On behalf of my patients who struggle with the discomfort of having to poke their fingers to check their blood sugars every day, I am super excited about a new poke-free technology that will hopefully be approved in Canada soon – the Freestyle Libre. With this glucose monitoring system, a small patch is applied to the upper arm with a tiny filament underneath which inserts under the skin. Wave your glucose monitor over the patch and voilà! – the last 8 hours of blood sugars, including current blood sugar, are transmitted to your monitor for evaluation. Not only that, but it tells you the current trend in sugar (ie if your blood sugar is on its way up, down, or stable).
Ten patients reported concerns related to the sensor, primarily itching, allergic reaction, or redness at the site (not out of keeping of the usual risk of reactions to medical devices that stick to the
skin). Some aspects of quality of life were reported to be improved as well – not surprising, since studies have shown that people with diabetes who have had severe low blood sugar in the past fear this occurring again as much as they fear blindness as a complication of their diabetes.