ABBOTT PARK, Ill., April 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- India has the third highest population of obesity, trailing only the United States and China. Nutrition, lifestyle and demographic transitions in India have led to a decline in overall health—and for many, that also means a rise in diseases such as diabetes.
To provide tools to better manage diabetes, Abbott (NYSE: ABT) has launched the FreeStyle® Libre Pro Flash Glucose Monitoring System in India—a transformative new glucose monitoring tool that fundamentally changes how doctors treat people with diabetes. With this tool, doctors can get the comprehensive glucose data they need to make more informed treatment decisions. They can personalize their patient's diabetes treatment plans, allowing people to better manage their disease.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, India today has a diabetes population of 65.1 million compared to 50.8 million in 2010. A recent survey conducted by the Association of Physicians of India (API) and sponsored by Abbott showed that 90 percent of people surveyed with uncontrolled diabetes [HbA1c level higher than 7 percent] in India continue to believe that they have control over their glucose levels, despite facts suggesting otherwise.
"India now carries 20 percent of the global burden of diabetes," said Robert Ford, senior vice president, Diabetes Care, Abbott. "There is an immense need for people in India to better manage their diabetes, enabling them to live healthier lives. Abbott's FreeStyle Libre Pro System is designed to empower doctors in India to help their patients through rich data and actionable insights."
FREESTYLE LIBRE PRO SYSTEM—A COMPLETE GLYCEMIC PROFILE
As evidenced by the API survey, one of the main challenges among people with diabetes in India is that self-monitoring of blood glucose is not a common practice. The FreeStyle Libre Pro ("Pro" indicating "Professional" version) Flash Glucose Monitoring System is designed to be applied by healthcare professionals in a clinic setting. The FreeStyle Libre Pro System consists of a small, round sensor—slightly larger than a 10 rupee coin (size of a U.S. quarter). A healthcare professional applies the sensor on the back of the patient's upper arm. The sensor is held in place with a self-adhesive pad and remains on the back of the arm for up to 14 days, requiring no patient interaction or finger-prick calibration.
When applied to the back of the arm, the sensor continuously measures glucose in interstitial fluid through a small (5mm long, 0.4mm wide) filament that is inserted just under the skin. It records glucose levels every 15 minutes, capturing up to 1340 glucose results over 14 days, giving the treating doctor comprehensive data for a complete glycemic profile of their patient. After 14 days, the person returns to the doctor's office, where the doctor uses a FreeStyle Libre Pro reader device to scan the sensor and download the glucose results that are stored in the sensor—in as quickly as five seconds.
"Diabetes is already at epidemic proportions and there is an urgent need to manage it better," said Dr. V. Mohan, Director and Chief of Diabetes Research at Madras Diabetes Research Foundation. "Current diabetes monitoring tools are limiting for doctors because they don't reveal a complete picture of the glucose variability that a person goes through during a day. The revolutionary flash glucose monitoring system will be very useful for doctors in getting complete glucose profiles of their patients. This will help us in our clinical decision making as well as in personalizing treatment plans for better outcomes."
THE IMPORTANCE OF VISUALIZING THE COMPLETE GLYCEMIC PROFILE
The FreeStyle Libre Pro System provides physicians with the Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP), a report generated from comprehensive glucose data that provides a visual snapshot of a person's typical day—revealing hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic trends to facilitate better patient therapy and education. Healthcare professionals are able to understand how their patients' glucose levels change as they go about their daily life, which helps them personalize how they treat their patients. The data are presented in a single, user-friendly, visual chart providing health care professionals the vantage point to link an individual's glucose trends to clinical decision-making, enabling more informed and personalized treatment decisions and more productive discussions between the health care professional and patient.
"Current systems for continuous measurement of glucose are cumbersome and require regular finger-pricking to ensure they are calibrated correctly for accuracy," said Jared Watkin, divisional vice president, Technical Operations, Diabetes Care, Abbott. "Based on insights from our customers, the focus for our design team has been to innovate for these challenges, while also providing affordability. We're proud that FreeStyle Libre Pro System achieves that for people with diabetes."
Abbott's FreeStyle Libre Pro System, for professional use, is the second offering in Abbott's new category of sensing technology, Flash Glucose Monitoring. The personal system, FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, was launched in seven European markets in October 2014.
Abbott's FreeStyle Libre Pro system will be available to doctors in the coming weeks in six Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Trivandrum.
Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritional and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 73,000 people.
Visit Abbott at www.abbott.com and connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.
 Misra A, Shrivastava U. Obesity and dyslipidemia in South Asians. Nutrients 2013; 5(7): 2708-33.)
 The Abbott Sugar Survey, February 2015