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Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 integrated continuous glucose monitoring (iCGM) system received FDA clearance in 2020. For the last year, users had to purchase a compatible reader to see data from the wearable glucose measuring sensor. Now, the FDA has cleared a companion iPhone app, LibreLinkUp, enabling FreeStyle Libre 2 users to monitor blood glucose and receive alarms on their smartphones.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 is the first in the FreeStyle Libre line to receive an iCGM designation from the FDA. Upon FreeStyle Libre 2’s release last year, Abbott announced that it designed the system to integrate with a smartphone app, which was still under FDA review at the time. The Libre 14 flash CGM, like the first generation Libre, can send data to another app, LibreLink. From LibreLink, users can choose to share data with family or providers. However, the earlier systems and app don’t send alerts, and some users prefer the reader’s data view and larger wireless antenna range to what’s available with a smartphone.
The new app, LibreLinkUp, is a dedicated iCGM app that’s currently only available for Apple devices. Hopefully, the developers put effort into duplicating the reader’s capabilities more closely than its predecessor. (The antennae remains in the domain of the smartphone manufacturer.) Libre 2 provides optional, customizable alerts, now available on the app and the reader. The alerts have garnered praise since Libre 2’s release; people with diabetes can relax more easily knowing the system will notify them if their glucose levels rise or fall too far out of range.
LibreLinkUp makes alerts available on the smartphone, offering users some peace of mind without having to bring both devices whenever they leave home. Family members and caregivers can also download LibreLinkUp to receive alerts over the cloud. Beyond the app, the iCGM designation means that Libre 2 can integrate with other digital devices, such as smart pens or Bluetooth enabled smart pumps (automated pumps aren’t yet supported).
The FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor lasts 14 days and transmits data every minute, with a high accuracy rate. It requires a prescription that can be filled at most pharmacies. Like the rest of the line, Libre 2 costs less than other CGMs. The LibreLinkUp app is also free to download from the iOS store.