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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    For the diabetics/caregivers out there

    My wife was recently diagnosed with type2 diabetes. RN and doc suggested we try the Freestyle Libre system. This is one of the new technologies that has filtered down to the patients. It consists of a sensor patch that is applied to the back of the arm, and a reader that wirelessly reads it. The sensor is good for 14 days, and is fairly easy to apply and remove. It inserts a very small tube just under the skin and reads the interstitial fluid.

    Once installed, all you have to do is scan the sensor anytime you want, and you will get a reading. It also downloads a graph of the changes in blood sugar over the last several hours. Alternately, you can download an app to your smart phone and use that for the reader. With the app it will also trigger an alarm if blood sugar goes beyond preset limits. This can be very useful to deal with things like low blood sugar events in the middle of the night etc. The dedicated reader won't give alarms, only cell phones.

    This has made dealing with diabetes much easier for us. You can download the information from the reader to your computer, and compile reports for yourself, or your health care professional. I love not having to poke holes in her fingers a couple times a day, and it gives us the freedom to check her sugar often, when needed.

    If you have been dealing with diabetes for a while, you probably already know about this system, but thought I would bring it up in case someone doesn't know about it.

    The biggest down side to it is the cost. Even after good insurance, I'm paying about $75 a month for the system. Worth it IMO, you may feel otherwise, depending on your situation. Also, be advised that the app is not compatible with all phones. This system is not as accurate as a direct blood testing, and there are times when it recommends taking blood reading before making a treatment decision.

    Full disclosure, I have no affiliation other than as a "customer". My wife really likes not having her fingers turned into pin cushions, and I like the peace of mind from easy access to her glucose status.

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    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle, bluzman, Rick M Thanks/liked this post

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: For the diabetics/caregivers out there

    Libre Freestyle is the least expensive of that type of CGM because you have to pro-actively scan the sensor... Dexcom is the leader in that technology and doesn't require pro-active scanning... It just continuously sends data to the phone... It's also 3-5X more expensive...

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: For the diabetics/caregivers out there

    Not sure I would be onboard with it at 3-5 times the cost. The Freesytle 14 day sensors are just under $40 each, my out of pocket cost. Scanning the sensor with this system is extremely easy to do, so I would not be willing to pay a ton more for just a little more convenience.

    I haven't tried using the cell phone with this system yet. The phone I had was not compatible. I just got a new one that is, but have to wait for the next sensor to be put on before I can use it. Apparently, you can use both the reader and a cell, but you have to do the initial scan with the reader, then scan it within an hour of activation with the cell. After that you can use either for the life of the sensor.

    I'm hoping the cell will give better graphs than the reader. With the graphs on the reader, it is very difficult to tell anything beyond a general trend between scans. The resolution of the reader display and the narrow band of the graph make it less useful than it could be.

    Still, it's way more useful than the old glucose strips.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: For the diabetics/caregivers out there

    The big deal with CGMs is they interface with insulin pumps...so a continuous data stream is necessary... and a specific requirement for accuracy, and FDA approval, <-- and hence the greatest cost driver...all the regulatory approval process... They're projected to be a huge profit stream for the drug/device makers... I don't see the costs coming down to anything reasonable in my lifetime... And I don't see the drug/device makers trying to buck that trend either...

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Re: For the diabetics/caregivers out there

    From what I understand, the Libre isn't compatible with any insulin pumps. I believe the Dexcom is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Re: For the diabetics/caregivers out there

    Well, just for info, after setting my phone up with the app, I tried scanning the sensor with my phone, even though the Abbot site says I must scan a new sensor within an hour after scanning with the reader. It successfully scanned it anyway. I also found out that the phone app automatically uploads data to the Libreview web based software that allows me to compile different reports from the data accumulated. It also merges data from multiple sources. I looked at my account and saw data from both. The reader must be plugged in and upload performed through the software in order to migrate data to the computer for reports. I think I may just start using the phone and bypass the minor hassle of uploading from the reader.

    The graph that displays immediately after a scan is much more readable than the tiny, low rez one on the reader. The post scan graph is for 8 hours. The report generated graphs are 24 hours, so everything is compressed, and harder to read individual points accurately. Again, much better info that the 2 or 3 test strip readings each day. I will probably just take the cell phone to her next doctor visit and let the dr view whatever reports she wants to look at. I'm sure I can give permission to the account to have the doctor directly view data in the Libreview account.

    This system also frees me from having to write down the time, date, and glucose reading after each test, like I was having to do with the test strips. The software also allows input of things like meals, insulin etc to provide a more complete picture.

    In my book it is well worth the extra money I have to pay for the sensors vs test strips. I had heard about the Dexcom system, but had no idea it was that much more expensive, as Fred pointed out.
    Last edited by Clovishound; 06-22-2022 at 09:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: For the diabetics/caregivers out there

    Unfortunately, the cost of everything from medical care, to food, to gas is going sky high! Someone is making good money off of these, but not us retired senior citizens!
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

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