My Diabetes Inklings

Freestyle LibreLink – First Thoughts

The start of my week included being in a room of Aussie diabetes bloggers and advocates talking about all things diabetes and playing with the Freestyle LibreLink app that will hit our app stores on the 5th of June. Disclaimer applies that Abbott Diabetes Care paid for my accommodation and meals for the dX2Sydney2018 event and provided us with a Freestyle Libre sensor to trial their app. I was not asked nor am I being paid to write about the event or the LibreLink. 

With a heavy program for dX2Sydney (more on that later), we were given very little time to set up the LibreLink app. We were also only allowed to play with it for the time we were there as we were provided with a beta version of the app. But it was enough time to provide a quick snapshot of the exciting features and shortfalls that accompanies the app.

The most important thing to remember with the LibreLink app was the order of activation during the warm up period. Currently, you need to start the sensor up on the reader before the app and both needs to be done within the hour. This will allow you to use either the reader or the app. Apparently this might change in the future too to make things easier.

Awesome things I loved about LibreLink

  • Convenience factor – I loved not having another device to bring around and the ability to use my phone as the reader.
  • Summary of data in various report options that are similar to the reader i.e. time in range, daily patterns, sensor usage, estimated A1c etc.
  • Share capability – although not quite sure how this worked as we didn’t get enough time with the app.
  • Timers and alarms built into the app in case you forget to swipe like I did cos it had been so long since I used a Libre sensor, I forgot I had it on and that I needed to swipe to get data. Derp.
  • Text to speech function for those with vision impairment or if you want your phone to announce your current glucose reading in the middle of someone’s presentation.
What you see after scanning. Users need to click the top right button to put the phone in ready to scan mode for iOS devices. 

Things I’m not sure about with LibreLink

  • I often received a Scan Error that wouldn’t let me get any data from my Libre. Might just be me not placing the NFC sensor close in its sweet spot?
  • Inability to zoom in and out of the graph like you would with the Medtronic Guardian Connect app to view 3 hours vs 24 hour data etc.
The frustration was real with this error!

Things I’m waiting for with LibreLink

  • Interoperability with other apps such as mySugr or myLife app with my Ypsopump – surely this feature is not too far off right?

Overall, the biggest barrier for me now is still the large discrepancies between finger pricks and the readings from the Freestyle Libre. It’s hard to know when I can rely on the Libre reading without doing a confirmatory blood test. The team at Abbott argue that the trends alone should be valuable enough, but it’s not very intuitive to have information that you cannot rely on consistently.

Nonetheless, I’m pretty excited with the potential LibreLink offers for people with diabetes in terms of convenience and being a step closer to have interoperable diabetes management systems to make living with diabetes that little bit more streamlined.

2 thoughts on “Freestyle LibreLink – First Thoughts”

  1. I am also excited for the improved Libre’ to show up. But like you I remain concerned about the variance between finger sticks, other CGM’s and the Libre’. The algorithm needs tightened i think.

    1. There are so many things I love about the Libre like the slim profile, insertion process and 14 day wear (in Aus). I am at a loss for what I can do from my end to reduce those variances.

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