Customer Reviews And Reputation
Abbott Laboratories, the company that manufactures the FreeStyle Libre, is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Also, the BBB page for the company shows multiple active alerts. None of the alerts are related to the FreeStyle Libre device, though.
While the BBB page features only 36 customer reviews, recent ones note some potentially life threatening inaccuracy issues with the device. Multiple people complain of faulty and failed sensors and mention having trouble getting replacement ones.
Abbott also has a low rating on Trustpilot, an average of 1.4 out of 5 stars. Most reviews cite poor customer service.
Difference Between A Flash Glucose Monitor And A Cgm
With a CGM your latest sugar levels show up on device or mobile automatically, transmitted by Bluetooth. With a flash glucose monitor, its only when you wave your device over your sensor that you get your blood sugar readings.
Some people prefer to use Flash over CGM. Reasons can include not liking the alarms. But unlike Flash, a CGM can talk to an insulin pump, if you want to use a closed loop system.
Your diabetes healthcare team should be able to support you to make the decision on which device will be best for you.
Cgms Used By The Nhs Or To Buy
The Freestyle Libre 3 is a CGM which is available on the NHS but not yet available to buy.
These are some of the other CGMs available:
Dexcom One licensed for those aged two and over
Dexcom G6 licensed for those aged two and over
Dexcom G5 licensed for those aged two and over
Glucomenday licensed for those aged six and over
Guardiam Connect no age restriction
Some CGMs work with insulin pumps – see information on these integrated systems.
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Glucose Readings Stream Directly To Your Smartphone1 Every Minuteknow Sooner Act Faster Be Ready To Avoid Low Glucose
Easy to use2
The sensor is easily attached to the back of the upper arm and can be worn up for 14 days.
Excellent accuracy overall even in the low glucose range when it matters most.3
Discreet & convenient
You can check your glucose anytime, anywhere.
Get minute-by-minute real time glucose results streamed directly to your smartphone.1
The worlds smallest and thinnest4 sensor. Smaller than a £1 coin.
Painless to apply and wear2 with a simple 1-piece applicator.
Freestyle Libre Cgm Guide 202: What To Know
The FreeStyle Libre is a continuous glucose monitoring system that doesnt require a blood sample from a finger stick. Its manufactured by Abbott, a company that produces other diabetes-related products, nutritional beverages, and baby formula.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the FreeStyle Libre in 2017 for adults only. Since then, newer versions of the monitor have been produced for adults and children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
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Freestyle Libre Glucose Monitoring Sensor
FreeStyle Libre Sensor 1s The FreeStyle Libre sensor automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings day and night. The sensor updates up to every minute and stores up to 8 hours of glucose readings in minute intervals. It can be worn up to 14 days.
Sensor life: up to 14 days
Size: 5 mm height and 35 mm diameter
Weight: 5 grams
Memory: 8 hours
Water resistance: IP27- can withstand immersion into one metre of water for up to 30 minutes
Requires no finger prick calibration :Eliminates painful finger pricks needed for calibration Automatically captures readings day and nights:With an easy scan, patients can see their glucose variations, including nighttime lows
Applied by the patient:Easy-to-use applicator to apply the sensor
1. This product is under Warranty?
Prescription Required Price Varies
The Libre 3 requires a prescription, so the cost will be different for everyone. Abbott said users with insurance can expect to pay $0-$25 per sensor and $70 per sensor without insurance. You’ll need to buy two a month.
Would I recommend this to other diabetics? Yes, but it depends on the user. For diabetics like me who use insulin pumps, the Libre 3 isn’t compatible yet. Abbott said it’s working on pump integration with Tandem Diabetes and Insulet. The company is also working with Bigfoot Biomedical on integration with its insulin delivery system.
For diabetics who rely on manual insulin injections or who diet to manage their diabetes, this is a great way to monitor blood sugar.
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Where Can You Get The Freestyle Libre
Once you purchase the entire system, you need to purchase only replacement sensors. Each sensor lasts for 14 days.
Youll need a doctors prescription to buy the FreeStyle Libre. With private insurance, the monitor costs between $10 and $75 a month. This would equal about two 14-day sensors.
The monitor is also covered by Medicare, though you may still experience out-of-pocket costs for your diabetes care.
Aside from ease of use, the FreeStyle Libre has a lower cost than other CGMs.
The FreeStyle Libre is sold at pharmacies and medical supply stores. Its not available on e-commerce or at big-box stores without a prescription.
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Other technologies are also expected in the future, such as a laser technique known as Raman spectroscopy.
Depending on your diabetes treatment plan and health, your doctor may recommend a traditional blood-calibrating CGM that requires finger sticks.
Buying A Cgm Or Flash Glucose Monitor
If you dont qualify for a flash glucose monitor or CGM, your main option is to self-fund a device. Its expensive so if its something youre thinking of doing, its worth speaking to your healthcare team first to see if they think its something that would suit you.
There is only one flash glucose monitor manufactured at the moment. This is called the Freestyle Libre (the Freestyle Libre2, The newest model has alarms for predicted high or low blood sugar levels. But when the alarm does sound you still have you scan your arm to check your blood sugar level.
Both a CGM And a flash glucose monitor are offered on the NHS to people who qualify and are also available to buy.
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Getting Free Flash Sensors And Cgm Sensors
If you get a Freestyle Libre or a CGM on the NHS, you should also get the other things you need like sensors and replacement parts.
Its also worth knowing that sensors only work for individual products, so sensors for a Freestyle Libre wont work for a Freestyle Libre 2 or a CGM.
Using a Freestyle Libre helps me prevent hypos and its much more sociable because when I’m out, I dont have to find somewhere convenient and clean to do a finger prick check. Im lucky I can afford to self-fund.
How We Chose Glucose Monitors And Meters
Above all, we included glucose monitors that are reportedly the most accurate. Since home meters are designed to help you monitor your glucose in between laboratory work from your doctors visits, its important that your device provides the most accurate results possible.
While no home test will be as accurate as a lab version, getting as close as possible to the quality of such tests can help provide peace of mind as well as better diabetes management.
Other items we looked at include:
We included glucose meters across a variety of features and price points. The cost of CGMs and blood glucose meters can vary widely based on their features, your insurance coverage, and location. Cost is also subject to change over time based on the type of insurance you have, so be sure to check with your carrier for the most accurate price.
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Learning To Use Your Cgm Or Freestyle Libre
Your diabetes healthcare team will set you up with your CGM or Freestyle Libre if its free on the NHS and show you how to use it. Sometimes manufacturers will help you set up the technology this is fine and can help your healthcare team get more people on to the technology more quickly.
Abbott, which supply the FreeStyle Libre, also provide free online learning for people with diabetes using the technology to help them get the most from it.
You may also benefit from going on a diabetes education course if you use Flash or CGM. Ask your GP or other diabetes healthcare professional to refer you.
If you want to share your experiences about using tech or find out information by asking others using it, go to our forum.
Flash Sensors And Cgm Sensors
With a flash glucose monitor, sensors should be worn on the arms only. And we recommend that they arent placed over areas with tattoos as this could impact your results. With a CGM, you can wear the sensor on different parts of the body, such as your abdomen.
The sensors dont normally need to be taken off. You can usually wear them in the bath, shower and during sports. But some people do have problems with them falling off. There are adhesives you can buy to keep them in place.
You cannot remove a sensor for a while once it has come off you need to replace it with a new one.
How often you have to change the sensor will depend on the type of model youre using and the manufacturers instructions. Youll usually need to change it at least once every 14 days.
Its quick and painless to put on a sensor. You insert them just under the skin using an applicator.
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Driving And Checking Your Blood Sugars Using A Cgm Or Flash
You can use a flash glucose monitor or CGM to check your sugar levels when driving, but you must confirm your levels with a finger-prick test if:
- your blood sugar level is 4 mmol/l or below
- you have symptoms of a hypo
- your monitor gives a reading thats not consistent with the symptoms youre getting for example, if you feel like youre having a hypo but the reading doesnt show this.
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The Libre 3 Is Small And Accurate
I love how small it is, so small in fact that I kept forgetting I was wearing it. I put my Dexcom G6 nearby to compare. There’s a big difference.
It was accurate most of the time. But I found that during times of rapid change, such as when I forgot to take my insulin after a meal, it became inaccurate and had a hard time keeping up. I did have two compression lows with the first sensor. A compression low is when the sensor gives an incorrect low reading. One occurred while I was sleeping on my side, and the other was while I was sitting on the couch and leaning on the sensor. I readjusted, and the device quickly corrected itself. I made sure to choose a better placement for the second sensor.
Getting Insurance For Your Cgm Or Freestyle Libre
Like all types of tech, looking after it and things like making sure the batteries are charged is important. Because electronic devices are expensive, you may wonder whether to get insurance to cover it in case you lose or break it. Before taking our separate insurance, its worth seeing if you can have it as a named item on your household insurance. This might be a cheaper and simpler option.
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What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring systems continuously measure glucose levels throughout the day without the need for finger pricks.
Designed to replace the need for finger pricks, a continuous glucose monitoring system is made up of a sensor that is worn on the back of the upper arm that continuously measures the glucose concentration in the body’s interstitial fluid.
What’s the difference between continuous glucose monitoring and blood glucose monitoring?
Sensor glucose readings come from the interstitial fluid, a thin layer of fluid that surrounds the cells of the tissue below the skin13 and not from the blood.
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Cost Of Buying A Freestyle Libre
The cost of Freestyle Libre or Freestyle Libre 2 sensors are around £50 every 2 weeks. If you have a compatible smartphone you can just and use your phone to scan the sensor to see the readings. But if you dont, you can buy a small device called a reader, for around £50 and this is a one-off purchase. Speak to your healthcare professional about where you can buy a reader from they can be available direct from the manufacturer , from a pharmacy or online but this can change.
How Finger Prick Checks Differ To Cgm/flash Readings
A finger prick check tells you what your blood sugar level is at that moment.
With a flash glucose monitor or CGM, whats being measured is the amount of sugar in the fluid surrounding your cells. This is called interstitial fluid. Its not quite as accurate as a finger prick test as it lags behind blood sugar levels by up to 15 minutes. And the difference between the blood sugar and CGM or flash reading is more likely to be greater when youre eating or exercising.
So even if youre offered a flash glucose monitor or CGM by your healthcare team,its important that you still get your diabetes kit on prescription including your blood glucose meter to let you do finger prick checks. “
“I found that pricking my finger up to ten times a day was challenging and sometimes painful so I got the freestyle libre 2 sensor which has helped a huge tonne. Alfie, 15
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What Is Freestyle Libre
FreeStyle Libre is a revolutionary product that helps you track your glucose levels without fingerpricks1. FreeStyle Libre is a sensor-based glucose monitoring system that comes with a reader and a sensor. The sensor is applied on to the back of your upper arm and can be worn for up to 14 days. Simply swipe the reader over the sensor to get a complete picture of your glucose levels.
What To Look For
If youve used a traditional glucose monitor in the past and are looking for a less painful, more portable option, then a CGM may be a better choice. You may consider the Libre, G6, Guardian Connect, or Eversense based on their features, as well the accuracy and duration of sensor wear.
While insurance and Medicare do cover CGMs, these monitors are more expensive overall. Depending on your insurance, they may offer coverage for one type of CGM but not another. Its important to check these details with your provider ahead of time.
If you dont have insurance, you can check with your doctor or pharmacist for discounts on your CGM and accessories. Its also possible to get coupons directly from the manufacturer to help offset the costs.
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Why You Still Need Some Finger Prick Checks
You may need to do a finger prick check, for example, if what youre feeling doesnt match what your blood sugar reading says. Or if youre treating a hypo, you may want to do one to get the most accurate result.
With some CGMs, you may also need the result of a finger prick check every day to reset your device.
Freestyle Libre : Next
Abbott’s world-leading glucose technology primed for expansion with U.S. clearance of FreeStyle Libre 2 system.
Where does the revolutionary system that’s quickly risen from launch to the worlds leader1 in helping people live with diabetes go from here?
To even more people in more places.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared FreeStyle Libre 2 system as an integrated CGM , adding a pediatric designation and offering more features, including optional real-time alarms to alert you when glucose levels get too high or low.2
Diabetes growth momentum clearly continues to ramp with Libre, wrote SVB Leerink analyst Danielle Antalffy.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system lets users check their glucose levels as often as they like without having to fingerstick,3 a life-changing innovation that lets people live better and gain deeper understanding of their glucose levels.
A Market Standout
The global marketplace for glucose monitoring remains vast and growing with 463 million adults living with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation . This number is projected to balloon 51% to 700 million people by 2045, IDF data show.
The market for high-tech diabetes devices, which includes CGMs and insulin pumps, is approximately $7 billion, making it the fastest growing medtech market over $1 billion, according to Raymond James Financial analyst Jayson Bedford.4
FreeStyle Libre 2 is a standout in this market, heres why:
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