FreeStyle Libre 2 and Smartphone Upgrades: What You Need to Know
Educational content related to CGM use is made possible with support from Abbott Laboratories, an active partner of Beyond Type 1 at the time of publication. Editorial control rests solely on Beyond Type 2.
Diabetes management has become easier with the use of medical technology like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGM). A CGM is a small wearable medical device that only needs to be applied once in a 10 to 14-day period (depending on the device) and can measure blood sugar levels continuously throughout the period of wear. CGMs are now even easier to use because you can pair them directly with a compatible smartphone, putting diabetes management in the palm of your hand. Abbott’s Freestyle Libre 2 (FSL 2) is one of the CGMs on the market that offers this feature!
The FreeStyle Libre 2 CGM can be worn on the back of your arm or torso and sends your blood sugar readings to a hand-held monitor in real-time with a quick scan. You can also send your FSL 2 readings directly to your phone and view your data in real-time!
The mobile app is available for Android and Apple phones.
Why Use the Mobile App?
Whether you’re still learning the ropes or have been managing diabetes for years, living with diabetes can be a handful. Carrying around a diabetes “diaper bag” of supplies is just one more thing to add to the list!
By using your CGM’s mobile app, you can ease the burden of tracking your blood sugar levels throughout the day by reducing the amount of supplies you carry around. Most people already have their phones on them at all times, so using the mobile app just makes sense. It also replaces the need to purchase a hand-held CGM receiver, eliminating another cost burden.
Although using a smartphone can make tracking your blood sugar levels more convenient, there are some hurdles that you may have to overcome to use a CGM mobile app.
Not All Smartphones Are Smart
Even though you may have a phone that is technically a “smartphone”, it still may not be compatible with the FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor.
The FSL 2 sensor uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your phone, but that means your phone needs to have a specific operating system for that connection to work. If you are purchasing a new phone, check to make sure it is compatible with your sensor. If it’s not, you’ll need to rely on the hand-held receiver instead.
Phone System Upgrades
Your phone may be compatible now, but that could change if your phone does a software upgrade. Android and Apple phones perform maintenance software upgrades regularly that can impact how your sensor connects with your phone.
If your phone does a software upgrade, the FSL 2 mobile app may show a pop-up notification indicating any compatibility errors. You can always turn off automatic updates and adjust your phone’s settings to not include the mobile app in upgrades.
What happens if I get a new phone?
If you do purchase a new phone that is compatible with your sensor, adding the mobile app will not carry over your old data. New data will be collected and shown on your new phone, and all of the data from your old phone will only be visible on the desktop app, LibreView.
Using the FreeStyle Libre 2 with the mobile app can make living with diabetes a bit easier.
Getting real-time readings from your sensor can help you make quicker decisions, like eating a snack to treat a low blood sugar or going for a walk to bring down a high. If you do use your smartphone with your sensor, always remember to keep your phone battery charged so you’re never left with a dead phone and have no idea what your blood sugar levels are doing!