Creator of Glucose Measurement Technology Used In Abbott’s Diabetes Care Products


Creator of Glucose Measurement Technology Used In Abbott’s Diabetes Care Products Receives National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Adam Heller, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Texas in Austin who created the technology that led to the development of Abbott's FreeStyle Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems® and FreeStyle Navigator® Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, today received the 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President George W. Bush in an award ceremony at the White House.

As co-founder of the company Therasense, which Abbott acquired in 2004, Heller developed revolutionary approaches to glucose measurement that convert biochemical concentrations to electrical signals. These technologies were the foundation for the development of Abbott's FreeStyle Blood Glucose Monitoring System and Freestyle Navigator system for people with diabetes. The FreeStyle Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems have been commercially available since 2000, and the Freestyle Navigator system received FDA approval in March of 2008.

"On behalf of Abbott, we congratulate Dr. Heller on this significant achievement," said Heather Mason, senior vice president, Abbott Diabetes Care. "The innovative and revolutionary technology developed by Dr. Heller has significantly helped improve the quality of life for people with diabetes."

The FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System is a small, discrete system that enables people to manage their diabetes by offering key features such as no coding, the world's smallest sample size, and state of the art strip performance with comprehensive alternate site testing.

The FreeStyle Navigator system discretely and continuously measures glucose levels through a sensor that is worn on the abdomen or back of the arm, and provides minute-by-minute information and alarms that give advanced warning about which way and how quickly blood sugar levels are changing. This information can lead to proactive adjustments that can result in tighter glucose ranges.

Data from a study by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, released this month, showed the impact on diabetes management from using a continuous glucose monitoring device in adults with type 1 diabetes.

About the FreeStyle Navigator System

The FreeStyle Navigator system is composed of three parts: a sensor, a transmitter and a receiver. The sensor, worn for up to five days and then replaced, is placed just under the skin and is attached to a plastic sensor mount with adhesive to adhere to the skin, like a patch. The transmitter snaps into the sensor mount and sends glucose information wirelessly to the pager-sized receiver. The system discreetly measures glucose levels once per minute; provides high/low glucose alarms based on customizable, physician- and patient-determined levels; and delivers early-warning alarms that indicate if glucose levels are likely to be too high or too low 10, 20 or 30 minutes in advance. The system also stores up to 60 days worth of glucose information that can be analyzed by the user or a health care professional. Indicated for people ages 18 and older, the FreeStyle Navigator system is designed to continually record interstitial fluid glucose levels for the purpose of improving diabetes management. Readings and alarms about glucose levels from the FreeStyle Navigator system are not intended to replace traditional blood glucose monitoring. Before adjusting therapy for diabetes management based on the results and alarms from the FreeStyle Navigator system, traditional blood glucose tests must be performed. Caution: Federal (U.S.) law restricts the sale of this device by or on order of a physician. Additional information about the FreeStyle Navigator system is available at

About the National Medal of Technology

The National Medal of Technology is the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States to America's leading innovators. Established by an act of Congress in 1980, the medal was first awarded in 1985. The Medal is given annually to individuals, teams, and/or companies/divisions for their outstanding contributions to the Nation's economic, environmental and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technology products, processes and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the Nation's technological manpower.

About Abbott Diabetes Care

Abbott Diabetes Care, based in Alameda, Calif., is a leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing glucose monitoring systems designed to help people better manage their diabetes. Abbott Diabetes Care is committed to developing products that reduce the discomfort and inconvenience of glucose monitoring and introducing systems that are easier to use, require smaller samples and provide faster results.

Abbott Diabetes Care markets several leading-edge glucose monitoring systems and test strips in the United States for use in both home and hospital settings; leading brands include FreeStyle® Lite, FreeStyle Freedom® Lite, FreeStyle Freedom™,FreeStyle Flash® and Precision Xtra™, as well as its newest diabetes management tool, FreeStyle Navigator® Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. Additional information about Abbott Diabetes Care may be found at .

About Abbott

Abbott  is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 68,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.


Tracy Sorrentino     
(847) 937-8712

Financial Community:
Tina Ventura     
(847) 935-9390