Frequently asked questions

Here you’ll find answers to common questions about FreeStyle Libre, its apps and software.

Here you’ll find answers to common questions about FreeStyle Libre, its apps and software. Questions are organized by categories to help you easily find the information you’re looking for. Can’t find an answer to your question? Contact us

 

Using FreeStyle Libre

faq

Expand All   |   Collapse All

Does FreeStyle Libre require calibration using a blood sample?

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:

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

Does it record data 24 hours a day?

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?

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.

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

ISF is the fluid around the cells of your tissue below your skin. Glucose can freely move from your blood vessels to this fluid1, making it a reasonable alternative to blood for measuring glucose. Changes in blood glucose take about 5-10 minutes (“lag time”) to be reflected in ISF glucose.2 However, this is unlikely to impact routine day-to-day treatment decisions. The average lag time of the FreeStyle Libre system is approximately 5 minutes.3 This is why ISF glucose and blood glucose measurements taken at the same time won’t always match – and in fact – are likely to be different.

1. Rebrin K, Steil GM. Can interstitial glucose assessment replace blood glucose measurements? Diabetes Technol Ther 2000;2(3):461-72.
2. Rebrin K, Sheppard NF Jr, Steil GM. Use of subcutaneous interstitial fluid glucose to estimate blood glucose: revisiting delay and sensor offset. J Diabetes Sci Technol 2010;4(5):1087-98.
3. Data on file, Abbott, Clinical Report: Evaluation of the Accuracy of the Abbott Sensor-Based Interstitial Glucose Monitoring System 2014.

 

FreeStyle Libre Sensor

faq

Expand All   |   Collapse All

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

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

How deeply is the sensor inserted?

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.

How big is the sensor?

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

How long does it take to scan the sensor?

One second.

How frequently does the sensor measure glucose levels?

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

How much data is read at each scan?

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

How long does a sensor last?

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

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

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

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

Yes, the FreeStyle Libre sensor 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.

Can users feel the sensor when they are wearing it?

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.

 

FreeStyle Libre Reader

faq

Expand All   |   Collapse All

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

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

How much data does a reader store?

The reader stores up to 90 days of glucose information.

Can it get a glucose reading through clothing?

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

What strips are compatible with the FreeStyle Libre reader?

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.

 

Ontario Public Coverage

faq

Expand All   |   Collapse All

Who is eligible to receive public coverage in Ontario for the FreeStyle Libre system?

As of September 16, 2019, the FreeStyle Libre system is reimbursed by the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program for qualifying Ontario residents who manage their diabetes with insulin.

What is covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit plan?

The coverage will include both the FreeStyle Libre system sensors and reader.

How do I know if I qualify for public reimbursement of the FreeStyle Libre system under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program?

If you qualify for ODB and you manage your diabetes with insulin, you are eligible for public reimbursement of the FreeStyle Libre system. Please speak with your healthcare professional (including your pharmacist) to determine if the FreeStyle Libre system is right for you.

How do I know if I qualify for the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program?

More information about who is covered by the ODB program is available on the Ontario Drug Benefit website.

 

Quebec Public Coverage

faq

Expand All   |   Collapse All

When does coverage under RAMQ begin?

The FreeStyle Libre system sensors is covered by RAMQ as of July 10, 2019. Your prescribing physician needs to submit the application for coverage with RAMQ. Applications for public coverage will require up to 25 business days for processing. Your pharmacist can also provide additional information about coverage under RAMQ.

How can I check on the status of my application for reimbursement in Quebec?
You can check on the status of your application by speaking with your pharmacist or your prescribing physician.

How long will I receive coverage for in Quebec?

If you qualify for coverage under RAMQ, you will receive reimbursement for a three-month period to determine if the FreeStyle Libre system is right for you. Requests for further coverage can be made through your prescribing physician. To help ensure you receive uninterrupted coverage, follow-up with your healthcare provider before the initial three-month coverage period ends.

 

Software & Reports

faq

Expand All   |   Collapse All

How do I access my glucose reports?

The app includes a series of reports that highlight your glucose trends and patterns. From the main menu, select the report you wish to see.

What reports are available in the app?

  • Daily Patterns: A graph showing the pattern and variability of the sensor glucose readings over a typical day. Includes the median, 25th-75th percentile, and 10th-90th percentile range of the glucose readings.
  • Time in Target: A graph showing the percentage of time the sensor glucose readings were above, below, or within the Target Glucose Range.
  • Low Glucose Events: Information about the number of low glucose events measured by the sensor. A low glucose event is recorded when the sensor glucose reading is lower than 3.9 mmol/L (70 mg/dL) for longer than 15 minutes.
  • Average Glucose: Information about the average sensor glucose readings for different periods of the day.
  • Daily Graph: A graph of the sensor glucose readings by day.
  • Estimated A1C: Estimate of A1C (HbA1c) based on sensor glucose data from the last 90 days. A1C can be used as an indicator of how well glucose levels have been controlled and may be used to monitor a diabetes treatment regimen.
  • Sensor Usage: Information about how often the sensor is scanned.

How many readings are required to estimate A1C?

A minimum of 5 days of sensor data is required for an estimated A1C to be calculated.

How can I share my glucose data with my healthcare professional?

Email or text reports directly from the app by tapping the share icon that’s displayed at the bottom of each report available within the app. You can also show the reports on your phone to your doctor or nurse during your next appointment. LibreView may also be an option if your doctor has set it up for patients to share data. See Data Management & LibreView section.

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

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.

 

Data Management & LibreView

faq

Expand All   |   Collapse All

What is LibreView and how does it work with the FreeStyle LibreLink app?

LibreView is a cloud-based diabetes management system provided by Abbott and Newyu, Inc. LibreView provides a secure repository for data from your FreeStyle LibreLink app, and allows you to easily share your glucose data with your healthcare professional or others, if you wish. Data is automatically§ uploaded to LibreView when your phone is connected to the internet.

Why do I need to create a LibreView account to use the FreeStyle LibreLink app?

LibreView is used to manage your account information and enables detailed reporting and data sharing. Once the app is installed and you accept the terms of use, you will need to create a LibreView account in order to start using the app. LibreView allows you to share your glucose data with your healthcare professional and other apps that connect with the FreeStyle LibreLink app.

What kind of information does the app collect and what happens with that information?

The app stores your account information, glucose data, notes, and sensor information within the app on your phone, so it is your responsibility to limit access to your phone to protect personal information. The app also automatically uploads this data in LibreView, a secure cloud-based data repository. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Is my data safe? What will Abbott do to protect patient data?

Abbott and its partners comply with all applicable data protection and privacy laws in users’ jurisdictions. Please read the End User License Agreement and Terms of Use or the Privacy Policy within the app or here to ensure that you are comfortable with the data handling practices that govern the use of the app and LibreView; otherwise, you should not install the app.

What happens if I lose or change my phone?

If you lose your phone, download the app again on a compatible iPhone and sign in with your account information. If you have an active sensor and need to reinstall the app, when you sign into your existing account, you can continue using your active sensor until the end of its useful life. You will not be able to view historical data in the new installation of the app, but this data will be available in LibreView.

Does the FreeStyle LibreLink app work with FreeStyle Libre desktop software?

No. Your glucose data from the FreeStyle LibreLink app will not be synced with FreeStyle Libre desktop software. The FreeStyle LibreLink app data is only stored by and visible through

Is the FreeStyle LibreLink app compatible with other diabetes management software?

Yes, with your permission, the app is able to share glucose data with certain other apps. View the Share menu within the FreeStyle LibreLink app to see what other apps are available for sharing in your region.

What should I do if I have questions about the app or my data?

If you have any questions about the app or your data, including questions on how to close your LibreView account, contact us.

 

LibreLinkUp: General

faq

Expand All   |   Collapse All

What is the LibreLinkUp app and how does it work with the FreeStyle LibreLink app?

LibreLinkUp is a companion app to the FreeStyle LibreLink app, which allows glucose readings to be automatically shared with your loved ones in near real-time. Both you and your loved one must have a network connection to share and receive glucose readings. To add a LibreLinkUp connection through the FreeStyle LibreLink app, simply tap Share in the main menu and follow the on-screen instructions.

How many people can glucose data be shared with using the LibreLinkUp app?

Every FreeStyle LibreLink scan is automatically sent to your smartphone up to 20 people can view results from a single FreeStyle LibreLink account.

How do I pair LibreLinkUp with the FreeStyle LibreLink app?

You can get started with LibreLinkUp in 3 easy steps. Click here to learn how.

* The FreeStyle LibreLink app is compatible with Near-Field Communication (NFC)-enabled phones running Android OS 5.0 or higher and with iPhone 7 and higher running iOS 11 or higher.

† The FreeStyle LibreLink app and the FreeStyle Libre reader have similar but not identical features. A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported by the FreeStyle LibreLink app or when symptoms do not match the FreeStyle LibreLink app readings.

‡ The FreeStyle Libre sensor communicates with the FreeStyle Libre reader that started it, or the FreeStyle LibreLink app that started it. If you wish to use both the reader and the app, start your sensor with the reader first, then scan with the phone within one hour. Data is not synchronized between devices, so to ensure your reports include all available data, choose one device that you will use to scan your sensor at least once every 8 hours.

§ Users must be connected to the internet in order for their glucose data to automatically upload to LibreView.

Official Mark of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.

FreeStyle, Libre, and related brand marks are trademarks of Abbott in various jurisdictions. Product images are for illustrative purposes only. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

You’re now leaving an Abbott Canada Website, a site maintained by Abbott Laboratories, Limited.

You are now being redirected to a third-party website not under the control of Abbott. Abbott is not responsible for the contents of such site or any further links from such site. Abbott is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by Abbott.

Do you wish to leave this site?

You’re now leaving an Abbott Canada Website, a site maintained by Abbott Laboratories Ltd.

You are now being redirected to a third-party website, operated by Bayshore Specialty Rx Ltd., where you can order sensors for the FreeStyle Libre system.

You can also purchase the FreeStyle Libre system and sensors at your local pharmacy.