Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 3 – Review
On May 31st, 2022, the diabetes community received some very exciting news: Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 3 (FSL3) was approved by the US Food & Drug Administration. The FSL3 has been available in Europe since 2020, so we got a preview of the new features. Let’s dive in to the details!
FreeStyle Libre 3 is the next generation FreeStyle Libre system with the same sensor tail but an on-body component that is about 70% smaller than the Libre 2. Which means that the new FSL3 is as small as a penny and as thick as two pennies stacked together. This will definitely decrease the possibility of tearing it out while taking your backpack or T-shirt off. Also, the FSL3 is much more comfortable, and as fellow users describe it, they don’t even feel it when lying down or leaning on it. Abbott describes it as “the world’s smallest, thinnest, and most discreet sensor”.
Here are the FSL3 features, according to Abbott:
- Real-time glucose readings are sent every minute to your smartphone and can be viewed with a quick glance
- Accurate readings, every minute, every hour, and every day for up to 14 days
- Helps reduce time spent in hypoglycemia and improves overall glucose control
- Painless to apply and wear with a simple 1-piece applicator
- Strongest Bluetooth integration with a range of up to 33 feet – 50% further range than other CGMs
To be a little more specific about these features:
First, Abbott decided to ditch the CGM monitor, so with FSL3 you can monitor your blood glucose via FreeStyle Libre App on your phone without a separate receiver. Blood glucose levels are sent to the FSL app via Bluetooth every minute, and you can also set low and high BG levels alarms in your app. Additionally, a voice module has been added which makes the app more accessible. Since a sensor reading via a receiver is not needed, parents can now track their child’s BG levels in real time via the LibreLinkUp App.
Abbott conducted a study to test the accuracy of the FSL3 system and the results are truly amazing! The FreeStyle Libre 3 system has a mean absolute relative difference (MARD, a measurement of performance for CGMs), of 7.9% based on the data from the 95 subjects with YSI reference. At this moment this is the lowest MARD CGM value in comparison to other sensors on the market.
The price of this new generation device will remain the same as the previous versions. “We continue to disrupt the notion that CGMs have to sacrifice quality or accuracy for affordability,” said Watkin. “Access to breakthrough diabetes technologies should not be out of reach for the people who can benefit most from them. Innovation for access and affordability is a core pillar in Abbott’s business and sustainability strategy.”
You are wondering how we landed upon the category of Ecology. Well, for individuals who are striving to use products that are more eco-friendly, it is worth noting that FSL3 has a significantly smaller packaging design than previous models and the overall amount of plastic and cardboard is reduced. Plastic – 41% reduced, cardboard – 43% reduced.
Honestly, the future for diabetes management is very bright. Seeing a product like this being improved with regard to technological advancement and accessibility, while also being user-friendly and eco-friendly, makes us really excited to see what Abbott is going to give us in the future. Check back with us often for continued updates as the technology improves and we receive more user feedback.
***Please note: The contents of this article are for informational and educational purposes ONLY. The information presented is not a substitute for medical consultation or advice. Should you have questions or concerns about how to use these products, please consult with your designated healthcare provider for assistance.
Watch & Listen:
More about MARD Study from Scott Shapiro:
Abbott’s press release: