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FAQs

Does the sensor need to be applied by a doctor or nurse?expand

No, it can easily be applied without the need for a doctor or nurse — an applicator makes it simple to replace the sensor.

How big is the sensor?expand

The sensor is 5 mm in height and 35 mm in diameter — about the size of a toonie.

How far away can the reader be held and still scan the sensor?expand

The reader can be up to 4 cm away from the sensor and still capture data.

How frequently does the sensor measure glucose levels?expand

The sensor automatically measures glucose levels every minute and stores readings every 15 minutes.

How much data is read at each scan?expand

When the sensor is scanned, the sensor automatically transmits 8 hours of data.

How long does a sensor last?expand

A sensor lasts up to 14 days before needing to be replaced.

How deeply is the sensor inserted?expand

The portion of the sensor that is inserted under the skin is less than 0.4 mm wide and is inserted only about 5 mm under the skin.

When the sensor is scanned, is it providing data from the past minute (current data) or data from the latest 15-minute storage interval?expand

Each time the sensor is scanned it automatically transmits data from the last minute, even if that data has not yet been stored.

How much data does a reader store?expand

The reader stores up to 90 days of glucose information.

Can it get a glucose reading through clothing?expand

Yes, the reader can get a glucose reading through clothing with a thickness of up to 4 mm.

Can people swim, shower and exercise while wearing the sensor?expand

Yes, FreeStyle Libre is designed to be water-resistant in up to 1 metre (3 feet) of water. We recommend it not be immersed longer than 30 minutes.

Does FreeStyle Libre require calibration using a blood sample?expand

No, FreeStyle Libre does not require finger prick calibration. However, a finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required in the following situations:

  1. During times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels
  2. If hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported by the sensor
  3. When symptoms do not match FreeStyle Libre readings

Does it record data 24 hours a day?expand

Yes, the FreeStyle Libre automatically captures readings day and night, so that glucose variations can be seen throughout the day — including nighttime lows — as long as the sensor is replaced at least every 14 days and scanned at least once every 8 hours.

What is displayed when a user scans the sensor?expand

With each scan over the sensor, the reader displays: the current glucose reading, the latest 8 hours of glucose history and where glucose levels are heading.

Can users feel the sensor when they are wearing it?expand

While wearing the sensor, users generally won’t feel anything under the skin. In a clinical user experience study, over 90 %% of participants did not feel discomfort under the skin while wearing the sensor. [NTD: Reference is Data on file, Abbott Diabetes Care, Study ADC13-133, DOC33315].

What strips are compatible with the FreeStyle Libre reader?expand

The FreeStyle Libre reader is designed to be used only with the FreeStyle Precision blood glucose and blood ketone test strips and MediSense control solution.

Is interstitial fluid (ISF) a reasonable alternative for blood? What about the lag?expand

ISF is a reasonable alternative for blood. Glucose can be measured in the ISF–the fluid around the body’s cells where glucose freely diffuses from capillaries to the interstitial space.1 The physiological delay in ISF glucose with respect to changes in blood glucose is about 5-10 minutes2 which is unlikely to impact routine day-to-day treatment decisions. The average lag time of the FreeStyle Libre system is approximately 5 minutes.3

What are the differences between interstitial fluid (ISF) and blood glucose (BG) readings?expand

Glucose levels can be measured from the bloodstream, or from the interstitial fluid (ISF), which surrounds the body’s cells. There is a 5- to 10-minute delay in ISF glucose response to changes in blood glucose,1 which is unlikely to impact routine day-to-day treatment decisions. The average lag time of the FreeStyle Libre system is approximately 5 minutes. 2ISF glucose and BG measurements taken simultaneously won’t always match, and, in fact, are likely to be different.

What should I do if I receive a 403 server error message while trying to download the FreeStyle Libre software?expand

If you are receiving this error message, it means that you are not using a Canadian IP address. Try to download it from another location or device that uses a Canadian IP. If you still experience issues, please contact the Abbott Diabetes Care Customer Service Department at 1-800-461-8481, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 8 PM Eastern Standard Time.

FreeStyle Libre Starter Kit

Try the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system by choosing our starter kit. It includes a reader and two 14-day sensors for your first month.

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Most private insurers are now covering the FreeStyle Libre system.

Find out more from your insurer and/or plan administrator on how you may be covered.