Another week, another opportunity to hang out with some Aussie diabetes bloggers and advocates. I’m back in Sydney for today and tomorrow, facilitating Abbott’s third Australian Diabetes Exchange meeting. You can follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Insta at #D2Sydney2018. (And you can read about previous DX events here and here.)

The timing of the event coincides with the launch of Abbott’s Freestyle LibreLink app, which allows Freestyle Libre users to use their mobile phone (Android or iPhone) as the scanner for their Libre sensor. That’s right, point phone at Libre sensor, swipe, glucose level appears on phone screen. This means no need to carry the reader with you.

Freestyle LibreLink launches in Australia on 5 June, so it won’t be available until then, but we’ve been able to have a little play today to see how it works. The app provides pretty much the same information as the reader, so as well as current glucose readings and the previous eight hours of data, there are screens that show averages, time in range, and predictive HbA1c. It’s easy to use, looks clean, and for anyone already familiar with the Libre reader, the transition to phone-as-scanner should be smooth.

I am all about making diabetes easier. I frequently say that I lament the days when I could run out the door with my phone, keys and wallet and nothing more. Diabetes doesn’t really allow us to do that, thanks to all the paraphernalia we need to carry with is. While we still will need to carry lots of kit, by doubling up our mobile phone as a sensor scanner, we are able to take one thing less with us in our (oversized) diabetes kit bag.

Now, I have been doing this for some time. I’ve been using Dexcom G5 since it was launched in Australia, and Loop since August last year, so my phone is as much a medical device as it is a Twitter machine. But I was paranoid at first that my phone battery would die and I would be unable to check my glucose levels. It’s happened maybe twice.

Some things to think about if you are new to the phone-as-receiver-of-glucose-data. Charge your battery to capacity before you leave the house. Have a charger with you at all times. (I have one in my car, one at work and one in my bag). Consider carrying a battery pack – and don’t forget you need to charge that too if you want it to be of any use. There are cases which double as a back-up battery. Consider investing in one of them. And if you are worried that you are going to be caught short, chuck the reader in your bag until you get the hang of having your phone charged at all times!

Some people may think this is a gimmick, but I firmly believe that is not the case. Having our current non-diabetes technologies become part of our diabetes gear makes sense. We want things to talk to each other, and this is exactly what this is doing. We’re seeing it more and more.

Reducing burden, making diabetes less a pain in the arse and finding ways to make things easier. I’m all for that!

Want more information about Freestyle LibreLink? Keep an eye out on the Abbott Diabetes Care website here.

Disclosure

Abbott Diabetes Care have paid for my travel, food and board while in Sydney. They provided me with one Freestyle Libre sensor and advanced access to the Freestyle LibreLink app. (However, I will be deleting it tomorrow at the end of the DX2Sydney 2018 event as it is not available for use until it is launched on 5 June 2018.)

As is always the case, I have not been paid, or asked, to write about product or this event. I’m just a caring, (over) sharing type of person.

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