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What to Expect With Freestyle Libre 3?

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices display the user’s current blood sugar level, blood sugar trend (up, down or stable) and blood sugar curve from the past hours. 

Ever since they were first launched in the early 2000s, CGM systems have completely changed how we monitor blood sugar levels. Over time, this technology has significantly evolved and has become more accurate and easier to use. New, improved versions are regularly made available to enhance user experience. 

On May, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (or “FDA,” the U.S. equivalent to Health Canada) approved Freestyle Libre 3, Abbott’s latest CGM system, for patients aged 4 and older. This third iteration of the Freestyle Libre system is expected to be available in Canada in the near future.

Here’s a look at the anticipated new and improved features.

No need to scan the sensor anymore!

The third generation of the Freestyle Libre system will be the first to automatically send blood sugar readings from the sensor to a paired smart phone every minute. Users will no longer need to scan their sensor at least once every eight hours to view their results on screen. This feature, which is already included with Dexcom’s and Medtronic’s systems, will be a huge improvement for future Freestyle Libre users.

A smaller, thinner sensor

The very small size of the Freestyle Libre 3—70% smaller than the previous version, about the size of two nickels—will surely be appreciated by many. It means less plastic and packaging, making for a more environmentally friendly option. The size of Dexcom’s next-generation CGM, the G7, is also expected to be reduced in the same proportions. 

Alerts

The option to receive real-time alerts based on blood sugar levels, which is available with Freestyle Libre 2, will still be available with this new version. This feature allows the user to receive alerts when their blood sugar is high or low, or is trending high or low. 

No calibration needed

Since all generations of the Freestyle Libre system (including this upcoming version) are factory calibrated, sensors don’t require fingerstick calibration to ensure accuracy. Sensors last up to 14 days.

Cost and coverage to be determined

The new version of the Freestyle Libre system should be coming to Canada in the near future (this type of device is usually available in Canada 18 months after the U.S. launch). It has already been launched in the U.S. and in certain parts of Europe, where it is in the same price range as its predecessors. The price of this new system and its eligibility for coverage are yet to be determined—at the current time, the Freestyle Libre 2 is still not covered by the RAMQ. 

As for the Dexcom G7, it has already been approved in Europe, and it’s expected to be approved in the U.S. later this year. 

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