Comparing the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors

Table of Content

        • Introduction
        • How Do CGMs Work?
        • Similarities Between the Devices
        • Key Differences Between the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7
        • Final Thought

Introduction

For people with diabetes, having access to continuous, real-time data on glucose levels is critical for managing this chronic condition. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices have been life-changing for many, providing greater insight and control over blood sugar fluctuations. Two of the most popular CGMs on the market are the Freestyle Libre 3 by Abbott and the Dexcom G7. But how do you determine which one is best for you? This comprehensive guide compares all aspects of these two powerful diabetes management tools.

How Do CGMs Work?

The Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 use tiny sensors inserted just under the skin to track glucose levels constantly. These readings are then transmitted to a receiver or mobile device so users can monitor their levels in real time and spot patterns and trends. Having access to 24/7 data can empower diabetes patients to better control their blood sugar by adjusting their diet, activity, and medication. These devices also provide alerts for highs and lows and can prevent dangerous episodes of hypo and hyperglycemia.

Similarities Between the Devices

 While there are some key differences, the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 share some core features and capabilities. Both devices:

  • Use minimally invasive sensors worn under the skin to measure interstitial fluid glucose levels.
  • Provide real-time glucose data that can be accessed on a reader, receiver, or compatible mobile device.
  • Have accompanying mobile apps for monitoring data, trends, and alerts
  • Allow users to share data with caregivers and healthcare providers.
  • Are highly accurate systems that meet the latest standards for CGMs
  • Help diabetes patients better manage their blood sugar fluctuations and A1C.

Key Differences Between the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7

While the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 are both advanced CGMs, there are some important distinctions between these two options in terms of features and capabilities.

Sensor & Insertion

  • The Freestyle Libre 3 has a small, thin sensor inserted using a one-piece applicator on the back of the upper arm. It lasts 14 days before needing replacement.
  • The Dexcom G7 has a wider sensor inserted via an auto-applicator on the belly, upper buttocks, or back of the arm. It lasts 10 days before replacement.

Scanning & Monitoring

  • The Freestyle Libre 3 has a built-in scanner for direct sensor scans without entering codes. This allows for on-demand glucose checks whenever needed.
  • The Dexcom G7 requires users to check glucose levels using a dedicated receiver or mobile device connected to the sensor. Scans are not on-demand.

Alerts & Alarms

  • Both CGMs offer customizable alerts and alarms for detecting high and low glucose levels.
  • The Dexcom G7 also has an Urgent Low Soon alert that predicts hypoglycemia before it hits.

Display Devices

  • The Freestyle Libre 3 utilizes a dedicated handheld reader or the LibreLink mobile app.
  • The Dexcom G7 sends data to a receiver, mobile device, or integrated with systems like smartwatches—more display options.

Data Sharing & Remote Monitoring

  • The Freestyle LibreView app allows sharing of glucose data with up to 20 followers.
  • Dexcom G7 allows followers to get alerts and monitor a user’s levels in real-time remotely.

Cost Comparison

  • The Freestyle Libre 3 sensors cost approximately $75-100 for a 14-day supply. The reader is around $70.
  • The Dexcom G7 sensors average $350-400 for a 10-day supply. The required receiver is around $200.
  • Insurance coverage and negotiated rates can affect pricing for both systems.

Ease of Use

  • The Freestyle Libre 3 system is designed to be simple and easy to use, with scans requiring no calibration.
  • The Dexcom G7 is slightly more complex, with its sensors needing calibration twice daily using fingerstick readings.

Discreet Design

  • The small Libre 3 sensor is discreet when worn under clothing on the back of the arm.
  • The Dexcom G7 sensor is larger and more visible. But it can be rotated to less obvious sites.

Final Thought

In conclusion, the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 provide robust, continuous data for optimal diabetes management. Key factors like upfront and ongoing supply costs, insurance coverage, ease of scanning and use, sensor wear time, data sharing needs, and discretion should drive your decision between these two impressive CGM options. Analyze your needs and preferences to determine which system best fits your lifestyle and glucose control goals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences between the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors?

The main differences between the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors are:

  • Sensor and insertion: The Freestyle Libre 3 has a small, thin sensor inserted using a one-piece applicator on the back of the upper arm, while the Dexcom G7 has a wider sensor inserted via an auto-applicator on the belly, upper buttocks, or back of the arm.
  • Scanning & monitoring: The Freestyle Libre 3 has a built-in scanner for direct sensor scans without entering codes, while the Dexcom G7 requires users to check glucose levels using a dedicated receiver or mobile device connected to the sensor.
  • Alerts & alarms: The Dexcom G7 has an Urgent Low Soon alert that predicts hypoglycemia before it hits, while the Freestyle Libre 3 has customizable alerts and alarms for detecting high and low glucose levels.
  • Display devices: The Freestyle Libre 3 utilizes a dedicated handheld reader or the LibreLink mobile app, while the Dexcom G7 sends data to a receiver, mobile device, or integrated with systems like smartwatches—more display options.
  • Cost comparison: The Freestyle Libre 3 sensors cost approximately $75-100 for a 14-day supply, while the Dexcom G7 sensors average $350-400 for a 10-day supply.

How do the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors work?

The Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors work by using tiny sensors inserted just under the skin to track glucose levels constantly. These readings are then transmitted to a receiver or mobile device so users can monitor their levels in real-time and spot patterns and trends.

What are some key factors to consider when choosing between the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors?

Some key factors to consider when choosing between the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors include:

  • Upfront and ongoing supply costs
  • Insurance coverage
  • Ease of scanning and use
  • Sensor wear time
  • Data sharing needs
  • Discreet design

How do the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors help manage diabetes?

The Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors help manage diabetes by providing real-time glucose data that can be accessed on a reader, receiver, or compatible mobile device. They also have accompanying mobile apps for monitoring data, trends, and alerts, allowing users to better control their blood sugar fluctuations and A1C.

What are some potential drawbacks of using the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors?

Potential drawbacks of using the Freestyle Libre 3 and Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitors include:

  • Sensor accuracy issues
  • Calibration requirements
  • Cost
  • Discomfort or irritation from the sensor insertion
  • Potential for false alarms or false readings
  • Limited compatibility with other devices or systems.

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