The dreaded finger prick test routinely performed by diabetics could soon be a thing of the past, with a new app now available in Australia for anyone needing to check blood glucose levels.
The Freestyle Libre System allows diabetics to download a free app on their smartphone and use their device to scan a sensor hidden on the back of their arm.
The reading delivers 8 hours’ worth of blood sugar levels, giving users the opportunity to monitor and adjust their intake of insulin or food.
Diabetics can use their phone to scan a sensor on the back of their arm (9NEWS)The reading delivers 8 hours’ of blood sugar levels (9NEWS)
“It’s amazing. It’s changed my life completely,” Type 1 diabetic Alana Hearne told 9NEWS.
After 18-months of testing the system, the 42-year-old from Sydney’s south says she’s glad to see the back of sticking a needle into her finger on a daily basis.
“The finger pricks have actually damaged my finger tip to the point where I can’t open my phone,” she said.
Diabetic Alana Hearne says the new technology has been ‘life changing’. (9NEWS)
“So yeah, it’s not convenient. With this system I can see if my blood sugar is going up or going down. I can see what it’s been doing for 8 hours as opposed to just one little second of information from the prick test,” she said.
Australia is the first country outside of Europe to introduce the system but many diabetics may be deterred by the costs. While the smartphone app is free to download, the water-resistant sensors only last for 14 days and cost $95.
“It’s actually out of reach for most people and we really need the government to act urgently to change that situation” CEO of Diabetes NSW & ACT, Sturt Eastwood, said.
There are calls for the Government to subsidise the technology which is currently very expensive (9NEWS)
“Regulation, legislation and subsidisation sadly don’t keep track with innovation. An app like this just makes it so much more manageable and easier than it ever has been,” he said.
Annually, diabetes costs the Australian healthcare system close to $14 billion, with a staggering 292 people diagnosed with a form of the disease every day.
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