NHS England has just announced that more people with Type I Diabetes will have access to wearable glucose monitors as from April 2019. In an announcement welcomed by thousands of people suffering from Type I Diabetes, NHS England announced that wearable glucose monitors would now be Government funded, thus benefiting approximately one-quarter of people throughout the country with Type I Diabetes. All 195 clinical commissioning groups throughout the country are included in the NHS England announcement.
Statistics show that around 300,000 people in England suffer from Type I Diabetes, and being able to access a discreet, convenient-to-wear, water-resistant sensor allows Type I Diabetes sufferers to lead an active lifestyle.
Welcome News for Sufferers of Type I Diabetes
In particular, diabetes charities in England were thrilled with the announcement, saying this change of policy is a giant step forward for people suffering with Type I Diabetes. A Diabetes Glucose Monitor helps patients with diabetes manage their condition by reducing the need for finger prick blood tests. By utilising advanced sensor-based technology, the glucose data is calibrated then instantly displayed on a reader.
This decision by NHS England has been made primarily because an investigation discovered that patients located in certain areas of the country were being denied access to Diabetes Glucose Monitors.
Many readers will know that Prime Minister Theresa May suffers from this autoimmune condition, and it was in November 2017 that the Freestyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System was made available on the NHS. However, recent research suggests that, even though 20% to 25% of patients were eligible to access a Glucose Monitoring System, in actuality only 3% – 5% of Type I Diabetes patients in England had access to a monitor. The reason given is that funding of these devices has not been prioritised by some local clinical commissioning groups.
How Does a Glucose Monitoring Device Work?
Glucose Monitoring Devices consist of a sensor and a reader, and are designed to liberate sufferers of diabetes from the continuous hassle of routine finger pricking. With a Glucose Monitoring Device, a tiny sensor is placed just under the skin on the patient’s arm, with the sensor connected to a small transmitter patch located on the skin’s surface. Blood sugar levels from fluid located just beneath the skin are read by the sensor and this information is wirelessly transmitted to an easy-to-read display on a portable user-friendly reader located near the sensor. The need for finger prick blood tests is thus reduced, making it so much easier and less intrusive for sufferers of diabetes to manage their condition.