Freestyle Libre CGM arrives!

Freestyle Libre arrives!

Freestyle Libre sensor packing

Freestyle Libre sensor packing

Freestyle Libre meter

Freestyle Libre meter

Libre Sensor applicator

Libre Sensor applicator

Freestyle Libre meter

Freestyle Libre meter

Freestyle Libre meter, sensor packaging, and applicator

Freestyle Libre meter, sensor packaging, and applicator

Day 1 Sept. 16

Well today was a big day for me, I just started wearing a CGM, the newly on the market Freestyle Libre.

This device offers several improvements over the current champion the Dexcom 4.

Price: The sensors are supposed to cost around 55 euros for 2 weeks of unlimited testing. The meter is supposed to be quite low in price, as compared to the Dexcom 4.  I got offered a free meter, so hopefully they will be using the usual model of low cost meter to get you buying the consumables. This doesn’t normally seem so great, but with the Dexcom meter costing over $1000, this sounds pretty good.

Sensor size: Pretty small sensor about the size of a really thick Euro.

Calibration: Supposedly each sensor is factory calibrated.  Plug and play with a 1 hour lag time.

First observations: The Abbot rep told me they spent 6 years bringing this product to market.  This shows a bit in the hardware.  It has a touchscreen, which is welcome, though it lacks the sensitivity and slickness of a modern smart phone.  On the other hand it is plastic and impact resistant.  It doesn’t quite feel like a high-end medical device, but if it works and the price is right, I can live with that.

Sensor Insertion: Well we are all dreaming of a non-invasive CGM system, but since that hasn’t worked out yet, this seems pretty good.  I have to be honest here, I had an extremely embarrassing bit of cowardice at self-inserting the sensor in my upper arm.  It comes with a large grey plastic inserter which I was extremely hesitant to press.  The rep came around and did it, and honestly it didn’t hurt at all.  The sensor itself is a half centimeter flexible filament, and so far is quite painless.  That being said, I was a big chicken about pushing it in.

Wearing the sensor:

Supposedly the adhesive will keep it on through all activities.  So far it is painless, and no problem.


To get a reading you have to bring the meter within a few centimeters of the sensor.  This is actually no problem.  Sort of fun in a tricorder kind of way.  I think I have done about 10 readings in the last 3 hours. This seems pretty awesome.

Night 1

woke up and tested

had lowish bs before going to bed and over corrected.

meter showed I was up to 13, so did a 2 unit correction.

day 2 Sept. 17

woke up at 5.4 mmol

Went out for a workout. tested while running. breakfast had come in, was up to 8.0

Had my first malfunction. After my main run, before my pushups/situps meter was unable to give reading, told me to wait 10 min.

10 min. later was working again.

after my run  got low.  was great being able to test while on the move, rushing out to work.


Sensor says 5.0.  Used a test strip and got a reading of 7.0.  Checked with my usual meter, 7.5.

took 8.5 units Humalog


Sensor 3.7 Low

Old meter says 5.0



have been testing frequently.

Sensor and my old meter are now in relative agreement. 6,7 vs. 6.4

Strange that they now coincide.


taking public transit, no one noticed when I scanned.  very low profile.

much more comfortable than doing a blood test.


So summation on end of day 2.

CGM is the future! I really like being able to scan so often, with so little effort.

Was  disturbed by the period of discrepancy between sensor obtained data and strip obtained data.

Tested concurrently on my old meter, and with the strips used with the Libre meter, which agreed with each other, but not with the sensor.

Have to accept that the sensor data is not always reliable. However, later all measurements were consistent.

Software is functional, but certainly not elegant.  Wish they would open up the platform, and let us build our own software to use with their system. Ugh, more proprietary systems, has no one learned from apple about opening up the platform for apps?

more tomorrow.





Posted in Digital Products, product reviews, research, Uncategorized
2 comments on “Freestyle Libre CGM arrives!
  1. Kevin McMahon says:

    Can’t wait to read your follow up post about your experiences with Libre.

    • d.katz says:

      Hi Kevin,
      I am continuing to log my experiences, I will give a summation at the end of the 2 weeks. In general quite positive though there are a few issues. The software is a bit buggy, and its approach has its shortcomings, though the Desktop program adds quite a bit of functionality. While the sensor is not too bad, I find it a bit irritating at times. Still though, the benefits are far outweighing the negatives, and the accuracy has been quite good. In my opinion, strips should be on there way out, at least for people on insulin.

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