The Libre blood testing kit is a sensor that sticks onto your arm with a needle sitting just under the skin that monitors your blood sugar 24/7. All you have to do is hover the testing kit over it and it tells you what your blood sugar is. Pretty great, right?
The initial appeal for me was not having to prick my finger and squeeze out blood like some kind of human Frube. But soon into the trial I soon realised that the sensor did much more than that.
A regular blood testing kit gives you your blood sugar level as a static reading at that moment in time. Even the latest and shiniest tester will have some level of discrepancy. I’ve used the same blood-testing kit 2 or 3 times in a minute and I’ve found there certainly is a level of fluctuation in the readings.
The Libre gives you the current reading but also the trajectory on which you’re heading. This could be the degree to which your blood sugar levels are increasing or decreasing, or letting you know if your blood sugar is in a steady state. Which is pretty amazing.
I’d never known what my blood sugar was doing over night. At best I could find out just before I went to sleep and as soon as I woke up. The Libre offers you detailed graphs of your blood sugar 24 hours a day. It also allows you to enter carbs consumed and units of insulin administered to give detailed reports when you download the data.
Compared to regular blood testers this is a saturation of information and all you have to do is hover a tester over your arm. It even works through clothes and developers in Germany are working on an app that means you’d be able to scan the sensor with an android phone.
The huge technological advances of the past decade are beginning to filter through to the world of healthcare and the world of diabetes management.
It’s all very well Google developing a contact lens that reads your blood sugar through your eye and transmits this to your phone. But this is one thing to happen in the deep dark depths of an Alphabet research lab, a completely different animal is bringing this product to market for public use.
In that respect what Libre have done is undoubtedly ground breaking and I’m sure has been years in the making. However they need to work on the practical side, developing the user experience of wearing the sensor for two weeks.
My first sensor came out of my arm when I brushed past my bedroom door and my second simply wasn’t sticky enough, even with the helping hand of two plasters I bodged over the top. I wonder how many Libre employees stuck it onto their arm and lived with it for a fortnight before bringing this product to market.