Freestyle Libre: This device measures your blood sugar without using a needle

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The days of using needles to check your blood sugar are now over as Freestyle Libre introduces a new way to measure blood glucose levels which is needle free! The Abbot Freestyle Libre (ABL), which provides “flash glucose monitoring” using a sensor is also much more affordable than continuous glucose monitors (CGM).

The device can be used almost anywhere and will provide you with 8 hours of continuous data. Instead of using a needle, a small sensor is used to measure your blood glucose levels. It will also continuously store your glucose measurements day and night. This sensor takes only a second to scan and can even scan through clothing.

The ABL is also very user-friendly as with every scan you’ll get not only your current blood glucose reading, but also the data from the last 8 hours along with the direction of where your glucose level is heading. It’s also very easy to use. The sensor is meant to be worn on the side of the arm.

For a regular sensor, this would cause problems as daily activities like showering, exercising or swimming could damage the device. However, you don’t need to worry about that as the system is designed to be water resistant and can be worn while doing all the mentioned activities. The benefits and features of Freestyle Libre are as follows:

  1. A reduced need to take so many glucose tests during the day.
  2. The ABL provides you with a graph showing your blood glucose trends.
  3. The sensor can be used to see which direction your blood sugar is headed.
  4. No need to calibrate the sensor using a needle.
  5. Fully waterproof in up to 1 meter of depth for 30 minutes.
  6. The ABL is cheaper than the regular CGM.

How it works

As mentioned before, the sensor is small (around the size of a coin)which is to be placed on your arm. The sensor is attached to the skin using a handheld applicator and lasts for 14 days. The application of the sensor is painless.

The handset which comes with the sensor is used to scan the sensor for data. The sensor sends blood sugar data over the last 8 hours to the handset. The scans would then also tell you where your blood sugar is headed.

Not only this but the handset will use the data to tell the number of times your blood glucose went below optimal levels and the handset will also show you the percentage of time the sensor readings were above, below or within the target range of an optimal glucose level.

The data is almost the same as the data that a CGM would provide. Slight differences may occur because the sensor’s data comes from a fluid surrounding the cells of tissues below your skin, not directly from blood. There is a 5-10-minute delay in the glucose levels of this fluid if sugar levels change in the blood. However, it’s a minor difference and the fluid readings have been proven to give reliable glucose test results.

How much does it cost?

Taken from their official website, there are a few different options for purchasing the Freestyle Libre. The prices are as follows:

  1. The starter pack: it includes a reader(handset) and two 14-day sensors, available for 159.95 pounds (including VAT).
  2. Freestyle Libre reader: 57.95 pounds.
  3. Freestyle Libre sensor: 57.95 pounds.

The Freestyle Libre provides a revolutionary way to measure your blood glucose. With the ABL being cheaper than regular CGMs as well as being needle-less, it provides a painless way to constantly keep your blood sugar in check without having much of a strain on your wallet.

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