The FDA approved an iPhone app for scanning the Libre CGM sensor a while ago. The FreeStyle LibreLink app allows Libre users in the USA the ability to see trend data and glucose numbers right on their phone similar to Dexcom and Medtronic systems without use of a handheld reader. Simply swipe the app on your phone over the Libre sensor and you have data. Thankfully Abbott’s recent update affords Libre users the ability to share their glucose data and trends with up to 20 caregivers through the LibreLinkUp app.
Both the LibreLink and Linkup app are available for free in the Apple app store and can be used with 10 day or 14 day Libre sensors. FreeStyle LibreLink can be used with with iPhone 7 and later versions, while the LibreLinkUp can be used with iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Currently both apps are not available for use with US Android devices.
The FreeStyle LibreLink app offers several improved features over the reader including:
- Ability to add glucose readings via text to speech – a huge benefit for those with visual impairment
- Ability to add notes for daily variables such as food, insulin doses, and activity which makes it easier to evaluate how certain habits impact glucose control and you can learn to make better adjustments.
Limitations to the Abbott FreeStyle LibreLink app include:
- To obtain a reading, the FreeStyle LibreLink app must be open on screen, meaning it cannot be used from the iPhone’s lock screen.
- In order to see data in the app, the user must scan the sensor at least once in an 8 hour time period to get the glucose value as well as the trend. The sensor stores up to 8 hours of data, but won’t show unless the app scans the sensor.
- No Bluetooth direct communication with the sensor so it doesn’t offer alarms such as Dexcom, Medtronic or Sensionics Eversense apps.
- While not a limitation to the app, but the system – the Libre is not approved for users under the age of 18. FDA is reviewing indication for use in those age 4 and above.