US-based medical devices and health care firm Abbott has secured the Health Canada authorization to use its FreeStyle Libre system in hospital setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The regulatory authorization would enable the frontline healthcare workers to remotely monitor glucose status and glucose history of patients, said the company.

University of Toronto clinician-scientist Bruce Perkins said: “The in-hospital challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced frontline workers to think creatively about how to safeguard against unnecessary exposure between themselves and patients, especially people with diabetes.

“Having access to sensor-based glucose monitoring technology in hospitals is one such creative solution to significantly help healthcare workers closely monitor glucose status while limiting direct contact and preserving valuable personal protective equipment.”

FreeStyle Libre system is a sensor-based glucose monitoring device that measures glucose levels

FreeStyle Libre system is a sensor-based glucose monitoring device that measures glucose readings every minute, with a one-second scan using a reader or smartphone over the FreeStyle Libre sensor worn on the back of the upper arm.

The system will provide real-time glucose measurements, historical trends and patterns to the users, along with arrows showing where glucose levels are going without having to fingerstick.

In addition, physicians will receive glucose data and actionable information remotely to help make important treatment decisions through LibreView, a secure, cloud-based diabetes management system, offered to healthcare providers and users at no cost.

Abbott said that according to the recent studies, people who used the FreeStyle Libre system have improved glucose control, decreased time in hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as well as reduced hospitalizations and HbA1C10 levels.

In addition, the company has committed to donate 3,000 FreeStyle Libre sensors to provide immediate access to the technology in hospitals.

Abbott Canada diabetes care business general manager Marie-Flore Nabor said: “Providing frontline healthcare workers with technology and equipment is critical in the fight against COVID-19.

“Health Canada’s quick action to make FreeStyle Libre sensors available in hospitals will help frontline healthcare workers better monitor and manage the glucose levels of patients and, at the same time, help limit COVID-19 exposure.”

Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed Abbott’s continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology FreeStyle Libre 14 day system, to be used in the hospital setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.