Blood glucose monitoring has come a long way in the world of diabetes management.
Dating back to the mid-1800’s there were attempts to test the glucose in urine1. In 1908, this became a commercialized test using a laborious procedure. Testing evolved to using a urine test strip starting in 1940, followed by blood glucose test strips in 1965. At this point, the results produced a color that was compared to a chart giving a rough assessment of glucose levels. The first glucose meter was used in the 1970s, but the results of precision and accuracy were poor. Over time, this device improved having extreme accuracy, becoming widely available, and requiring minimal amounts of blood.
Then came the concept of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).
The first CGM was approved by the FDA in 1999. It provided glucose readings from the interstitial fluid in real time. For someone with diabetes, this tool makes decision-making easier and more meaningful.
There are a variety of CGMs on the market today offering the ability to view glucose readings using a phone app or receiver(real-time CGM), or by scanning the CGM (intermittently-scanned CGM) to view results.
A recent study was conducted to determine the efficacy of real-time continuous glucose monitoring (rtCGM) compared to intermittently scanned continuous glucose monitoring (isCGM)2. This one-year study was titled “The CORRIDA LIFE Study”. It was a real-world, nonrandomized study as part of the CORRIDA clinical trials program. It compared the rtCGM (Dexcom G5 or G6) to the isCGM (Freestyle Libre 14-day; Abbott) in adults with type 1 diabetes. It is important to note that participants were limited to those using multiple daily injections or insulin pumps with no automatic functions.
The study included 191 participants with type 1 diabetes. Of these, 81 initiated rtCGM and 110 initiated isCGM. Following the 12-month study period, HbA1c was significantly lower with rtCGM compared with isCGM. rtCGM also showed less time spent in hypoglycemia and more time in target range than those using isCGM. These findings provide insight for clinicians and those with diabetes as they decide the best management devices for their individual needs.
Since the time of this study, Abbott has come out with the Freestyle Libre 3. Unlike the Freestyle Libre 14-day as was used in the study, the Libre 3 provides real-time glucose readings viewed through an app on a compatible iPhone or Android.
It is important to stay up to date on diabetes management devices by understanding how each one works and following the latest advancements. Diabetes is unique to each individual.
Always learn the facts so you can make the best decision for you.
- Hirsch, Irl B. “History of Glucose Monitoring – American Diabetes AssociationIr.” History of Glucose Monitoring, https://professional.diabetes.org/sites/professional.diabetes.org/files/media/db201811.pdf.
- Radovnicka, et al. “Lower Glycated Hemoglobin with Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring Than with Intermittently Scanned Continuous Glucose Monitoring After 1 Year: The CORRIDA LIFE Study.” Liebertpub.com, https://doi.org/10.1089/dia.2022.0152.