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New diabetes technology tested in Idaho Falls eliminates finger pricking

A diabetic’s day of routinely pricking their finger could soon be over. One local diabetes center is a front runner in new technology to eliminate this painful chore.

The Rocky Mountain Diabetes Center is one of seven in the country to test the new FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System. The new technology eliminates the need for routine finger pricking while taking blood measurements.

“It has an auto inserter,” Mark Sulik, Director of Research, said. “So the patient really, they just clean their arm and they raise it up. It looks kinda like a cup and they just push that down and it automatically inserts the needle and the wire and it retracts the needle into a safe, sharp proof container. And then they just pull it off and they’re done.”

The sensor lasts 12 days before needing replacement. Participants in a three week study testing out the new product say they can pay more attention to their sugar levels and not have to worry about the pain.

“It actually causes people to be in better control because they can test more frequently without the worry of pricking their finger,” Greg Housely, a research participant, said.

Those who have Type One or Type Two diabetes can use the sensor. Even young children.

“Little kids who are two, three, four, five, six years old, they wanna run around and play,” Sulik said. “They don’t wanna stop so that mom or dad can check their blood sugar, right? They don’t wanna get their finger pricked all the time. They can wear a sensor and mom and dad can just run up behind them, do a swipe and get the reading.”

Researchers say none of the progression in this technology could happen without those willing to test it out.

“It’s because of the people who are willing to participate,” Sulik said. “Nobody gets any new technology approved by the FDA without patients. So, they are the real heroes.”

The system has been available in Europe for about two or three years. Now that the FDA has approved it, it will be available in US pharmacies beginning in December.

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