Abbott today announced the release of a new version of its popular FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor that can integrate with the t:slim X2 insulin pump, forming a “closed loop” automated insulin delivery system. For the first time, insulin pump users will be able to use a FreeStyle Libre sensor to automatically select and adjust insulin doses, expanding the options for people with diabetes to use the most advanced blood sugar management technology yet developed.
The new sensor is named the FreeStyle Libre 2 Plus, and it is the first sensor from the FreeStyle Libre family of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) that is ready for use in a closed-loop system. It could also immediately become one of the more affordable “looping” options on the market — Libre CGM sensors are typically priced lower than the offerings from competitor Dexcom.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 Plus is a new and improved version of Abbott’s popular FreeStyle Libre 2 CGM sensor. This sensor automatically provides a new blood glucose measurement every minute (no more “scanning”) and boasts an industry-leading wear time of 15 days.
Linking up with the Tandem t:slim X2 insulin pump, the new “hybrid closed loop system” will utilize Tandem’s popular Control-IQ algorithm, which uses blood sugar measurements to predict how much insulin a user requires. The Control-IQ system communicates between the CGM sensor and Tandem’s t:slim X2 insulin pump, automatically deciding when to give more or less insulin in order to keep a user’s blood sugar in a healthy range as often as possible. Control-IQ can adjust insulin rates every five minutes and suspend insulin delivery or deliver correction boluses to avoid hypo- and hyperglycemia. (To get the best results, users still need to make manual adjustments to insulin delivery rates to account for meals and factors such as exercise.)
Users of the FreeStyle Libre 3 system, which has the smallest sensors on the market, will still have to wait to sync up their CGM with an insulin pump. An Abbott spokesman could only confirm that the company was working with Tandem to integrate the Libre 3 with the t:slim X2 “as soon as possible.”
In a matter of weeks, the looping options for people with diabetes have greatly expanded. Abbott’s biggest competitor, Dexcom, recently announced that its own next-gen G7 sensor can now integrate with two insulin pumps, the t:slim X2 and the iLet.
Tandem users will be able to add FreeStyle Libre 2 Plus sensor integration for free; all it takes is downloading a software update, and all new customers will have the integration automatically enabled.
Your local pharmacy, however, may not have FreeStyle Libre 2 Plus sensors in stock. Abbott asks potential customers to call their customer care team (1-844-330-5535) to receive a list of durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers who will have the new sensors in stock.