masked trial, all the participants had to wear the FreeStlye Libre device for 14 days and the sensor glucose was not made visible to them. After randomization, the participants were divided into an intervention group and a control group for the next 6 month. In the control group, the participants were told to measure their blood glucose levels by self-monitoring, while the intervention group made use of the device under trial.
The duration and number of episodes marked by hyperglycemia was effectively reduced from 3.38 h/day to 2.03 h/day in the intervention group. On the contrary, the change, a minute reduction of 3.27 h/day from 3.44 h/day, was of no statistical significance in the control group.
Researchers are of the opinion that with this device, the monitoring can be of help for clinicians to also reduce the likelihood of nocturnal hypoglycemia which is often followed by serious harm to health.
With a prevalence rate of 9.3% in the US alone, type 1 diabetes accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes cases worldwide. Marked by the absence of glucose regulatory hormone, insulin; the occurrence of this chronic condition is particularly common in children and young adults.
In the absence of this hormone, the body breaks down the complex sugars and starches in the food into simpler monosaccharide, glucose which is absorbed in the bloodstream leading towards high blood glucose levels.
Years ago, living with diabetes type 1 was a challenge, it still is but now medication interventions help people with type 1 diabetes to manage their health condition in a better way. With regular monitoring of blood glucose levels, insulin therapy (with insulin injections or insulin pumps), exercise and watching what you eat, the quality of life has been greatly improved.
However, certain health risks are also present for a diabetic patient and hypoglycemia is one of them. Hypoglycemia is a condition encountered by the diabetes patients who often continue to take a certain volume of insulin while their blood glucose level remains ill-monitored.
Characterized by low blood glucose levels, having a mean glucose level of 70 milligram per deciliter of blood or less can lead to vascular complications in diabetes patients.
These vascular complications are stratified in two categories, namely, macrovascular and microvascular complications. The injurious effects of diabetes elicit over years and these macrovascular complications include coronary artery diseases, stroke and peripheral arterial disease.
On the other hand, microvascular complications in the diabetic patients comprise of diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropath.
Surprisingly, retinopathy is the most common complication, marked by the damage of blood vessels in the retina, it contributes towards nearly 10,000 new cases of blindness in the US annually.
Therefore, it is crucial for the clinicians to understand the association of diabetes with these complications to counteract their increasing prevalence.
For this very purpose, the researchers delved into the working of this sophisticated blood glucose monitoring device, which uses a sensor that monitors glucose for every 15 minutes and stores the data for 90 days. It comes with software from which the recorded data can be used to generate a summary of glucose report.
Innovating the field of diabetes management has become a focus of scientists for a while now and with this particular device formulation, the ultimate goal of improved diabetes management isn’t far from achieving.
The device which consistently monitors the blood glucose level is a flash sensor-based device which is worn by the patient and its pre-calibrated scale helps make glucose-level profiles which help the patient and clinician to monitor glucose reports and recommend an improved treatment.
Despite the presence of few side effects, the study outcomes look promising to change the paradigm of blood glucose monitoring and diabetes management. It will not only help clinician with adjusting the insulin dosages for individuals but also help the patients to be better informed about their health.
However, the patients will require some time to adjust to this novel technology.