Accuracy of flash glucose monitoring and continuous glucose monitoring technologies: Implications for clinical practice

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Abstract

Continuous glucose monitoring and flash glucose monitoring technologies measure glucose in the interstitial fluid and are increasingly used in diabetes care. Their accuracy, key to effective glycaemic management, is usually measured using the mean absolute relative difference of the interstitial fluid sensor compared to reference blood glucose readings. However, mean absolute relative difference is not standardised and has limitations. This review aims to provide a consensus opinion on assessing accuracy of interstitial fluid glucose sensing technologies. Mean absolute relative difference is influenced by glucose distribution and rate of change; hence, we express caution on the reliability of comparing mean absolute relative difference data from different study systems and conditions. We also review the pitfalls associated with mean absolute relative difference at different glucose levels and explore additional ways of assessing accuracy of interstitial fluid devices. Importantly, much data indicate that current practice of assessing accuracy of different systems based on individualised mean absolute relative difference results has limitations, which have potential clinical implications. Healthcare professionals must understand the factors that influence mean absolute relative difference as a metric for accuracy and look at additional assessments, such as consensus error grid analysis, when evaluating continuous glucose monitoring and flash glucose monitoring systems in diabetes care. This in turn will ensure that management decisions based on interstitial fluid sensor data are both effective and safe.

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