Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) announced Monday that Health Canada authorized use of FreeStyle Libre system, a sensor-based glucose monitoring technology, in hospital setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Monitoring devices are useful in that healthcare workers can remotely monitor vital signs, and in this case patients’ glucose status and glucose history. In addition, Abbott reported that it will donate 3,000 FreeStyle Libre sensors to ensure hospitals in need have immediate access to the technology.
“The in-hospital challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced frontline workers to think creatively about how to safeguard against unnecessary exposure between themselves and patients, especially people with diabetes,” said Bruce Perkins , M.D., Director, Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes and Clinician-Scientist, University of Toronto . “Having access to sensor-based glucose monitoring technology in hospitals is one such creative solution to significantly help healthcare workers closely monitor glucose status while limiting direct contact and preserving valuable personal protective equipment.”
The device works with a one-second scan using a reader or smartphone over the FreeStyle Libre sensor worn on the back of the upper arm and glucose readings are measured every minute and the user can get current glucose measurements, historical trends and patterns, and arrows showing where glucose levels are going without having to fingerstick. According to Abbott, physicians will receive glucose data and actionable information remotely to help make important treatment decisions through LibreView, a secure, cloud-based diabetes management system available at no cost to healthcare providers and users.
“Providing frontline healthcare workers with technology and equipment is critical in the fight against COVID-19,” said Marie-Flore Nabor , general manager of Abbott’s diabetes care business in Canada . “Health Canada’s quick action to make FreeStyle Libre sensors available in hospitals will help frontline healthcare workers better monitor and manage the glucose levels of patients and, at the same time, help limit COVID-19 exposure.”