Continuous and flash glucose monitoring
What is continuous glucose monitoring?
A continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device is a small wearable device that measures glucose levels throughout the day and night. It has alarms to let the user know if glucose levels are getting too low or too high, what their glucose level is at any time, and whether it is stable or on the way up or down. These devices reduce the frequency of daily finger prick blood glucose checks. Some devices can work in conjunction with a compatible insulin pump while others send information to a CGM receiver or smartphone.
Read more in our fact sheet Continuous glucose monitoring.
What is flash glucose monitoring?
A flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) device is like a CGM device, except that you have to scan the sensor with a reader, smartphone or smart device to get your reading. A Flash GM device does not alert you if your glucose levels are low or high and does not connect to an insulin pump. In Australia, this technology is currently only available in the FreeStyle Libre product.
Read more in our fact sheet Flash glucose monitoring.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring Initiative: changes from 18 January 2021
Updated 15 January 2021
Continuous Glucose Monitoring Initiative: FreeStyle Libre added and eligibility criteria streamlined from 1 March 2020
Updated 24 February 2020
Read more about access to FreeStyle Libre and streamlining of eligibility criteria for people with type 1 diabetes, over 21, with valid concessional status.
Access to continuous and flash glucose monitoring through the NDSS
Updated 24 February 2019
The Australian Government provides access for eligible people to fully subsidised CGM and Flash GM products through the CGM Initiative as part of the NDSS. Subsidised access to CGM and Flash GM products is available through the NDSS for eligible people. The CGM Initiative aims to assist in the:
- reduction of the number of severe hypoglycaemic events;
- improvement of blood glucose control in people with poor glycaemic awareness or suboptimal glycaemic control (maintaining blood glucose levels in the target range reduces the risks of developing diabetes-related complications);
- reduction of visits to emergency departments, and missed work and/or school days by helping eligible people and their families to manage their type 1 diabetes; and
- reduction in anxiety for eligible people with type 1 diabetes.
CGM and Flash GM devices can assist users with type 1 diabetes to maintain blood glucose levels in their target range and manage their diabetes. Providing access to fully subsidised FreeStyle Libre (Flash GM) sensors and CGM sensors and transmitters may assist people in the management of their blood glucose levels, and may reduce stress, anxiety and emergency visits to the hospital. CGM or Flash GM can also assist users with other rare conditions that are very similar to type 1 diabetes.
If you are interested in learning more about CGM and Flash GM and whether it might be right for you or your child, we encourage you to speak with your diabetes healthcare team to see if this could help you and your family in managing your or your child’s diabetes. You can also call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700. The NDSS Helpline operates during 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 12pm on Saturdays and national public holidays.
To be eligible for the CGM Initiative you must be registered with the NDSS. More information on registration with the NDSS.
Product selection and use
You should see your diabetes health professional and together you will need to decide which is the most suitable glucose monitoring product for you. Not all products are suitable for everyone.
The choice of which specific device to be used is a decision of the authorised health professional in consultation with, and with the informed consent of, the person and/or their carer. Please view the CGM and Flash GM device summary and compatibility chart for information about the devices subsidised through the NDSS, their compatibility with insulin pumps and smart devices and links to guidelines about appropriate use.
Eligibility to access fully subsidised continuous and flash glucose monitoring products
To access continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) products through the CGM Initiative as part of the NDSS, the person will need to be assessed by an authorised health professional to determine whether they meet specific eligibility criteria and to ensure that they know how to best use CGM or Flash GM in the management of their diabetes.
The health professionals who can perform these assessments and who are authorised to certify eligibility to access the CGM Initiative include endocrinologists, credentialled diabetes educators, and other health professionals specialising in diabetes (physicians, paediatricians or nurse practitioners). To be eligible to participate in the CGM Initiative, the person must be assessed by an authorised health professional and meet the criteria for one of the following groups:
- Children and young people aged under 21 years with type 1 diabetes
- People with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or older who have valid concessional status
- Women with type 1 diabetes who are actively planning pregnancy, pregnant, or immediately post-pregnancy
- Children and young people under 21 years with conditions very similar to type 1 diabetes who require insulin.
Submitting an application
To submit an application, a completed Continuous and Flash Glucose Monitoring Access form prepared and signed by a health professional authorised to certify eligibility, should be:
- emailed to the NDSS at firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred option), or
- posted to GPO Box 9824 in your capital city, or
- faxed to 1300 536 953.
Once your application has been approved, you will receive an email from us.