Flash glucose monitors help youths with Type 1 diabetes better monitor their blood sugar levels, but it doesn’t improve glucose control, a study from the University of Otago in New Zealand has found.
A team of researchers conducted a six-month trial among adolescents aged 13–20 years with a history of suboptimal glycaemic control. The team compared monitoring results of 64 study participants divided into two groups – one group used Flash, and the other used finger-prick monitoring.
Associate Professor Wheeler, who co-led the study, says study participants who were given the Flash glucose monitors more than doubled their glucose level monitoring frequency. After six months, those using Flash were checking their levels, on average, 3.8 times per day, including scanning and finger pricking as needed, whereas the control group was checking their glucose levels, on average, 1.4 times per day. Surprisingly, researchers discovered the group using the Flash monitoring technology had not improved their glucose control and quality of life significantly more than the control group after six months.
Despite the improved glucose-checking technology, and overwhelmingly positive participant and family experiences, improving psychosocial outcomes will require more intensive methods, Associate Professor Wheeler says.
The next research steps include more support for youth, and a focus on diet and sleep, but also looking at increasing automation, such as artificial pancreas systems that combine less invasive monitoring technology with computer-driven automated insulin delivery.
Read more about the study HERE.