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Thursday 12 April 2018 11:24am

Associate Professor Ben Wheeler, Paediatric Endocrinologist and member of the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre (EDOR), has commenced a trial to assess the real-world effectiveness of novel flash continuous glucose monitors in teenagers with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes.

Flash glucose monitors are a technology that measures blood glucose at set intervals via a small sensor under the skin. The system enables tracking of trends and patterns in blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, without the use of finger pricks. This technology could be of particular benefit to young people with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM), as teenagers don't always monitor their glucose levels as frequently as they should because of a desire to fit in with their peers, and also due to the physical discomfort associated with finger pricking.

In a world-first study, Dr Wheeler and his team will test the technology specifically among adolescents (aged 13-18 years) with a history of suboptimal glycaemic control.

“We're hopeful this innovation will help them better manage their condition, see improved glycaemic control, increase glucose monitoring behaviour, and improve their quality of life.”

If successful, the study will be a first step towards integrating the flash continuous glucose monitors into regular diabetes care for adolescents. With more than 2,500 children under 18 in New Zealand living with T1DM, this technology offers promise for a significant reduction in the burden of disease.

Cure Kids, New Zealand's largest funder of child health research, has provided a grant of NZ$106,000 to undertake this trial.

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