Continuous Glucose Monitoringadmin
Continuous Glucose Monitoring – or CGM – has hit the headlines recently with the news that all Type 1 Diabetics could have their CGM subsidised post the May 2022 Federal Election. We take a look at what is a CGM and why they are such a life saver.
What is continuous glucose monitoring?
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a method of measuring glucose levels continuously at any time throughout the day and night without the need for multiple finger pricks. It has alarms to sound if glucose levels are getting too low or too high, and also shows whether levels are stable or on the way up or down.
A Continuous Glucose Monitoring System sensor is inserted under the skin and measures the level of glucose in the interstitial fluid (fluid in the tissue). This differs to a finger prick which measures the blood. Depending on the type of CGM, the sensor can last anywhere from 7 to 14 days.
Some devices can work with a compatible insulin pump while other devices send information to a CGM receiver or smartphone. You can read more about CGMs in this Continuous glucose monitoring fact sheet from NDSS.
So what is flash glucose monitoring?
A flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) device is like a CGM device, except that you have to scan a sensor with a reader, smartphone or smart device to get your reading. A Flash GM device does not connect to an insulin pump. You can read more in this Flash glucose monitoring fact sheet from NDSS
Why are CGMs so good?
There are a number of upsides of using Continuous Glucose Monitoring:
- The ability to understand blood glucose levels at any time of the day or night.
- It can sound an alarm if your glucose level is changing rapidly, either up or down.
- You can set the level that you would like the CGM to alert you which means it can help prevent a hypo before it happens or detect a high to be treated before it lifts too rapidly.
Overall, a CGM is literally a lifesaver for anyone living with Type, especially overnight when it can be difficult to detect dangerous blood glucose levels in a timely manner.
Who can get a CGM?
Today, anyone can get a CGM but only a segment of the Type 1 community can have it subsidised. According to Diabetes Australia the Australian Government’s Continuous Glucose Monitoring Subsidy Initiative provides access for eligible people to fully subsidised CGM and flash glucose monitoring products through the National Diabetes Services Scheme. Which includes:
- Children and young people aged under 21 years with type 1 diabetes
- People with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or older who have valid concessional status
- Women with type 1 diabetes who are actively planning pregnancy, pregnant, or immediately post-pregnancy
- Children and young people under 21 years with conditions very similar to type 1 diabetes who require insulin.
What CGM devices are available in Australia?
There are several continuous glucose monitoring systems available in Australia for people living who require insulin to manage their diabetes. These include:
If you are after Flash Monitoring then the option is the Freestyle Libre
So what’s next?
According to an update from NDSS, from 1 July 2022 all Type 1 Diabetics will be eligible for a subsidised CGM or Flash Monitor. These are real life saving devices – and a game changer for anyone living with type 1 diabetes.