From the first discovery of insulin as a treatment for diabetes to the development of personal glucometers, it's truly incredible how new diabetes technology has innovated management practices over the years. And today, we're more educated about the condition, and are working with more worldwide partners to better manage diabetes, than ever before.
In honor of our latest collaborations with insulin treatment and delivery partners like Insulet, Tandem, Sanofi, Omada and Novo Nordisk to connect their products with our FreeStyle Libre portfolio, we're taking a look at these projects as well as some of our other diabetes innovations
Eliminating the Fingerstick
While fingersticks were once a revelation for diabetes management, they're far from perfect. In addition to the pain that comes with lancing a finger multiple times a day, the prick can only provide a snapshot of glucose levels at that moment in time. Repeated tests result in thick callouses on the fingers.
Continuous glucose monitoring made possible through the FreeStyle Libre family of products has eliminated the need for routine fingersticks.1 By applying the sensor to the back of the upper arm, it is able to test glucose levels in real-time. This sensor can stay in place for 14 days, accurately measuring glucose levels every minute. It can be worn in the shower and can even be submerged in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes.
When the sensor is scanned with the reader or with the free FreeStyle LibreLink app,2 users are able to see their real-time glucose reading as well as a record of all glucose data collected over the past eight hours.
Using Data to Inform Management Decisions
Because continuous glucose monitoring allows individuals to see what's happening with their glucose levels at different times of day, it's now easier than ever to identify what may be causing spikes or drops. For instance, if you love to have a donut with your morning coffee on Tuesdays and Fridays, and those are the only times when your levels are higher than usual, the pastry may be the culprit.
With LibreView,3 you and your healthcare provider can get clear, easy-to-understand glucose data reports from your FreeStyle Libre family of products where you can pinpoint glucose trends like this through your Ambulatory Glucose Profile. This profile gives users insight into how long they spend in their desired glucose range and also shows glucose level patterns. This information can help those with diabetes individually, or with the help of a caregiver or healthcare provider, make appropriate adjustments to dietary choices, medication dosages or exercise regimens.
Partnerships to Improve Diabetes Management
Which is why Abbott is always looking for new ways to make information-gathering easier or part of an integrated system that helps simplify how people manage their diabetes.
Abbott has partnered with Insulet Corporation to integrate the FreeStyle Libre system with the Omnipod Horizon Automated Insulin Delivery System, a next-generation tubeless system, to offer personalized, automated insulin delivery. Glucose data from the FreeStyle Libre system will be designed to be sent straight to the delivery Pod, which will automatically adjust insulin delivery without the need for an additional device, connection or tubing. This system will be designed to remain in automated delivery mode and will be able to be controlled through a smartphone app to manually deliver a fast-acting dose of insulin before meals for optimal performance.
Additionally, Abbott has agreed to partner with Tandem Diabetes Care to develop and commercialize integrated diabetes solutions that combine Abbott's world-leading continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology with Tandem's innovative insulin delivery systems to provide more options for people to manage their diabetes. "We are working with our partners to bring integrated technologies at an affordable price for people with diabetes who rely on using insulin pumps," said Jared Watkin, senior vice president, Diabetes Care, Abbott. "By combining our glucose sensing technology with Tandem's proven insulin delivery systems, we will be able to create a cohesive ecosystem for people with diabetes that can fit easily into their daily lives."
Abbott has also agreed to work with Sanofi in developing tools that combine FreeStyle Libre technology with Sanofi′s insulin dosing information for future smart pens, insulin titration apps and cloud software. This will initially enable data sharing, at the consent of the user, between our FreeStyle LibreLink mobile app and LibreView cloud software and Sanofi′s connected insulin pens, apps and cloud software (currently in development). This data sharing is designed to help people and their doctors make better informed treatment decisions around medication, nutrition and lifestyle.
Expanding on this important concept, Abbott has further partnered with Novo Nordisk to make diabetes management even easier for those on the go. The goal: to enable Novo Nordisk's insulin pen to communicate dosing information directly to FreeStyle Libre systems.
By streamlining important information, individuals managing diabetes will no longer have to worry about how their insulin is directly affecting glucose levels — the answers would be at their fingertips, all in one place. This diabetes innovation alone has the potential to reduce dosage complications, improve treatment plans and make communication between users and their doctors much clearer.
From decade to decade, new diabetes technology has paved the way for more precise and more informed management. And with continued research, partnerships and innovation on the horizon, staying healthy and active while living with diabetes is easier than ever before.
1A fingerstick test using a glucometer is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels; or if hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported by the system; or when symptoms do not match the system readings.
2The FreeStyle LibreLink app and the FreeStyle Libre and FreeStyle Libre 14 Day reader have similar but not identical features. Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings, when you suspect readings may be inaccurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose. When using FreeStyle LibreLink app, access to a blood glucose monitoring system is required as the app does not provide one.
3LibreView is developed, distributed, and supported by Newyu, Inc. The LibreView data management software is intended for use by both patients and healthcare professionals to assist people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals in the review, analysis and evaluation of historical glucose meter data to support effective diabetes management. The LibreView software is not intended to provide treatment decisions or to be used as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.