FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System

Hi There,

I know the FreeStyle Libre is not out in the states yet, but was just wondering if anyone, perhaps living abroad, has had any experience with it yet?

It seems much smaller than any other CGM and promises to eliminate the need for finger pricks completely.
It also won’t show you any data unless you scan the sensor with the reader.

Here’s some more info on it:
Apparently you can order it directly from the site, though they don’t seem to ship to the states.

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Hello, I live in France and have been trying out the FreeStyle Libre for the last 12 weeks. First of all, they still have a limited supply although in “January” they are upping their production. The waiting list is very long for the moment. More than 7 months.
I haven’t seen a CGM but have been told that they are larger than the FSL. You can see your data at any time on the receiver. You just have to turn it on. It takes data constantly like the CGM but you do have to scan to check your BS every 8 hours so that it will continue collecting the data. There is also a software program that analyses the data. You don’t need to calibrate. There are No alarms. I have checked the data vs my finger pricks and it is really close. I’ve only had one problem: 2 out of 7 times the sensor was defective apparently. The receiver recognized the sensor but I could get no data. It seemed properly applied. I’m paying out of my pocket so I just saw the 60 euros flying off in the horizon! The sensor lasts exactly 2 weeks . Other than that I am happy with it.

There are some reviews on this site and also on Diabetes Mine I think that might be more helpful. Have a look. (September 2014)


here’s a rather lengthy discussion we had on the Libre

thanks for posting your experience w it @Mari5, keep us up to date on how it goes.

Thank you @Mari5 for your quick review, and thank you, @MarieB for directing me to the right topic. Sorry I’m new here, and it just didn’t come up in the search.

I can’t wait until it’s approved and sold in the States. I could really use a CGM. I was approved for the Dexcom but my health insurance has really high deductibles, and so the cost for me would have been about $1850 for the kit, then another $350 once a month for refills.

I hear the FreeStyle Libre is much more affordable so I’m hoping to be able to pay out of pocket for it as soon as I can figure out how to order it from Europe, maybe through friends that currently live there.

I’m still interested in the FreeStyle Libre. I use a CGM and lots of fingersticks to monitor my BGs. I’d like to use the Libre instead of fingersticks. To me, the biggest difference between CGMs and the Libre is that CGMs can push out an alarm, an important feature when you’re not paying attention, like at night.

Abbott, the manufacturer of the Libre made a very accurate CGM many years ago. I never wore one but those who did still admire that CGM. I’m happy to see its success in Europe and trust that it will eventually make its way to the states. It’s ironic that I’m only about 10 miles from Abbott Diabetes headquarters but can’t buy their technology.

I’m fortunate to use a Dexcom CGM. It does a great job of keeping me informed of my blood sugar status. I wouldn’t wan to live without the alarms, even given the occasional nuisance they can be. But the Libre is a great alternative with 90% of the utility.

Hello again,

There are 2 things that I forgot to mention. It is possible to test your ketones with strips on the monitor. Practical! And it can also calculate your insulin but it is locked only for professionals to program…

It costs in Europe 60 euros for the monitor and 60 euros for each sensor (good for 2 weeks). Some of the people on the French website feel that their Enlite or Dexcom comes out to the same price considering you can normally keep them longer. I don’t know.

Just hope I have more success with the sensors than 5 out of 7. A friend of mine has had 0 problems. Just once tore it off accidently. Who knows when it will be available in the States. For the moment they are trying to supply the long long waiting lists in Europe.

@MayaK I use the FreeStyle Libre since February 2015. Currently I am using the 21th sensor since then. Of these 21 sensors only one stopped to work after 4 days. The reader will record the errors and with these at hand you will get a replacement after reporting the problem to Abbott. For research purposes the replacement sensor comes with an hazard envelope to send the failed sensor back.

Usually the sensor has a higher error margin in the first 1/2 day of use. This can be improved by replacing the sensor 40min before going to sleep. This way you will have the first number from the device before going to bed. Then the sensor can start to adjust itself and in the morning it already has a good accuracy. At this point I check against a meter to verify this. The difference is around 10 mg/dl and mostly related to the usual time lag of cgms - which is related to measuring in the upper layers of the skin. For me the numbers of the Libre are reliable - the test stripes show a much higher variability in my opinion.

Because of my good experience so far I also dare to inject according to the Libre numbers. This is not recommended by Abbott but it works for me. My last HbA1c was 5.8% and because of the much higher rate of tests I could catch many lows when I started to drop. As a result I have less serious lows now than I had with my meter.

The comfort is excellent. Just 2 sensors of 21 did hurt a little while injecting. Just one was uncomfortable to wear for 14 days - I most likely did hit a nerve or blood vessel. The size of the sensor is the sweet spot. Big enough to stick reliably and small enough to be out of the way.

One thing is simply perfect and I can not emphasize it enough: it has no alarm function.

Why is this perfect?

For me it tremendously reduces the anxiety factor in comparison to other CGMS I have tested. I will still keep and train my senses for going low or high. At night I still have to act smart and prepare myself to prevent lows. But in contrast to the situation with the meter I can now learn from the numbers I measure constantly at night. This will give me the information I need to make small improvements.

For example I have a tendency to go low at night. To prevent this I will eat a slice of Wasa bread. With the meter it was a guessing game after waking up with higher numbers. Did I eat too much? Was it the dawn phenomenon? With the sensor I know what is going on. No false alarms just because I have been sleeping on my sensor for too long (this effect of sleeping on one side is a typical problem with other CGMS).

For longer trips with the car the handling is soo much easier than the meter. I just hold the reader to the sensor - even while driving. If necessary I drink something or eat a glucose tab if the numbers are tending to go to the low side. For me it makes no difference to take something like the Dexcom reader at hand OR wiping the Libre reader over the sensor to get the current value.

The software for the device is good - for it being the first release. I still would like to see an export of the data via XML format but that is just me. The current export via CSV is sufficient to process it in our Glucosurfer project.

The only problem with the device is the current production capacity for sensors I think. As a result you can not order more than 2 sensors at once. The next order on the Abbott page is restricted to around 10 days after the last order. Thus you might experience to run on the last sensor and to have no immediate replacement at hand if it fails. In some people this might induce anxiety and I hope they will allow to order 3 sensors at once in the future.

In general I would give it 8 out of 10 points - especially for the good price point of 60€/sensor they have currently established.


Nice review @Holger. I’m pleased to read that market demand is so solid. It means this technology is not threatened by poor demand like Afrezza. I am a bit puzzled that Abbott cannot scale up its production more quickly. It’s coming up to a year since its been out. Compared to managing research and regulators you’d think scaling a successful product would be easy!

Thank you, @Mari5, that is much cheaper still than the price of the Dexcom here in the states.

Thank you for your review, @Holger. Like @Terry4, I’m also puzzled as to why it’s taking so long to be released here, and why it seems like Abbott can’t keep up with the current demand.

@Holger thanks for all your reviews on the libre I am trying to get one but I live in canada where we are slow to get anything to help with diabetes… just a question would u maybe be willing to help me get a starter kit? If so please private me

Canada is such a darned friendly and polite country! You guys deserve better!


@Paulchalmers I can totally understand that you would like to test the system with your daughter. The problem is that the number of sensors is limited to 2 sensors per user and time frame. Abbott will simply not sell me another sensor because according to their system I already have one in use.

But let us assume you somehow will get one starter kit with one sensor. After 14 days I am sure that you want to keep the system. But it will be difficult to get new sensors in time. Someone in Germany without the needs for sensors must make the orders for you - every 14-28 days. Then this person has to relay the parcels to Canada. To me this does not sound practical on the long term. Though with a good friend or relative in Germany it might work out for you.

I very much agree on the friendly & polite! We have lots of great Canadian members.

I’d also like to remind folks that we cannot allow the exchange, sale, or giveaway of items that require a prescription.

@MarieB In Germany we do not need a prescription to buy these sensors - or auxuliary items in general. But the problem might be that these items have no FDA clearance or something similar that is needed for Canada. So their use without clearance might violate the terms of health insurance and so forth. So like Marie I think it would be better to contact Abbott in Canada. Perhaps they already have something in the pipeline.

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I obviously agree that this is not a sustainable long-term scenario, but it SO DARN HARD to wait (for an unknown amount of time) to even try what sounds like a remarkable new invention! My best friend lives in Sweden (I’m in the US) and he just bought me two “capsules” today! What a fantastic gift! :slight_smile: He also read that there is an app (Glimp) which allows one to use one’s Android phone as the reader so I’m going to try it that way without buying the reader. I am clearly not planning on relying on this informal supply system for any significant amount of time, but hopefully the FGM becomes available on the US market this year.

my mom is from Canada, nice country.

@Dessito The data read via NFC from the sensor is the raw data. The reader will interpolate the readings with an algorithm that is closed source. Thus all apps working with the data will show their own interpretation of the raw data. For some special cases with a very steep climb or fall this interpretation might be problematic. Without having any reader at hand it would be hard to trust the readings of the app. In addition I have read that reading the data via app and NFC might take longer than the reader device. Thus I would recommend to get the reader too.

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@Holger – yes, I saw that, but for me this is all about experimentation with the new device at the moment. For this purpose, raw data are actually better than the interpretation of any algorithm (incl. the closed-source reader’s). In fact while I am waiting for the Libre sensors, I have been looking around and there is at least one more app that should be able to receive their data. I am going to download that one too to extend the experiment. Basically, I am not going to stop using my meter (though maybe less frequently, only for readings that seem off) to confirm things, at least not until I have access to a more direct supply here in the US. I appreciate your advice as someone who uses the system full time, but unfortunately we’re not there yet in the US so for now it’s kind of more of a “game trial.” :slight_smile:

I presently live in India and have Diabetes 2. I am interested in finding out information on the Freestyle Libre system of sugar level monitoring.

Apparently in India they have the Libre Pro, however, it is not available for patient use or purchase only by Medical Professionals, means that the Doctor has the reader and you go in for a fortnightly reading and then he applies a new sensor.

Is this typical?

I would imagine that the patient should have this Reader / Applicator and Sensor and conduct a more thorough investigation into their personal levels?

Thanking you in advance