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What the Papers Say

Device to help monitor diabetes

Young people living with type 1 diabetes may no longer have to prick their finger multiple times a day with the Government announcing free continuous glucose monitoring devices for those under 21.

The Australian Government recently announced young people who met the criteria would be given access to the fully subsidised products through the National Diabetes Services Scheme.

Member for Durack Melissa Price said this new lifesaving technology would reduce the hassle of the daily finger-prick for people with diabetes.

"This will be life-changing for children, young people and their families," she said.

"It will also provide much-needed support for the difficult challenge of managing blood glucose levels, particularly in identifying symptoms of hypoglycaemia.

"Eligible young Australians will now be able to access these devices for free through the National Diabetes Services Scheme - saving around $4000 per year. 

The $54 million initiative will help families and children to better self-manage their diabetes." A continuous glucose monitor is a small wearable device that measures glucose levels throughout the day and night.

The devices reduce the frequency of daily fingerprick tests, with some models able to work in conjunction with a compatible insulin pump while others send information to a CGM receiver or smart phone.

Ms Price said while the finger-prick method is effective and accurate, it can be quite a difficult and upsetting process for some children and their parents, with up to 10 tests needed every day - including several times every night.

"For some families it may require waking a child in the middle of the night or interrupting them during the day at school," she said.

"In contrast, continuous glucose monitors will alert users or their parents if glucose levels are getting too low without the need for continuous fingerprick tests. 

This helps to reduce stress and anxiety for everyone involved." To access continuous glucose monitoring products, children and young adults will need to consult a health professional, who will assess the patient's suitability, as part of an overall management plan for diabetes.

Eligibility assessment forms are available to download at ndss.com.au. 

Source: Midwest Times.

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