How Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems Are Joining the COVID-19 Fight

Both Dexcom and Abbott diabetes systems are helping healthcare workers in hospitals minimize exposure to COVID-19 patients while also preserving the use of personal protective equipment.

Amanda Pedersen

April 8, 2020

1 Min Read
How Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems Are Joining the COVID-19 Fight
With a one-second scan using a reader or smartphone over Abbott's FreeStyle Libre 14-day sensor worn on the back of the upper arm, users get real-time glucose readings every minute, historical trends and patterns, and arrows showing where glucose levels are going without having to fingerstick. At the same time, physicians will receive real-time glucose data and actionable information to help make important treatment decisions through LibreView, a secure, cloud-based diabetes management system.Abbott Laboratories

In response to healthcare workers asking for safer ways to monitor hospitalized diabetes patients with COVID-19, FDA is allowing both Dexcom and Abbott to supply continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems for use in the hospital setting during the pandemic. This allows frontline healthcare workers in hospitals to remotely monitor patients with diabetes in order to minimize exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 and preserve use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Abbott said it has partnered with the American Diabetes Association, Insulin for Life USA, and the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition to donate 25,000 FreeStyle Libre 14-day sensors to U.S. hospitals and medical centers in outbreak hotspots to help accelerate access to the technology.

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of people with diabetes who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are hospitalized.

In an email to MD+DI, Dexcom said it has been working closely with FDA for weeks to make real-time CGM temporarily available for in-hospital use. The company said it will manufacture 100,000 sensors for hospitalized coronavirus patients and will donate more than 10,000 phones and receivers.

Both Dexcome and Abbott's CGM systems use wearable sensors to continuously measure and send glucose levels wirelessly to a receiver or compatible smart device. These systems reduce the need for fingersticks, which is the standard in-hospital method for measuring glucose.

For more of MD+DI's ongoing coverage of resources, regulatory support, and solutions for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our COVID-19 News Central page.

About the Author(s)

Amanda Pedersen

Amanda Pedersen is a veteran journalist and award-winning columnist with a passion for helping medical device professionals connect the dots between the medtech news of the day and the bigger picture. She has been covering the medtech industry since 2006.

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