The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System to be sold in the United States.
The Libre is manufactured by Abbott and is currently only available overseas. The system allows patients to view blood sugar every minute of the day without pricking a finger
. The device will be available to diabetics aged 18 and older.
While there are other continuous glucose monitors available in the United States, what makes the Libre unique is that it takes readings from a sensor under the skin and does not require a finger stick for calibration. The sensor is about the size of a quarter and is about as thick as two quarters. The waterproof sensor sticks to the arm for about 10 days and the user is able to see real-time results on either a digital reader or via an Android app.
The only drawbacks to the system is the possibility of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia due to an inaccurate reading from the device as well as possible skin irritation at the insertion site. In addition, the system does not provide any real-time alerts such as alerting the person to low blood glucose levels when the person is asleep.*