NHS rolls out second continuous glucose monitoring device to type I diabetes patients

The Dexcom ONE device comprises a small sensor which attaches to the arm and sends information to a mobile app, allowing patients to keep track of their glucose levels without having to scan or take a finger prick test.

Insulin vial and syringe on a white background
NICE recommends that adults with type 1 diabetes should be offered a choice of real-time continuous glucose monitoring or 'flash' glucose monitoring according to individual preference. | GETTY IMAGES

All type I diabetes patients will be eligible to receive the Dexcom ONE Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring device on prescription after NHS England negotiated a deal enabling it to make the device available at a similar cost to flash glucose monitoring systems.

This follows the addition of another continuous glucose monitoring system, GlucoRx AiDEX Sensor, to the Drug Tariff in April this year.

NICE guidance

The NICE guidance on type I diabetes states that adults with type 1 diabetes should be offered a choice of real-time continuous glucose monitoring or intermittently scanned continuous glucose monitoring (commonly referred to as 'flash'), based on their individual preferences, needs, characteristics, and the functionality of the devices available. If multiple devices meet their needs and preferences, the device with the lowest cost should be offered.

Dexcom ONE device

The Dexcom device measures glucose levels just under the skin and sends readings at five-minute intervals via a transmitter to a compatible smartphone with the Dexcom ONE app installed. 

The sensor is attached via an auto-applicator which inserts a wire under the skin by pushing a button. It is designed for use on the abdomen or upper arms but can also be used on the upper buttocks in patients aged two to 17 years. 

The sensor can be used for up to 10 days and is water-resistant so can be worn while showering or swimming. The transmitter lasts for 90 days and is re-used across multiple sensors.

The Dexcom ONE app provides glucose readings as well as alerts when readings fall outside preset, customisable high and low glucose levels.

Hospitals or GP surgeries will provide patients with a Dexcom ONE starter pack, including a sensor and transmitter, after which patients will be able to collect repeat prescriptions from their local pharmacy.

Commenting on the approved roll-out of Dexcom ONE, Dr Partha Kar, national speciality advisor for diabetes and obesity said: "This is a huge step forward for Type I diabetes care and these monitors will be life-changing for anyone with the illness – giving them more choice to manage their condition in the most convenient way possible – as well as the best chance at living healthier lives, reducing their risk of hospitalisation and illnesses associated with diabetes, which in turn reduces pressure on wider NHS services."

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