Routine finger pricks for people living with diabetes are set to become a thing of the past, thanks to revolutionary flash glucose monitoring systems.
Systems such as the FreeStyle Libre read glucose levels through a sensor worn on the back of the upper arm and are redefining how people living with diabetes manage the disease.
The device measures glucose levels up to every minute through a small filament inserted just under the skin.
A reader is then scanned over the sensor to get the glucose result, painlessly and in less than a second.
While available to Australian adults since late last year, the system recently received the Therapeutic Goods Administration acceptance for children and teens aged four to 17.
Associate Professor Dr Gary Kilov from the Launceston Diabetes Clinic said flash glucose monitoring systems have been well received by his patients living with the disease.
“There are a number of flash glucose monitoring systems available and the uptake has been quite impressive,” he said.
““In years to come, and not that many I think, people will look back on the olden days of having to prick your finger and cause pain and just laugh.
“This certainly looks like the way forward.
In Australia, one person is diagnosed with diabetes every five minutes with about 1.7 million people currently living with the disease.
Dr Kilov has type 1 diabetes himself and said flash glucose monitoring systems provide a much more in depth analysis of peoples insulin levels.
“It certainly does make my life easier,” he said.
“To rely on a finger print is actually not that reliable.
“These systems not only take a reading every five minutes but they also show a trend.
“So people can take action when they need to.”
The sensors used for most current flash glucose monitoring systems need to be replaced every two weeks at a cost of about $100, with subsidies only available for particular models.
Dr Kilov said research into devices that could last up to six months would provide incredible benefits for people with complex insulin regimes.