At the 13th Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes meeting, Abbott Laboratories (ABT 3.21%) is presenting a series of studies showing that its glucose monitor FreeStyle Libre system helped people with diabetes across the globe improved their glucose levels. The system uses a sensor that's worn on the back of the patient's upper arm, eliminating the need for routine finger pricks.

In a study of patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes in Germany, after using the FreeStyle Libre system for 12 months, patients were able to reduce their HbA1c level, a measure of long-term glucose levels. Type 1 patients with starting values greater than 7.5% lowered their HbA1c by 1.4%, while Type 2 patients reduced the measurement by 1.2%.

An analysis by Abbott of patients in Sweden's National Diabetes Register showed patients using the system for three months to nine months had a 0.44% reduction in HbA1c for people with Type 1 diabetes and 0.67% for people with Type 2 diabetes.

Hand holding an iPhone with the Freestyle Librelink app

Image source: Abbott Labs

In a study of patients in Canada, the healthcare company found more frequent scanning increased the ability of patients to stay within their target glucose range. Patients with the lowest frequency of scans (3.3 scans per day) spent 54.6% of the time in range, compared to 66.7% of the time in range for patients with the highest scanning frequency (29.3 scans per day).

Finally, a study from the U.S. of more than 12,000 people with diabetes who switched from using test strips to using a continuous glucose monitor, including the FreeStyle Libre, showed that switching reduced acute diabetes complications by 44% in patients with Type 1 diabetes and by 51% in patients with Type 2 diabetes.