CGM for less than £200? Maybe, with #freestylelibre and #wearenotwaiting

CGM for less than £200? Maybe, with #freestylelibre and #wearenotwaiting
CGM for less than £200? Maybe, with #freestylelibre and #wearenotwaiting

CGM for less than £200. It sounds like a pipe dream doesn’t it? But assuming you already have the right phone, this may very soon be a possibility.

I’ve written a lot about the Freestyle Libre, both the ups and downs of it. I think it is a breakthrough technology and for the majority that have bought into it, it has also proved life changing. We’ve all been able to make major changes as a result. Whilst it isn’t yet available on the NHS in the UK, it is well worth the investment in my view and provides a great continuous data recording opportunity.

Thanks to those clever guys in the open source community, we may soon be at the point where the Libre sensor can function as the sensing part of a CGM as well. Whilst the hardware set up the product isn’t strictly for that, we’ve known for a while that if you could cycle an NFC reader on the sensor you could effectively create a CGM.

And now Joernl has done this. If you head over to GitHub there’s a page waiting for more information. He’s built it using Arduino, and NFC card and the same bluetooth communication protocols as the xDrip Wireless Bridge, and it will communicate with xDrip on an Android phone. His first model looks like this:

A few of us, having read the page and built the xDrip have pre-ordered components, which have started arriving, attempting to second guess the schematic:

I’m not 100% convinced by this form factor either, so my deliveries included some neoprene, with which I intend to make something a little more wearable…

Still, this is now out in the open and I can’t wait to have a go. The components cost around £25, I already have the tools and a phone that I can use, so in theory, it will be a very low cost conversion unit for the Libre sensor, and with my wearable plans, low enough profile not to interfere with normal clothing, while perhaps offering some protection to the sensor.

If we can get it going, then there we have it. CGM for under £200. One sensor and the reader will set you back £100 or so + postage. The kit to make the converter about £25. Bang. We might even get there for less than £150. Compare it to Dexcom at £1000 to get going and the world has changed. Alarm alerts for everyone (which are great overnight when worried about lows).

Based on what’s been done with the xDrip wireless bridge kit, we should also be able to create an easy to assemble kit that allows anyone to build one and manage liability, all done at cost. If you could buy an armband for your Libre for, let’s say £65, that turned it into a CGM, wouldn’t you? I most certainly would.

Looks like the world of blood glucose monitoring is about to change again, and as far as I am concerned, only for the better!


    • Hi Daniela, as mentioned in the article, you have to build it yourself, for all sorts of reasons, not least is liability.

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