‘Life-changing’ continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) will now be available to all NHS England patients with Type 1 diabetes.
The novel gadget, known as the ‘Dexcom ONE Real Time-Continuous Glucose Monitoring’, is a wearable device that is worn externally on a patient’s arm and sends information to a mobile app.
The technology allows patients to keep track of their glucose levels at all times without having to scan or take a finger prick test.
New device will be offered at a similar price to flash glucose monitors
While CGMs are typically more expensive than traditional flash glucose monitors, the NHS will be offering them on prescription for a similar price.
Once prescribed, patients will receive their starter pack which will include information on the product and usage, a sensor and transmitter. Patients will then be able to pick up repeat prescriptions from the pharmacy.
Three in five diabetes patients are already benefitting from the new technology, and the NHS hope the wider rollout will help diabetes patients to better manage their condition.
Managing diabetes in the “most convenient way possible”
Dr Partha Kar, national speciality advisor for diabetes and obesity said: “This is a huge step forward for Type 1 diabetes care and these monitors will be life-changing for anyone with the illness – giving them more choice to manage their condition in the most convenient way possible – as well as the best chance at living healthier lives, reducing their risk of hospitalisation and illnesses associated with diabetes, which in turn reduces pressure on wider NHS services.
“The new deal also delivers on our commitment to get patients the latest cutting-edge medical technology at the best value for taxpayer money – saving the NHS millions over the coming years”.
“Less painful, less stressful and far better”
Andy Lavender, 56, has been living with Type 1 Diabetes since he was two years old. He is a Live Well co-ordinator for the NHS and a local chair for the charity Diabetes UK.
Mr Lavender said that his CGM has “changed [his] life” and expects it will do the same for many others. He explains: “I know many people won’t test blood glucose in public or in a coffee shop and they will go to the toilet to test, but now they can just glance at the screen. It’s less painful, less stressful and far better to control a condition that can be affected by so many things.”
The new technology comes alongside a multitude of other diabetes treatments that have recently been made available on the NHS, such as the Freestyle Libre which automatically balances blood sugar levels by delivering insulin directly to the bloodstream.