Impact of factory-calibrated Freestyle Libre System with new glucose algorithm measurement accuracy and clinical performance in children with type 1 diabetes during summer camp

Pediatr Diabetes. 2021 Mar;22(2):261-270. doi: 10.1111/pedi.13135. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


Background: Factory-calibrated intermittently-scanned Continuous Glucose Monitoring (isCGM) device FreeStyle Libre (FSL) has recently received improvements in its glucose tracking algorithm and calibration procedures, which are claimed to have improved its accuracy.

Objective: To compare the accuracy of two generations of 14-days FSL devices (A in 2016, B in 2019) to self-monitored blood glucose measurements (SMBG) in children with type 1 diabetes in real-life conditions during a summer camp.

Materials and methods: Two largely independent groups of youth with type 1 diabetes took part in summer camps. In 2016 they used FSL-A, in 2019 FSL-B. On scheduled days, participants performed supervised 8-point glucose profiles with FSL and SMBG. The accuracy vs SMBG was assessed with mean absolute relative difference (MARD) and clinical surveillance error grid (SEG).

Results: We collected 1655 FSL-SMBG measurement pairs from 78 FSL-A patients (age 13 ± 2.3 years old; HbA1c: 7.6 ± 0.8%) and 1796 from 58 in FSL-B group (age 13.8 ± 2.3 years old, HbA1c: 7.5 ± 1.1%)-in total 3451 measurements. FSL-B displayed lower MARD than FSL-A (11.3 ± 3.1% vs 13.7 ± 4.6%, P = .0003), lower SD of errors (20.2 ± 6.7 mg/dL vs 24.1 ± 9.6 mg/dL, P = .0090) but similar bias (-7.6 ± 11.8 mg/dL vs -6.5 ± 8 mg/dL, P = .5240). Both FSL-A and FSL-B showed significantly higher MARD when glycaemia was decreasing >2 mg/dL/min (FSL-A:22.3 ± 18.5%; FSL-B:17.9 ± 15.8%, P < .0001) compared with stable conditions (FSL-A: 11.4 ± 10.4%, FSL-B:10.1 ± 9.1%) and when the system could not define the glycaemic trend (FSL-A:16.5 ± 16.3%; FSL-B:15.2 ± 14.9%, P < .0001). Both generations demonstrated high percentage of A-class and B-class results in SEG (FSL-A: 96.4%, FSL-B: 97.6%) with a significant shift from B (decrease by 3.7%) to A category (increase by 3.9%) between generations (FSL-A: 16/80.4%; FSL-B:12.3/85.3%, P = .0012).

Conclusion: FSL-B demonstrated higher accuracy when compared to FSL-A However, when glycemia is decreasing or its trend is uncertain, the verification with a glucose meter is still advisable.

Keywords: accuracy; children; flash glucose monitoring; freestyle libre; intermittently-scanned continuous glucose monitoring; real-life; summer camp; type 1 diabetes.