Abbott (NYSE:ABT) announced today that it launched its new “Countdown at a Crossroads” initiative for National Diabetes Awareness Month.
The initiative sees Abbott take over the Oculus Center in New York City with an animated installation promoting diabetes awareness. This installation features the faces and stories of people impacted by diabetes, including comedian and talk show host Sherri Shepherd.
Shepherd, a diabetes advocate, uses Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to manage her condition.
“Using a FreeStyle Libre sensor to monitor my glucose levels has helped me get a better grasp on my Type 2 diabetes and ultimately improve my quality of living,” said Shepherd. “Many people living with diabetes aren’t aware of this incredible life-changing technology and Abbott’s efforts to make it accessible. The goal of ‘Countdown at a Crossroads’ is to change that – and I am energized to help by fostering awareness.”
How Abbott’s technology helps manage diabetes
Abbott said in a news release that, while more than 500 million adults live with diabetes in the world, only 1% use CGM technology. The company wants to raise awareness around its FreeStyle Libre technology and how it can help manage the condition.
FreeStyle Libre offers real-time data to help manage glucose levels and reduce HbA1c. A recent Abbott analysis also showed that, with the rising popularity of GLP-1 medications, these drugs can work better with CGMs. They not only aid in weight loss but create long-term behavior changes that help manage diabetes.
Abbott said it prices its CGM at 70% lower costs than other similar options, making it “the most affordable option” for Americans with diabetes.
“We purposefully made FreeStyle Libre technology to be accessible and affordable,” said Jared Watkin, SVP of Abbott’s Diabetes Care business. “However, even with our millions of users, we know that continuous glucose monitors are still not being used by the vast majority of people who can benefit from them. We’re working hard to spread awareness and improve access, and we hope that our critical innovation can play a part in slowing the diabetes epidemic.”
About the Countdown at a Crossroads initiative
Abbott chose the Oculus Center because it marks what it calls “the literal ‘Crossroads of the World.'” The structure on display at the Oculus Center will generate a different face of someone impacted by diabetes every 23 seconds. Visitors can also scan a QR code to learn more about diabetes, CGM and more.
The company said that, for very person who visits www.Crossroads.Abbott during November’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, it will provide a 99¢ donation to the American Diabetes Association’s Health Equity Now program.
“Our ongoing partnership with Abbott underscores the importance of making diabetes care and management accessible,” said Charles Henderson, CEO of the American Diabetes Association. “We appreciate Abbott’s support to increase awareness of health disparities and implement consumer access solutions during this critical time in the diabetes community. It takes all of us working together to end diabetes.”