Abbott's breakthrough technology transforms diabetes care

By Diep Anh   December 1, 2022 | 09:00 pm PT
Abbott FreeStyle Libre, a wearable sensor-based technology for glucose monitoring, brings accessible and affordable healthcare solutions for diabetic patients.

FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology was named the "Best Medical Technology" of the last 50 years by The Galien Foundation in late October 2022.

The technology, which was brought to Vietnam in March 2021, detects not only real-time glucose levels but also its patterns.

The retrospective information then can be used to help patients adjust their lifestyle and help healthcare professionals make better treatment decisions, so as to reduce diabetes complications and risks.

"Abbott FreeStyle Libre portfolio has revolutionized how people live with diabetes, eliminating the need for traditional fingersticks," said Jared Watkin, Senior Vice President of Abbott at the October 27 award ceremony in New York City.

According to Watkin, approximately 4.5 million people around the world use this life-changing technology to manage their diabetes and improve health outcomes, helping them live healthier every day.

Abbott Freestyle Libre 3 sensor. Photo by Abbott

Abbott Freestyle Libre sensor. Photo by Abbott

Abbott also received 11 Prix Galien Awards for its innovation in pharmaceuticals and medical technology over the years.

"The companies behind these amazing innovations have a bold passion for change, which has led to the development of life-saving products," said Bruno Cohen, Chairman of the Galien Foundation, the premier global institution dedicated to honoring innovators in life sciences.

Challenges and burden of diabetes

The number of people living with diabetes globally has more than tripled to 537 million in 2021, from 151 million in 2000, according to the 10th edition of IDF Diabetes Atlas released last December.

The report estimated direct health expenditure due to diabetes was nearly $1 trillion and will exceed this value by 2030, when the number of people with diabetes is forecast to hit 643 million, making the condition one of the most expensive chronic diseases today.

Diabetes is responsible for 6.7 million deaths in 2021 - one every five seconds.

In Vietnam, approximately 3.8 million people had diabetes mellitus diagnoses in 2019 and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) predicted the number will roughly double by 2045.

In 2021, this population increased to 4.8 million, more than half of whom were ignorant of their illness.

Vietnam's Ministry of Health has recommended CGM for those who want better glucose self-monitoring and hospital patients who need accurate real-time glucose monitoring.

"Abbott’s revolutionary technology of FreeStyle Libre has changed the way millions of people manage diabetes globally and Vietnamese people living with diabetes now have a choice of managing diabetes better by making adjustments to diet, medication, or lifestyle," said Douglas Kuo, Divisional Vice President and General Manager of Abbott in Vietnam.

Extending health care solutions

In order to address the challenges of diabetes treatment and other chronic diseases, Abbott has developed accessible and cost-effective healthcare technology solutions.

Following the application of FreeStyle technology, the unit is expanding its presence in bio wearables by developing a first-of-its-kind dual monitoring system, that will enable people with the condition to continuously monitor glucose and ketone levels in one sensor. That sensor happens to be the same size as Abbott's FreeStyle Libre 3 sensor.

The goal of the new dual monitoring system is early detection of diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition in which ketones, the chemicals produced by the liver and used for energy, climb to dangerous levels in the blood, according to the company's officials.

Pivotal trials will take place in 2023 followed by regulatory submissions thereafter.

In addition to regular glucose monitoring, proper diet and appropriate exercise form the three key elements in diabetes care.

Abbott has recently offered a comprehensive solution for diabetes care, including FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring technology and a special nutritional formula named Glucerna for people with diabetes.

Following more than 50 clinical studies spanning 30 years, Glucerna is clinically proven to help control glucose and foster cardiovascular health.

In addition to FreeStyle Libre system, the glucose monitoring wearable sensor-based technology, Abbott and its foundation, the Abbott Fund, have set in motion the Future Well Kids since 2019.

This program is designed to educate and encourage pre-teens to build up healthy lifestyles in order to prevent non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the future.

The program has had a good impact in several countries and is seen to be an urgent scheme that will be implemented soon for secondary school students in Vietnam.

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