Industry News: Abbott's CGM technology available for hospitalized diabetic patients with COVID-19

The FreeStyle Libre 14 day system can be used by frontline healthcare workers tackling the coronavirus

08 Apr 2020


Abbott has announced that the FreeStyle® Libre 14 day system, the world's leading continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology, can now be used in the hospital setting during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This will permit frontline healthcare workers to remotely monitor patients with diabetes receiving inpatient care by assessing real-time glucose levels and glucose history. To help hospitals and medical centers in COVID-19 outbreak hotspots ramp up access to the technology, Abbott will donate 25,000 FreeStyle Libre 14 day sensors in partnership with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Insulin for Life USA and Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition.

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50% of people with diabetes who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are hospitalized.

"There's been a spike in demand for health technology as hospitals are looking for ways to minimize COVID-19 exposure, especially to high-risk patients such as people with chronic conditions like diabetes," said Eugene E. Wright, Jr., M.D., medical director for performance improvement, Charlotte Area Health Education Center in North Carolina. "Having access to technology like FreeStyle Libre 14 day system allows physicians to keep a close eye on hospitalized patients while minimizing transmission risks, PPE use and contact with hospital staff."

With a one-second scan using a reader or smartphone over the FreeStyle Libre 14 day sensor worn on the back of the upper arm, users get real-time glucose readings every minute, historical trends and patterns, and arrows showing where glucose levels are going without having to fingerstick. At the same time, physicians will receive real-time glucose data and actionable information to help make important treatment decisions through LibreView, a secure, cloud-based diabetes management system. Recent studies showed that users of the FreeStyle Libre 14 day system have improved glucose control, decreased time in hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as well as reduced hospitalizations, and HbA1C levels.

"We appreciate the FDA's quick action to make medical products available during this public health crisis," said Jared Watkin, senior vice president, Diabetes Care, Abbott. "By working with our partners at the American Diabetes Association to arm frontline healthcare workers with FreeStyle Libre technology, Abbott will enable them to protect and monitor their patients with diabetes, limit COVID-19 exposure and also manage the influx of critical care needs."

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