Study shows flash glucose monitoring successfully reduces hypos for thousands of UK people with type 1 diabetes

Posted on 11 June 2019

Sitting girl checks glucose levels by flashing device over FreeStyle Libre

Results from a nationwide audit presented at the American Diabetes Association conference (ADA 2019) show that flash glucose monitoring is successfully reducing hypoglycaemic events for thousands of people in the UK with type 1.

The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system, or ‘flash’, allows people with type 1 to see their current glucose levels without the need for regular finger-prick tests, and also shows a graph of blood glucose levels over the previous 8 hours.

The Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) performed a nationwide audit in the UK to explore experiences of using flash monitoring in relation to blood glucose levels, hypo-unawareness, number of hospital admissions and emotional wellbeing.

Over three quarters of people surveyed said that they had fewer hypos after using flash for six months. Over a third also had a reduction in overnight hypoglycaemia, and one in ten people reported a reduction in hypo-unawareness.

Respondents also saw their HbA1c levels fall – particularly among people whose HbA1c was more than 11% at the start of the study.

This effect was also seen in another study published on Saturday, in which Dr Fraser Gibb and his team at the University of Edinburgh reported that flash was particularly effective in reducing HbA1c in those who began the study with an HbA1c over 9%.

In both studies, people with type 1 experienced less emotional distress related to their condition while using flash monitoring, with people reporting an “improved peace of mind” among other statements.

Access to technology

Despite these improvements, six months after the start of the study, 1% of users had stopped using the device, with the overriding reason being lack of funding.

JDRF knows how life-changing medical technology such as the FreeStyle Libre can be for those with type 1, and we, along with INPUT have worked with Diabetes UK to improve access to the device.

As a result, the FreeStyle Libre has been available on the NHS across the whole of the UK since April this year for those meeting the necessary criteria.

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