Flash glucose monitoring in people with diabetes

Angela S Lee, Stephen M Twigg



A flash glucose monitoring system has been approved for use in monitoring glucose levels in adults who have diabetes mellitus treated with insulin. This new technology has high potential for assisting people to optimise self-management of glycaemia.

Key Points

  • Fingerprick capillary blood glucose testing is a key component of management in many people with diabetes, but some people find it painful and inconvenient, which may be a barrier to optimal self-monitoring.
  • The new FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System (Abbott Diabetes Care) is an interstitial glucose monitoring system that is TGA approved for detecting trends and tracking patterns in adults with diabetes treated with insulin.
  • The sensor is worn on the arm, and interstitial glucose levels over the preceding eight hours can be viewed with a one-second ‘flash’ of the handheld reader over the sensor.
  • Fingerprick glucose calibration is not required.
  • Reports are generated in the freely available software, which summarises glucose data across the day.
  • Flash glucose monitoring is relatively painless, convenient and discreet and the sensor lasts up to 14 days.
  • Challenges in using flash glucose monitoring include the financial cost, which may be a barrier for many people.

    Picture credit: © Ramon Andrade 3Dciencia/SPL. Glycated haemoglobin molecule.