FreeStyle Libre Unboxing
In this post, we profile the #1 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system on the market today.
All of us living with diabetes understand the importance of taking regular and accurate blood sugar readings. After all, knowing our numbers is the key to controlling our diabetes, feeling our best each day, and avoiding all sorts of diabetes-related complications like heart disease, neuropathy, kidney problems, eye issues, and a long list of other unwanted health complications.
The question is, “how do you do it?” For many years, the only option was to test your blood glucose using a glucose meter and test strips. It fast, easy, and relatively painless, and it’s still a great option for many people living with diabetes.
However, continued advancements in technology and diabetes medicine have brought about new ways to test blood sugar and treat the disease, most notably, the introduction of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). These systems allow you to test blood glucose continuously throughout the day without the need for finger pricks. In other words, you can test more often to gain added control over you blood sugar and lower your A1C scores. This is a game-changer for many people with diabetes.
In this post, we’ll examine the #1 CGM solution on the market today, the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day System .
Like all continuous glucose monitoring systems, the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day System requires a physician’s prescription. If you’re currently relying on a glucose meter and test strips to manage your blood glucose and are considering switching, the first step is to sit down with your diabetes physician to discuss your options.
Hopefully, this brief unboxing will provide some added insight for that discussion. Let’s get to it.
FreeStyle Libre 14-Day System
While most CGM’s require three components – a sensor, a transmitter and a receiver – the Freestyle Libre 14-Day CGM gets the job done with just two primary parts, a sensor that’s worn on the back of the upper arm and a handheld reader. You can also download the FreeStyle Libre App and instantly transform your smartphone into a reader for added convenience.
Why no transmitter? Because unlike CGM systems that automatically transmit blood glucose readings to the receiver, The FreeStyle system works like a wand. Simply wave your reader or smartphone over the sensor to instantly take a blood glucose reading. Many people find this method more intuitive than automatically transmitted readings because you have total control over when each reading takes place and can quickly grab a reading any time you feel the need.
Unboxing The Sensor
The FreeStyle Libre 14-Day Sensor uses a thin, flexible filament that inserts just under the skin to measure glucose levels every minute. Yes, you can test your blood glucose as often as every minute with the FreeStyle Libre system! The sensor is water resistant in up to three feet of water and can be immersed for as long as 30 minutes. Additionally, the sensor is good for a full 14 days – that’s quite a bit longer than other continuous glucose monitoring systems.
The sensor box comes sealed with a perforated strip which is important. If this strip is not intact before you open the box, do not use any of the contents inside, as it may have been compromised.
Inside the box you’ll find three things. One, the sensor, which comes in a sealed and sterile package. If the sensor packaging is not fully sealed, do not use the sensor. Two, the sensor applicator. Three, alcohol pads to properly cleans the injection area.
Unboxing The Reader
The FreeStyle Libre 14-Day Reader is a surprisingly small touchscreen device that you’ll use just like a wand to take blood glucose readings with a one-second scan. The system works that quickly once you get everything set up, and we have to say they’ve done a great job at making that a painless process.
Don’t forget, if you prefer, you can download the FreeStyle App and turn your smartphone into a reader that’s just as effective. For tech-savvy people who’d rather not add another device to their lives, this is a great option. However, for individuals who might not be up to speed when it comes to downloading and using apps, the reader is probably an easier option.
We opened the reader box to find the device and charging system neatly packaged. Additionally, there is a detailed user’s manual and, what we found even more convenient, Quick Start Guides in both English and Spanish, as well as a thumb drive featuring interactive tutorials on how to use the FreeStyle system, also in both English and Spanish. This digital tutorial can also be found online at FreeStyleLibre.com.
Using the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day CGM System
While it’s always a good idea to go through your user’s manual, the Quick Start Guide walks you through the process of injecting your sensor and setting up your reader in a few easy steps.
Inserting the Sensor
- Choose the back of the left or right upper arm and clean the site with the provided alcohol wipe.
- Open the sealed and sterile sensor package and unscrew the top of the sensor applicator.
- Place sensor package (facing up) on a hard surface. Align the dark mark on the sensor package with the dark mark on the sensor applicator and push down firmly until the applicator comes to a stop.
- Lift sensor applicator out of the sensor pack, which will now contain the sensor. You are now prepared to apply the sensor.
- Place the applicator over the insertion site and push down firmly to secure sensor to the arm. Make sure the sensor is firmly in place and you’re ready to start testing your blood sugar.
Setting up the Reader
You can follow the instructions, however, once charged the FreeStyle touchscreen reader quickly walks you through the entire set up process. Choose your preferred language. Set up the date and time. Next, set your target blood glucose range. Your reader will then provide some important user information before prompting you to take your first reading. Now, all that’s left is to scan the sensor with the reader to activate. Simply place your reader about 1.5 inches above the sensor and that’s it. After 60 minutes the sensor will be fully activated, and you’ll be ready to test your blood sugar with a quick scan any time you like.
There’s no question CGM systems cost more than traditional glucose meters and test strips. That being said, the FreeStyle Libre is a relatively affordable when compared to other CGM solutions. The 14-day sensor is the big spend, retailing for about $200.00, and you’ll need to shell out that money every two weeks. The reader runs about $180, far less than other CGM devices, plus, the FreeStyle Libre doesn’t require transmitters, so you save a fair amount of money there. Additionally, you can enjoy added savings by shopping online at Diabetic Warehouse, where both FreeStyle Libre 14-Day sensors and readers are available at savings of up to 30% off retail prices.
Some other good news is that most Medicare holders are eligible for coverage. Additionally, most private insurance companies provide a large amount of coverage. According the FreeStyle website, most people with private insurance end up paying between 0$ and $60 each month for sensors.
The FreeStyle Libre 14-Day System at A Glance
– FDA cleared for ages 4 years and older, making it a great solution for kids who don’t like getting their fingers pricked.
– Sensors last 14 days, so you’re replacing them less often than other CGM systems.
– Scan and know! Check blood glucose levels with a simple scan for accurate readings anytime, anywhere.
– Real-time glucose alarms notify you if your blood sugar is suddenly too high or too low.
– FreeStyle App allows you to integrate your smartphone as the reader.
– Reader features “trend” arrows to show the direction your blood glucose is heading
– Reader stores up to 90 days of glucose data that can be downloaded to a computer for more in-depth analysis.
– Proven to significantly lower A1C scores by providing more complete and continuous blood glucose data than standard glucose meters and test strips.
The FreeStyle Libre 14-Day Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is #1 for good reason. It’s affordable. It’s accurate. It’s easy. However, CGM solutions are not for everyone. Some people are still more comfortable with glucose meters and test strips that do not require them to wear a sensor all day, every day. However, if you think continuous glucose monitoring might help you gain greater control over your blood sugar levels and A1C scores, the first step is sitting down with your diabetes physician. Remember, you’ll need a prescription to order any CGM system. Diabetic Warehouse customers give the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day Continuous Glucose Monitoring System consistent five-star ratings, and we listen to our customers. So, maybe it’s time to sit down and discuss CGM with your diabetes care team?
Did you find this post helpful? If so, check out our other news, tips, and trends for the diabetes community. At Diabetic Warehouse, we are committed to keeping you informed and saving you up to 65% on the finest diabetic products and supplies, including continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, infusion sets and all your diabetic accessories. Choose from top manufacturers, including Dexcom, FreeStyle, OneTouch, Accu-Chek, Easy Comfort and TRUEMetrix. See what our satisfied customers have to say. We hope to serve you soon.
Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org.