The Australian government is turning to a digital solution to address a prevalent health issue: Type 1 diabetes. The plan, under the helm of the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS), is to give around 130,000 Australians who live with the chronic condition access to subsidized glucose monitoring devices. The government initiative is part of a four-year, $273.1 million (USD $187.2 million) investment that includes an expansion of the government’s Insulin Pump Program, which provides insulin pumps to children and young adults with Type 1 diabetes.

The subsidized monitors — which are only available to Australians with Type 1 diabetes who are age 21 and over — add up to significant savings for the users. According to government data, the monitoring supplies currently cost people up to $5,000 (USD $3,424) a year. But with the new subsidies, people Down Under can get glucose monitors from their local pharmacies for co-payments that equal $390 (USD $267) a year, or $32.50 (USD $22.25) per month. Some people, however, are eligible for fully subsidized monitors at no cost.

The program subsidizes both flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) products with specific goals in mind. The NDSS says it hopes the monitors will help reduce the number of severe hypoglycemic events such as convulsions, seizures, loss of consciousness, and diabetic comas. Plus, the plan looks to reduce visits to hospital emergency rooms, as well as missed days at work and school. Awareness is also a key factor; the initiative aims to help diabetes sufferers to be more cognizant of their glycemic issues and better maintain their optimal blood glucose levels.

Which devices are the Australian government subsidizing? The eligible GM and CGM devices are the Dexcom G6 CGM system with a 10-day-wear water-resistant sensor and the Medtronic Guardian Connect system with a 7-day sensor. In the Flash GM category, the program covers the FreeStyle Libre 2 system with a 14-day sensor. Regarding the NDSS program, Australia’s Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler says, “We are supporting tens of thousands of adults who would otherwise miss out…I want to acknowledge the work of thousands of Australians living with type 1 diabetes and their families who campaigned for this change.”