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World's first glucose biosensor designed for athletes

25 September 2020

Abbott’s glucose sport biosensor, Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor, is designed for athletes to continuously measure glucose to better understand the correlation between their glucose levels and their athletic performance.

The Libre Sense biosensor is based on Abbott's FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring technology, which was originally developed for people living with diabetes. Based on that technology, this is the first personal-use product that allows for use beyond diabetes.

Abbott's Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor, with CE Mark, is a consumer over-the-counter product that provides glucose monitoring via a mobile app to athletes (ages 16 years and older) performing sports such as cycling, running, and swimming, to understand the efficacy of their nutrition choices on training and competition. Tracking and understanding glucose levels enable athletes to fuel appropriately through nutrition to help avoid fatigue from low glucose and to know when to replenish during training and competition to maintain peak performance.

"FreeStyle Libre changed the way millions of people manage their diabetes to get and stay healthier, and now with Libre Sense we're bringing that same proven technology to empower athletes to help them reach their athletic performance goals," said Jared Watkin, Senior Vice President, Diabetes Care, Abbott. "This is just the beginning – our breakthrough sensing technology has the potential to go beyond glucose and provide a lens into what's happening in the human body that could provide meaningful insights into other conditions, treatments, and ultimately improve health."

Proper nutrition at the right intervals allows athletes to maintain a stable glucose level during endurance activities, which is important for managing overall energy and avoiding muscle fatigue. A study published in the American College of Sports Medicine showed that an athlete who understands the effects of their nutritional intake will have a better chance at improving their performance during exercise. In addition, research has shown that understanding real-time glucose levels can guide nutritional intake to help improve muscle recovery and athletic performance.

To obtain glucose readings from Abbott's Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor, athletes will wear the small round biosensor (approximately the size of a two Euro coin) on the back of their upper arm. The biosensor will provide real-time glucose values and can be worn for up to 14 days. The user will automatically receive streaming glucose data, via Bluetooth wireless technology, every minute designed to work with compatible mobile apps and wrist readers.

Working together with sports technology companies for distribution, Abbott's Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor is designed to be compatible with these companies' mobile apps and other accessory devices. Abbott's first non-exclusive collaboration is with Supersapiens, an Atlanta-based sports technology company that is focused on improving athletic performance. Their mission is to provide athletes with actionable and personalised insights on real-time biometric data, starting with glucose.

"With Abbott's Libre Sense, for the first time, an athlete will have access to glucose data to help give them insight into their body's fuel level at all times, fundamentally changing the way athletes think about energy management," said Phil Southerland, Founder of Supersapiens and former professional cyclist. "By combining Abbott's proven track record in glucose sensing technology along with Supersapiens' app and personalised analytics, athletes will be primed to sustain peak performance."

Supersapiens has partnered with some of the top teams at the Tour de France, the largest annual sporting event in the world, who are utilising the energy management system and have worn the Libre Sense biosensor in training as part of an observational trial. Through this experience, the athletes were able to track their glucose data to help inform them of fuelling strategies to prepare them for the race.

Abbott's Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor will be available in the coming weeks directly through the Supersapiens website. The product will initially be made available across eight European countries: Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

For more information about Abbott's Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor System, visit LibreSense.com.


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