Tim Dunn, PhD: Using Study Analysis to Inform Device Use

JULY 01, 2018
Matt Hoffman
Tim Dunn, PhD, the director of clinical and computational research at Abbott Diabetes Care, sat with MD Mag at the American Diabetes Association's 78th Annual Scientific Session to talk about the 7 late-breaking abstracts presented at the conference regarding the use of the Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system. Among the poster presentations included were a meta-analysis of 17 studies analyzing the cost-effectiveness and performance of the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, and a real-world examination of the trends its use. 

Dunn spoke about how the developers utilize these findings to better inform future improvements of the device, based on gaining an understanding of how the device is being adopted for use by clinicians and patients, as well as how affordable it is and how it performs for patients.


Tim Dunn, PhD:
We’re excited, we're presenting 7 late-breaking abstracts here at the [American Diabetes Association] conference, and they really expand on our understanding of how the Freestyle Libre system has been adopted and used, and what some of the benefits are to patients.

First, we've done a meta-analysis of the use of Freestyle Libre and the effect on [hemoglobin A1C]. That looked at 17 studies have been published, and there was a really strong finding that those using the Freestyle Libre had, on average, a 0.5% decrease in A1C. It's really supporting what's been observed in different settings. For example, we had a type-2 diabetes patient population where that benefit was shown in those under 65 years of age, so that's been a key finding that's really supported its outcomes.

The other big topic obviously is cost, and that's always been a big focus for the development of the system and for Abbott in general, really—making the device affordable and accessible and easy to use. So, from a cost perspective, there's been analysis on the relative cost savings, in fact, for testing at recommended rates. For example, the ADA [recommendation of] between 6 and 10 times per day versus using a preset with [Freestyle] Libre to do that glucose checking. It's showing it could be savings on the order of $120 to $290 per month using that. That's been a good statement of the value of the system.

Then, an area of big focus for the use of CGM, historically, has always been the use in younger adults and even pediatrics and the benefit in that age, and whether they're adopting the system and getting the use and the benefit out of it. There's a poster summarizing and really looking at that in particular, from 2 of our studies. One, the IMPACT trial, that was in adult population, but we focused on the subgroup below 25 years of age, and it showed that they continued that benefit in terms of improved time in range and reduced hypoglycemia. That was also shown in a second study, the SELFY study, that was for adolescents and also reinforced that benefit. That's been a big theme.

Finally, the last big theme has been demonstrating the use of the system in the real world. A year ago, we showed an initial cut of the data, of about 55,000 readers, and now we're showing, here, data from 237,000 readers from around the world, from people who are using the system at home. It's just been consistent with the findings, that people are using the device a lot they're scanning a lot on average they're checking the glucose 13 times per day and then that those who are checking more are having more time and range less time and hyperglycemia less time in hyperglycemia so it's been a really consistent but really good to see in this expanded data set.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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