People with type 1 diabetes in England are to be given access to a “life-changing” gadget on the NHS.
Those with the condition will be eligible for a continuous glucose monitor, which allows patients to monitor their blood sugars through an app.
This means they won’t have to take a finger-prick test or scan using a different type of monitor.
The device uses a bottle-cap-sized sensor which attaches to the arm to measure glucose levels from just under the skin.
It is hoped that wider use of this gadget will help patients to manage their condition better, and reduce illness and hospital admissions.
The health service in England also announced in March that patients with the condition would be eligible for flash monitors, which use a similar technology but require patients to repeatedly scan the device in their arm to check their vital statistics.
These are cheaper than the continuous monitors, but the NHS said that it has made a deal with manufacturer DEXCOM for the use of the continuous monitors for a similar price.
‘It is truly transformational’
Dr Partha Kar, national speciality adviser 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.”
Former prime minister Theresa May, the first world leader to have type 1 diabetes, said that the devices were “transformational”.
She said: “This is another important step for the NHS in treating people with type 1 diabetes. CGM makes a huge difference to people living with diabetes – it is truly transformational.”
Health Minister James Morris added: “This is an excellent example of how technology can help people manage their long-term conditions from the comfort of their own homes, reducing pressure on the NHS and improving health outcomes for patients.”