FreeStyle LibreLink App Now on iPhone and Android in 12 European Countries
By Emma Ryan, Brian Levine, and Adam Brown
App allows FreeStyle Libre sensor users to monitor blood sugar on their smartphone without a separate reader. Tools also available for sharing glucose data with caregivers and providers
Abbott just launched its FreeStyle LibreLink app; it’s now available in 12 European countries (see below!) on the iPhone 7 or later and Android phones. FreeStyle LibreLink allows FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose sensor users to read their blood sugar data directly on a smartphone – no separate handheld reader device required. Just like the current reader device, the app allows users to start a new sensor and to obtain a real-time blood sugar reading and trend arrow at any time by “scanning” the sensor (i.e., holding the phone within a few inches of the on-body patch).
How does the LibreLink app work?
Watch Abbott's video above to get a look at the app’s features and appearance. “Scan, reveal, connect.” That’s pretty much it! A particularly cool feature is that the app displays blood sugar levels in the context of activites that users can enter, allowing more information on how certain activities impact diabetes management.
Two cautionary notes:
To obtain a reading, the FreeStyle LibreLink app must be open on screen, meaning it cannot be used from the lock screen.
Like the current reader device, the FreeStyle LibreLink app does not communicate continuously with the sensor – the sensor must be scanned at least once every eight hours to obtain uninterrupted glucose data.
Where can I get the new app?
FreeStyle LibreLink is free and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Abbott does plan to expand the launch globally, but has not shared specific timing details for FreeStyle LibreLink’s availability in the US or outside of Europe.
Anticipation is high, judging by these comments to Abbott’s Facebook reveal of the FreeStyle LibreLink app:
What are the new features?
FreeStyle LibreLink will replace the Android-only app, launched in 2015 and called “LibreLink.” This older version will be discontinued this year, so Android users who currently have “LibreLink” will need to switch to Abbott’s new “FreeStyle LibreLink” app.
FreeStyle LibreLink can either replace the FreeStyle Libre reader or be used in combination with it. If you want to toggle between the two, you must start a new sensor with the reader (not the app).
With this app’s launch, Abbott has also added some improved features over the reader:
Text-to-speech glucose readings, which may be valuable for visually-impaired users
Ability to log smaller insulin doses (0.1 units instead of 0.5)
Support in 26 languages
The app also lets people share their data. Users can manage their glucose data and share it with healthcare providers through the cloud-based LibreView platform, while a companion app, LibreLinkUp, lets family members or caregivers to remotely monitor the wearer’s blood sugar data. LibreLinkUp is available in the same 12 European countries as FreeStyle LibreLink.
For more information about how FreeStyle Libre works and how it’s different from other continuous glucose sensors, read our 2015 test drive of the European version. If you’re in the US, get details about the launch last fall here.