Table of Contents
Freestyle Libre Sensor is a device used by diabetic patients for continuous glucose management. The device comprises a very tiny glucose sensor that has a length of approximately 0.2 inches and a thickness of a hair (Brown & Close, 2015). The patient wears the Freestyle Libre Sensor under the skin and connects it to a water resistance one-dollar coin size plastic patched on the body. The sensor takes fourteen days inserted and finger stick calibrations are not needed. The device is put on the upper arm. After putting it and waiting for 60 minutes, it starts reading the level of glucose as well as the movement information immediately. The device is permitted for dosing insulin not including three circumstances when a finger stick is commended, when the glucose level is fluctuating quickly, and when the patient’s symptoms do not match the readings in the system.
The users of the Libre take a touchscreen reader device and hold it nest to the sensor patch, and after some time, it beeps. Then, they start seeing their actual glucose value and an arrow showing its trend as well as the trend graph displaying data of the last eight hours (Brown & Close, 2015). The report is displayed on the reader device screen whereby it is possible to download the report to a PC and Mac compatible software.
The systems of glucose sensor measure the level of glucose in the interstitial fluid (ISF) through the insertion of filament that senses glucose into the subcutaneous tissue that is below the top layer of the patient’s skin (Freestylediabetes.co.uk, 2016). The tissue encompasses an interstitial fluid, which is comprised of glucose conveyed from blood vessels. The levels in the ISF is closely similar to the blood glucose, although with an insignificant time delay. The delay is unlikely to affect decisions of day-to-day treatment because various studies indicate the delay is between 5 to 10 minutes.
FreeStyle Libre, a product of Abbott laboratories faces competition in the sector of continuous glucose management systems like any other product in other industries. The leading competitors include G5 Mobile, a product of Dexcom and iPro/Enlite sensor, which is a product of Medtronic. The enlite sensor is used with Guardian Connect mobile CGM and MiniMed insulin pump (Meddevicetracker, 2017). Medtronic incorporated CGM technology into the new artificial pancreas and its popular line of an insulin pump. On the other hand, Dexcom partners with various startups developing rival artificial pancreas or closed-loop insulin pump technologies to enhance their G5 CGM technology. Other new competing products are under development by several companies such as Senseonics/Roche and Nemaura Medical among others.
The device solves the problem of using finger stick calibration and consequently, it completely replace self-monitoring glucose meters used at home. Freestyle Libre Sensor is calibrated at the factory. The device allows diabetes patients to avoid any pain associated with the finger stick calibration and at the same time providing useful information of managing diabetes. It does not require patients to prick their fingers for calibration (Freeman, 2017). It also cut cost because other CGM systems use more than one finger stick per day. Freestyle Libre Sensor enhances the current process of continuous glucose management because it gives real-time data about glucose levels in the blood. However, unlike other devices like Dexcom’s G5 that alerts the patient when the glucose level is too high or too low, FreeStyle Libre does not do that.
- Brown, A., & Close, K. (2015). Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre – Transforming Glucose Monitoring Through Utter Simplicity, Fingersticks Aside!. DiaTribe.
- Freestyle Diabetes.co.uk. (2016). How does the FreeStyle Libre system measure my glucose? | FreeStyle Blood Glucose Meters. Freestyle Diabetes.co.uk.
- Meddevicetracker. (2017). Global Diabetes Management Devices Market (pp. 11-12).
- Freeman, M. (2017). DexCom’s shares plunge 30% after competitor launches diabetes monitor that doesn’t require finger pricks. Sandiegouniontribune.com.