Freestyle-Libre-Lite Blood-Glucose-Monitoring-System

All About Freestyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System

FreeStyle, a product of Abbott Diabetes Care, is one the most well-known brands for diabetic patients. Over two decades ago, their traditional fingerstick glucose meters were the staple of their business. In 2017, the company introduced the FreeStyle Libre flash, a continuous glucose monitor, to the United States.

Abbott’s FreeStyle Lite fingerstick glucose meters (two types) and FreeStyle Lite testing strips have been around for many decades in the United States. The little butterflies easily identify these on the boxes and the test strips.

 

Our guide to FreeStyle Lite products is available in the United States. We provide information about key features, pros & cons, accuracy, user feedback, and where to buy.

 

What is FreeStyle Lite, exactly?

FreeStyle Lite provides blood glucose monitoring. This system was designed to be portable and compact to carry wherever you go.

It’s easy to test anywhere, day or night, with the help of the backlight light and test strip port lamp. It requires only a 0.33 microliter blood sample and allows you to choose from multiple testing locations. Results can be received within 7 to 14, 14, and 30-day intervals.

FreeStyle Lite comes in first place among the family of glucose monitors.

FreeStyle Lite meters – pros and cons

 

Pros

  • Just an exceedingly small amount of blood is required to be tested.
  • Meters are small but packed with features.
  • The FreeStyle Lite meter is a basic unit with a light source and a backlight. This allows you to see the readings even in darkness.
  • The meters allow for a 60 Second reapply of blood if the first sample isn’t sufficient.
  • The test strips have a unique ZipWik technology to wick blood inside the strips, making it easier to test.
  • It is easy to recognize products by including a butterfly on them.
  • Modern accuracy standards highly rate the system.

Cons

  • The lightweight and thin test strip design are difficult to manipulate and insert into a meter.
  • Insurance plans may not cover test strips because they can be very expensive.
  • FreeStyle Lite has been the subject of recalls in the past. This can lead to concern for people looking for older information online.

 

Who is FreeStyle-Lite for and why?

The FreeStyle® Lite is perfect if you live a busy life.

The Freestyle Family’s smallest meter, the Freestyle is compact enough for you to carry it anywhere. It can produce results in seconds. And the user-friendly features are easy to use. It does not require any coding and can store up to 400 results.

The FreeStyle Lite was built for comfort. The meter can take a small blood sample, and it uses the ZipWik tab on FreeStyle Lite blood sugar test strips. These were designed to easily wick blood into strips.

Alternate testing sites exist for when your fingers need some rest. These include the upper arm and forearm.

This brand has been around since 2007 and is the most well-known in the United States for glucose fingerstick meters. It’s very portable and compact, measuring 4.10x 2.60x 7.30 inches and weighing just 8.2oz. This meter requires only 0.3 microliters to take blood samples.

FreeStyle Lite is quick and easy to use. It can store up to 402 blood sugar results.

The meter automatically turns on when you place the test strip in the bottom port. The bottom button can be used for controlling the lights. This meter comes with a 3-volt lithium battery that can be replaced and is guaranteed to last approximately 500 tests.

The FreeStyle Lite supports LibreView Mac and Windows for analyzing and tracking your glucose data.

Since 2008, this modified version is now available.

This meter has the same features as the main meter and requires a blood sample of at least 0.3 microliters.

At only 4x2x7 inches and 4.8 ounces, the Freedom model is even compacter. It features a larger display that makes it easier for you to read but lacks the port and backlight of the FreeStyle Lite model.

The FreeStyle Freedom meter also has replacement 3-volt lithium batteries. But, in this meter, the battery lasts up to 1,000 tests.

FreeStyle Freedom works well with Abbott’s FreeStyle Auto Assist software.

Strips of freeStyle Lite testing

FDA approved FreeStyle Lite test strips in 2007. They have ZipWik buttons on each side. This little piece protrudes from the dark half-circle, where you apply your blood.

These tabs can be used to improve blood absorption. The ZipWik tab breaks down blood surfaces and instantly draws blood into the strip. It means you don’t need to scrape, smear or switch sides to get blood to register.t

As mentioned, these meters only require a tiny amount of blood. However, if you do not have enough blood, there is a 60-second window to apply more blood. It allows you to finish the test using the same ZipWick tab on the test strip.

Notice how these test strips’ marketing mentions “No Coding.” It means there is no need to insert code numbers into the strips to identify which batch. Today, it is a well-known industry standard, but it was a novelty when FreeStyle Lite strips were introduced.

You can purchase these FreeStyle Lite test strips at most pharmacies, drug stores, Amazon, and other internet stores.

 

Brand reputation

Abbott, a Healthcare company, produces the FreeStyle glucose monitors. They manufacture medical devices and other products related to nutrition and pain management, heart health, and mobility.

Millions can use the company’s products but need a better reputation. Trustpilot rates the company with a rating of 1.3 out of 5 stars. Users have given the company an average rating of one star. Lot of users complained about bad bad customer support experience.

Many customers left glowing reviews about the company, stating that they found the products reliable and straightforward.

 

Are FreeStyle Lite’s test strips accurate?

The short answer: is yes.

Researchers from the Diabetes Technology Society (DTS), a non-profit organization, found that FreeStyle Lite strips are amongst the top 5 most accurate meters and test strips in a 2018 review of 18 brands.

DTS Gold Standard requires that a DTS meter and test strip read within 15 percent, 15 mg/dL of independent laboratory values at a minimum of 95 percent. In multiple studies, only six brands passed this test for accuracy. Abbott’s FreeStyle Lite strips were among those that met this mark 96 % of the time.

It is important to remember that actual-life experience can make it difficult for test strips to be accurate. The effects of extreme temperatures, soiled fingers, and other factors can all cause readings to become skewed.

FreeStyle meters as well as test strips have been the subjects of numerous recalls throughout the years.

FreeStyle Flash meters (and test strips) and FreeStyle Flash meters were the focus of one of the most significant diabetes recalls. It was in 2014. Some other companies have also been in the news and received safety notifications, as these are not rare cases in the diabetes product market.

Prices and where to shop

You can find the FreeStyle Lite meters and test strips in most pharmacies and drug stores in person and online. The FreeStyle Lite meter essential is typically priced between $26 and $42, while the FreeStyle Freedom Lite meter is about $20 to $26.

Test strips are available in 50-count vials. There are also options to purchase multiple vials.

Cash prices differ depending on where they are purchased. These can be as low as $30 on Amazon or as high as nearly $100 at major retail pharmacies like CVS.

It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to confirm how many test strips they cover daily and if this brand is covered in their preferred network.

User Feedback

These are very well-received products, despite some critics pointing out inaccurate readings.

Amazon has rated the FreeStyle, Lite meter/case 4.6 out of 5 stars. Commenters praise it for being “better than others (glucometers), as it requires very little blood” and “easy and straightforward to operate.” The display is simple to read. Would purchase from them again.”

Amazon rates the FreeStyle Freedom Lite meter 4.6/5 stars. Users also love that the display can be seen clearly and is accurate. They also like it is effortless to use, even for a novice.

Amazon’s 4,700+ reviews have given the FreeStyle Lite strips an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. ZipWick technology was well-received by customers with comments like, “There are a drawing port and wick on either end of the strip which make it easy for both hands to use.” Even if the blood didn’t make it to the glucometer, you still have enough time for another one.

Some reviewers felt these strips were more expensive than other glucose test strips.

Alternative products

Abbott Diabetes Care currently sells two fingerstick meters in the United States, both bearing FreeStyle. They use different test strips and are named after the meters they serve.

  • FreeStyle Neo: This affordable meter has been available since 2015. It has a larger touchscreen LCD with simple, precise numbers and icons. It is slimmer and thinner than a regular AAA battery. It stores up to 1,000 readings. You can read our review of the product here.
  • InsuLinx Since 2012, this meter has had the ability to log insulin dosages and monitor blood sugar levels. It includes a touchscreen with an electronic logbook. It allows you to record blood glucose results, insulin doses (pre- and post-meal markers), exercise, and more. This model was the subject of a product recall in 2013, but these issues were fixed, and you can purchase it online from many retailers.
  • Many diabetes patients are now choosing to use a continuous sugar monitor (CGM), rather than a fingerstick. Abbott Diabetes Care offers the Abbott FreeStyle Libre flashlight glucose monitor. The user must wear a small sensor to their upper arm to obtain a glucose reading. We reviewed the FreeStyle Libre.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should your glucose meters be changed?

Some glucose meters may last as long as 10 years. But, to get the best readings possible and take advantage of the latest technologies, you will want to replace them every 3-5 years.

How do you use the strips for testing?

Place the test strip into your measuring device. Next, use your needle (lancet) to poke the finger. Apply the droplet blood to the test strip. Your meter may give you a reading in seconds.

Bottom line

The FreeStyle Lite meters and compatible test strips can be used easily and feature unique wicking technology. It makes it simple to check your blood sugar.

The meters are appreciated for their small size and helpful features. The strips are costly, but insurance plans can often cover them. They are readily available at pharmacies as well as online.

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