There is a new non-invasive glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes.

A new device, the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, is a way to test your blood sugar by scanning instead of pricking with a needle. In most cases, you no longer need to use a test strip or analyse your blood.

The device may be useful for working carers caring for a person with diabetes or for those who themselves have the condition. The device has two components – a sensor, and a reader (that displays the sensor data).

The sensor is a thin flexible sterile fibre (5mm long) which is inserted just below the skin of the upper arm. It is housed in a small disc that sits neatly on the arm above the fibre. Most people don’t feel any discomfort whatsoever either during insertion or while they are wearing the sensor, which can stay in place for up to 14 days.

The sensor automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings day and night. The sensor is designed to be water-resistant up to one metre for up to 30 minutes and can be worn for this duration while bathing, showering, exercising and swimming in shallow water. The reader is about the size of a small mobile phone.

Your glucose readings can be undertaken discreetly with a painless one-second scan, even through clothing, just by passing the reader over the sensor. With every scan, you get your current glucose reading, the last eight hours of glucose data and an arrow showing the direction your glucose is heading. The sensor stores 90 days of glucose data.

The FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System is a glucose monitoring device indicated for detecting trends and tracking patterns in persons aged 18 and older with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

Health professionals and consumers should be aware about the limitations of available scientific evidence for use of this device in any other groups of patients who require diabetes management.

The device costs about $200 for the reader and the sensor. You can read the list of frequently asked questions about this device here: https://www.freestylelibre.com.au/faq/ Or visit: freestylelibra.com.au