Use of the system in hospitals will enable remote monitoring of people with diabetes and help limit opportunities for coronavirus transmission, according to Abbott. The company is donating 25,000 FreeStyle Libre 14 day sensors in partnership with the American Diabetes Association Insulin for Life USA and Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition.
People with diabetes appear to be at a higher risk of being hospitalized if they contract COVID-19, according to CDC data cited by Abbott.
“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 Dr. Eugene E. Wright Jr., medical director for performance improvement at the 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,” Wright said in an Abbott news release.
Worn on the back of the upper arm, a FreeStyle Libre 14 day sensor can provide real-time glucose readings every minute, historical trends and patterns, and arrows showing glucose level trends — all through a one-second scan using a reader or a smartphone. There’s no need for a fingerstick, and a person’s doctor also gets real-time access to the data through the LibreView diabetes management system.
“We appreciate the FDA’s quick action to make medical products available during this public health crisis,” said Jared Watkin, SVP of Diabetes Care at 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.”