Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses of childhood. Frequent blood glucose monitoring via finger pricks is essential for the management of type 1 diabetes but adds considerable treatment burden. Many children do not test blood glucose often enough, because of social pressure to not be seen as “different”, physical discomfort from pricking their fingers, and the technology is not user friendly (requires multiple steps to obtain a reading).
New technology like intermittently scanned continuous glucose monitoring (isCGM; FreeSyle® Libre 2), could improve glucose monitoring and diabetes control as it discreetly provides accurate and up-to-date glucose information. isCGM involves applying a small sensor to the back of the arm to monitor interstitial glucose levels for up to 2 weeks. No finger pricks are required to calibrate the system. isCGM users then scan the sensor with a reader, as often as they like, which immediately displays their glucose level. Children and their families are also notified of low and high glucose readings. Given children’s propensity for new technology, the ease of being able to scan (even through clothing) and the reduction in finger pricking, isCGM may provide a great opportunity to engage them in their diabetes care and help them and their families to improve self-management behaviours.
This world first study aims to investigate this device using a gold standard randomised controlled trial in 100 young children (aged 4-13 years) and their families, the population that may benefit the most from this sort of advanced glucose monitoring. If proven to be of benefit, this study continues our research group’s broad aim of helping to provide healthier, more equitable and cost-effective diabetes care to children and their families.
Ethics number: 20/NTA/12
Associate Professor (Hon) Craig Jefferies
Associate Professor Craig Jefferies is a Paediatric Endocrinologist and Honorary Associate Professor at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland.
Associate Professor Ben Wheeler
Associate Professor Ben Wheeler is a Paediatric Endocrinologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Women's and Children's Health.
Shirley Jones is a Research Nurse in the Department of Women's and Children's Health.