New sensor could be life-changing for diabetics

Ballymena woman Maureen Casey has been using the new technology
Seanín Graham

A NEW technology that could transform the lives of thousands of diabetics is to be introduced in the Northern Ireland health service.

Flash glucose monitoring is a small sensor worn on the skin which allows the wearer to record blood sugar levels continuously.

It reduces the need for finger-prick testing and helps patients manage their condition better by allowing them to scan the sensor whenever needed – helping them keep their blood sugars within the recommended range.

Crucially, the device helps reduce the risk of serious complications such as amputation, blindness and stroke.

Campaigners fought to have Flash introduced free on the NHS and the charity Diabetes UK say it has been approved, with patients who meet the criteria able to get it on prescription.

The charity described it as potentially ‘life changing’.

Maureen Casey, a type-one diabetic from Ballymena, Co Antrim, says she “hasn’t looked back” since she started using Flash a few months ago.

“It has helped me so much and has made such a difference to how I manage my diabetes. I have struggled with the frequent finger pricking, especially through the night, and now Flash has made this so much easier and I am feeling really confident about being on top of my condition,” she said.

“I thoroughly recommend it so talk to your health-care team to find out more about it.”

The criteria to qualify were designed by doctors and people living with diabetes through the charity, Diabetes Network NI.

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.

There are more than 90,000 people living with the condition in the north – and there has been a 62 per cent rise in diagnoses over the past decade.

Type-one diabetes is not preventable but the single greatest risk factor for type-two diabetes is being overweight or obese.

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