Health Canada has approved an upgrade to the FreeStyle Libre Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. The FreeStyle Libre 2 system continuously measures glucose data every minute with customizable, optional real-time alarms1 to alert users when their glucose is high or low without scanning.
Approved to for children (ages 4 and older) and adults with diabetes, this latest technology sustains excellent performance for up to 14 days, providing trends, insights and actionable data on a reader or with the FreeStyle LibreLink mobile app – all at the same price as the current FreeStyle Libre system.
Latest sensor-based glucose monitoring technology will be available in the coming months to more than 3.7 million Canadians with diabetes2.
Update: FreeStyle Libre 2 is Now Available in Canada
The Freestyle Libre 2 is available in Canada as of the week of March 22, 2021. The Libre 2 is now available to your local pharmacy or available online through Bayshore Pharmacies (Abbot Libre Canada) website.
I started using Libre 2 on April 10th, 2021. The process was pretty easy — my pharmacist had my doctor update my prescription and my private insurance did not give me any issues with Libre 2. So far, smooth sailing.
New Features Added to the FreeStyle Libre 2 include:
- Improved accuracy – the Freestyle Libre is the only CGM that measures glucose every minute, meeting the highest level of accuracy standards – taking 1440 readings per day. This is the highest number of daily readings in any CGM currently on the market. That’s five times more glucose readings than competitor brands.
- Optional, real-time alarms1 that measure glucose levels every minute, FreeStyle Libre 2 gives users the option to be alerted in real-time of critical events such as hypoglycemia (low glucose levels3) or hyperglycemia (high glucose levels4).
- The new system will be priced at the same cost as the current FreeStyle Libre system.
- Improved accuracy right from day 1. Studies by Abbott have shown a 9.1% mean absolute relative difference (MARD)
Want more quick information about the Libre 2. Read of Frequently Asked Questions about the Abbott Freestyle Libre 2 System. Read the post here.
What was approved?
Unlike Libre 14 day where the sensor was approved in mid-2017, and the App for iOS and Android made available almost 18 months later, Health Canada has approved the entire suite of Libre 2 products.
The approved devices include:
|Device name||Identifier first issue date||Device identifier|
|FREESTYLE LIBRE 2 (IOS)||2020-11-30||72086-01|
|FREESTYLE LIBRE 2 APP (ANDROID)||2020-11-30||72085-01|
|FREESTYLE LIBRE 2 READER KIT||2020-11-30||71970-01|
|FREESTYLE LIBRE 2 SENSOR KIT||2020-11-30||71993-01|
|FREESTYLE LIBRE SOFTWARE||2020-11-30||VERSION 1.0|
You can read a copy of the Health Canada Medical License webpage in the attached PDF here.
How FreeStyle Libre 2 Works
Using Bluetooth technology, when activated, the FreeStyle Libre 2 system automatically alerts users when their glucose is high or low without needing to scan the sensor.
Similar to Libre 1, the FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor is worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days and measures glucose every minute to help users and their healthcare providers make informed treatment decisions. With a one-second scan using FreeStyle LibreLink, a smartphone app, or handheld reader, users can see their glucose reading, trend arrow and eight-hour history. Users can also share data with their physicians or family members via the LibreLinkUp mobile app.
Abbott′s FreeStyle Libre 2 system utilizes the same proprietary wired enzyme technology as the FreeStyle Libre system.
What is a CGM and what are the benefits of using Libre 1 or Libre 2?
CGM allows you to monitor your glucose day and night without the need for traditional blood glucose finger tests. A CGM also allows you to see the trends and patterns in your glucose to help you and your diabetes team make more informed treatment decisions.
A real-world study published in the British Medical Journal shows that the use of FreeStyle Libre system over one year is often associated with improved quality of life and that work absenteeism rate and diabetes-related hospital admissions decreased by two thirds.
Read more about the benefits of using a CGM in our previous post on WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING A DEXCOM G6 OR FREESTYLE LIBRE CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITOR (CGM) FOR DIABETES CONTROL?
What is the PIN for Libre 2?
My pharmacist had trouble finding the PIN / DIN for Libre 2. For convenience here is information they may need.
Libre 2 Reader = 97799074
Libre 2 Sensor = 97799075
1 Notifications will only be received when alarms are turned on and the sensor is within 20 feet of the reading device.
2 Diabetes Canada. https://diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Backgrounder/2020_Backgrounder_Canada_English_FINAL.pdf. accessed November 24, 2020.
3 FreeStyle Libre 2 User Manual. Based on low glucose alarms set at 70 mg/dl.
4 FreeStyle Libre 2 User Manual. Based on high glucose alarms set at 180 mg/dl.
Hi Again Susan! If you have not heard — Libre 2 is not available through the Bayshore Store and through your local pharmacy. I cant wait to get a new sensor myself – I have one more Libre 14 day and then I will be moving over the the 2.
It’s official – Libre 2 will be available in your local pharmacy as early as the end of March, 2021.
That being said – it is still unknown how quickly private insurance companies will update their coverage to include the new glucose sensor or when Provincial health benefits will offer Libre 2.
From my perspective — one step at a time.
Is the storage time for the Libre 2 sensors still going to be limited to 8 hours? And will the sensors have BTLE only or also NFC?
Hey there! Much like the rest of us in Canada, I am still waiting to get my hands on my first Libre 2. That being said, based on the US version, yes there is still an 8 hour cap on data. For someone like me who enjoys sleeping in, 8 hours is not enough time. As for the sensor – they are a combination system. The BTLE is limited strictly to the high, low, and loss of signal alarms. You still need to scan the sensor once every 8 hours to pull the data from the Libre. However, one of the biggest advantages I see with the Libre 2 is accuracy. The new sensor makes a reading once every minute, so 5 times more frequently than the competition and Libre 14.
Just started using Free Style Libre and the app for my Samsung, look forward to the version 2.
Wondering about the accuracy of the scan, several scans said it was low. when I tested blood sugar via meter and strip showed normal range. any suggestions
Hi Cheryl! Much like you, I can’t wait to get my hands on the Libre 2.
Regarding accuracy – there are two points that come to mind from my use of the Libre 14 day system. The first, that the Libre is approved (at least in Canada where I live) to be within 20% of a blood glucose test. The two will never align as they are testing two different fluids (see nest point).
Secondly, With any CGM (Libre, Dexcom, etc) we need to remember that our sensors are not testing our blood but the interstitial also fluid below our skin. So numbers are delayed by about 10 mins between a finger test (blood) and when a similar reading would be found on our CGMs. This is particularly important when the trend line on your Libre is anything other than horizontal. The standard practice is finger test — wait 10 mins, then scan. If the difference is within 20% it’s considered accurate.
A third piece that, I have not been able to confirm, but intuitively makes sense is hydration. As the sensor reads the fluids under our skin, dehydration will impact the amount of fluid the sensor has to work with.
Typically I find my sensors around 0.5 – 0.75 (or 9-12) points off of a blood glucose test. If you are finding your sensors (taking into account the 10 min delay) are more then 20% off, give Abbott customer service a call as they are the official pros.
On the positive side, Libre 2 is suppose to be even more accurate than our Libre 14 as it is reading our interstitial fluids more frequently. Fingers crossed! Although, as my A1C estimated by Libre and my blood glucose A1C have been very close (less than 0.2% difference) – I am extremely happy with the system.
Hope this helps!
Almost 68 years ago – I was discharged from the Montreal Children’s hospital with not only Celiac Disease but Diabetes as well – 34months old- Am still here – would you please provide concrete directions as to whom I can contact in London Ontario to access a Freestyle Libre 2 – it is already well into ‘early 2021’. Thank you.
that’s in less than 2 weeks
Hi Susan! Much like you, I am a diabetic and also have Crohn’s disease. Unfortunately, I am also just a user like yourself, and waiting patiently to be able to upgrade from my Libre 14 day to Libre 2! The Abbott website is still showing coming soon. Much like any new product, the biggest tackle is getting governmental approval. Next will be ensuring adequate supply across the country and I also suspect, ensuring their supply of Libre 14 is used up. I’ll be sure to post an update as soon as I hear more.
Are you currently using Libre 14 day?