FDA Approves 1st Blood Sugar Monitor Without Finger Pricks

Federal regulators have approved the first continuous blood sugar monitor for diabetics that doesn’t need backup finger prick tests.

Current models require users to test a drop of blood twice daily to calibrate, or adjust, the monitor.

The discomfort of finger sticks and the cost of testing supplies can discourage people from keeping close tabs on their blood sugar.

Abbott’s new FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System uses a small sensor attached to the upper arm. Patients wave a reader device over it to see the current blood sugar level and changes over the past eight hours.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the device Wednesday. Abbott isn’t disclosing the price for the reader or the sensors, which should be available in pharmacies within months.

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