People with diabetes are generally more exposed to developing complicated forms of viral infections and may therefore be more vulnerable to the dangers of the COVID-19 virus, as the International Diabetes Federation emphasized in a document1 recently published.
The FreeStyle Libre system allows users to control their glucose levels using a compatible smartphone2 with the free FreeStyle LibreLink3 app. Glucose data can be uploaded to LibreView2 - a secured software report system, enabling healthcare professionals to have 24/7 access to glucose readings from their patients without the need for face-to-face consultations.
The FreeStyle Libre digital ecosystem provides remote access to the patient’s glucose levels to assist healthcare professionals with the remote management of patients living with diabetes.
With a one-second scan using a reader or a compatible smartphone2 over the FreeStyle Libre sensor worn on the back of the upper arm, glucose readings are measured every minute and the user can get current glucose measurements, historical glucose trends and patterns, and arrows showing where glucose levels are going without having to do a fingerstick test4.
With the LibreLinkUp5 app, glucose readings can be sent to the phones of family and friends. Useful for parents and caregivers, so people can stay in touch, wherever they are.
In South Africa, the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system is partially funded by private medical aids or government (mostly on a case by case basis) and Abbott is continuing their efforts to ensure broader access to flash glucose monitoring for all people living with diabetes in South Africa.
Professor Larry Distiller, Principal Physician and Executive Chairman of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology in Houghton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa:
“When it comes to the COVID-19 virus, people living with diabetes are considered to be “high risk”. It needs to be understood that those with diabetes are at no higher risk of contracting the virus, but those that do will have a higher risk of developing severe complications.
It has been shown that one of the reasons for this is that the virus appears to thrive in a high blood glucose environment. It is therefore essential that during these times, extra effort should be taken to ensure good diabetes control.
Those with diabetes should check their blood glucose regularly and ensure it remains in range.
The development of modern technology now allows a patient to transmit their glucose readings directly to their healthcare professional for assessment and advice, which can be obtained without leaving home, avoiding an unnecessary visit to the doctor’s rooms.
The Freestyle Libre Flash monitoring device and associated digital tools are readily available for people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals.”
Dr Gracjan Podgorski, Specialist Physician in Greenacres, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa:
“As healthcare professionals we are aware of how vulnerable people living with diabetes may be during this difficult time. Our aim is to protect all patients by limiting face to face consultations. Telemedicine and remote glucose monitoring tools such as the FreeStyle LibreLink app and LibreView, a cloud-based glucose data monitoring solution, allow healthcare professionals to make informed treatment decisions, while reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Through the adoption of remote glucose monitoring tools, I can closely monitor my patients’ glucose patterns and provide the treatment they need based on accurate information.”
© 2020 Abbott. The shape of the circle sensor unit, FreeStyle, Libre, and related brand marks are owned by Abbott. Abbott Laboratories S.A. (Pty) Ltd., Abbott Place, 219 Golf Club Terrace, Constantia Kloof, 1709. Tel: (011) 858-2000. Fax: (011) 858 2137. ADC-25961 V1 Aug 2020. .
- International Diabetes Federation: COVID-19 and diabetes - https://diabetesvoice.org/en/news/covid-19-and-diabetes. March 5, 2020.
- The use of FreeStyle LibreLink app and LibreLinkUp requires registration with LibreView, a service provided by Abbott and Newyu, Inc. FreeStyle Libre readers and sensors are provided by Abbott. The FreeStyle LibreLink app is compatible with NFC enabled phones running Android OS 5.0 or higher and with iPhone 7 and higher running OS 11 and higher. The FreeStyle LibreLink app and FreeStyle Libre reader have similar characteristics but are not identical. A fingerstick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycaemia or impending hypoglycaemia is reported or when symptoms do not match the readings on the FreeStyle Libre reader or FreeStyle LibreLink apps. The LibreView data, produced by NewYu, can be viewed in the Safari browser on Mac OS X Mountain Lion or higher and on mobile devices with iOS 6 or later. Currently, the loading of glucose data is supported only on Windows-based computers. Minimum system requirements are Windows Vista with IE10 or the latest versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, running on 550 MHz Pentium III with 512 MB DRAM, 2G hard disk, USB 2.0, LCD screen with a 1024x768 resolution.
- The FreeStyle Libre sensor communicates with the FreeStyle Libre reader or with the FreeStyle LibreLink app that activated it. A sensor started by the FreeStyle Libre reader will also communicate with the app FreeStyle LibreLink,provided that such app is used to scan the sensor within an hour of its start.
- A fingestick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported by the FreeStyle LibreLink app or when symptoms do not match the app readings. The FreeStyle Libre sensor communicates with the FreeStyle Libre reader that started it or the FreeStyle LibreLink app that started it. A sensor started by the FreeStyle Libre reader will also communicate with the FreeStyle LibreLink app. The FreeStyle LibreLink app is only compatible with certain mobile devices and operating systems. Please check the website for more information about device compatibility before using the app. Use of FreeStyle LibreLink requires registration with LibreView. A fingerstick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported, or the symptoms do not match the system readings.
- LibreLinkUp is a mobile application developed and provided by Newyu, Inc. The use of LibreLinkUp requires the registration with LibreView, a service provided by Abbott and Newyu, Inc.
This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Abbott.