Dexcom G5 Mobile Vs Freestyle Libre
I have been asked the question so many times, which do I prefer Freestyle Libre or Dexcom G5 Mobile? Here is a quick comparison of my personal experience with the two, what some of the differences are and which one is my favourite.
Flash vs Continuous
The Freestyle Libre, is a flash glucose monitoring system which allows you to scan the sensor, using a reader or android smart phone, and see up to 8 hours of blood glucose data.
The Dexcom is a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), continuously sending data to a receiver or smart phone and showing whether you are rising or falling and alerting you of Hyper or Hypoglycemia
The first difference that prompted me to purchase the Freestyle Libre initially, was the price. Luckily I am Android user, so was able to use my phone as the reader (eliminating the reader cost £57.95). One sensor lasts for 2 weeks costing £57.95, a monthly expense of approx. £115.90.
For me the biggest performance difference is the Dexcom sends alerts when your blood glucose are out of a set target range. When I started the Freestlye Libre I discovered I was suffering with nocturnal hypoglacemia with complete hypo-unawareness.
It was great that the Freestyle Libre showed me this once I woke up in the morning, but I began to get real hypo anxiety that one day I wouldn’t wake up at all. So the fact that the Dexcom alerts you in real time as the hypo is occurring, for me there is really no comparison. The Dexcom also shows you whether your blood glucose are rising/falling and at what rate.
I think the Dexcom App, “Dexcom G5 Mobile”, really lets the Dexcom down and currently isn’t comparison to the Freestyle Libre’s “LibreLink”.
The LibreLink allows you to see trends and reports right there in the App. Whereas, the Dexcom requires you to login into a separate webpage dashboard “Clarity”. I believe there is a Clarity App available in the US which hopefully will be available in the UK soon.
One issue with both devices, is phone compatibility. The LibreLink is only available on certain Android devices (click for LibreLink compatibility) and the Dexcom is available on IOS but only selected android devices (click for Dexcom G5 compatibility).
I operated the LibreLink with the Samsung S7 Edge and unfortunately then had to switch to the Samsung S7 in order to operate the Dexcom, which now isn’t compatible with the Freestlye Libre! I am sure as the technology advances, more devices will become compatible.
The Libre sensors last for exactly two weeks. However, even though the Dexcom sensor is only covered for a weeks usage, you are able to restart the sensor as many times as you like (depending on accuracy). Using GrifGrips or Rocktape to increase the longevity, I am able to use the same sensor for between 3-4 weeks on average.
With the recent NHS approval of the Freestyle Libre, I know this extraordinary technology will be available to more people. Flash Glucose monitoring is amazing, it’s great to see blood glucose trends and know your level with the flash of your phone (or reader). The Freestyle Libre definitely helped me to see trends and contributed to lowering my HbA1c.
However, for me, despite the high price tag and the lack of functionality in the App, I would chose the Dexcom every time. It has reduced my hypo anxiety and gives me peace of mind at night knowing that I will be woken up if my blood glucose fall below a safe level. Being able to see my blood glucose continuously and know whether I am rising or falling allows me to have tighter control of my diabetes and now I couldn’t live without My Dexy!