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Abbott receives Health Canada authorization

Freestyle Libre system targets hospitalized patients during COVID-19 pandemic


Medical device maker Abbott has received authorization by Health Canada for use of FreeStyle Libre system, leading sensor-based glucose monitoring technology, in hospital setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. This device permits frontline healthcare workers to remotely monitor patients’ glucose status2 and glucose history. In addition, Abbott 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,” says 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.”

With a one-second scan using a reader or smartphone3 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 trends and patterns, and arrows showing where glucose levels are going without having to fingerstick4. At the same time, physicians will receive glucose data and actionable information remotely to help make important treatment decisions through LibreView5, a secure, cloud-based diabetes management system available at no cost to healthcare providers and users. Recent studies showed that users of the FreeStyle Libre system have improved glucose control6, decreased time in hyperglycemia7 and hypoglycemia8 as well as reduced hospitalizations9 and HbA1C10 levels.

“Providing frontline healthcare workers with technology and equipment is critical in the fight against COVID-19,” says 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.”

More than 15% of Canadians diagnosed with COVID-19 are hospitalized, according to Health Canada11. The use of the FreeStyle Libre system in Canadian hospitals received support from the country’s leading diabetes organizations, including Diabetes Canada and Diabète Quebec.