Review of the FreeStyle Lite® and
FreeStyle Freedom Lite® Blood Glucose Monitoring System

Posted: April, 2012


The FreeStyle series of blood glucose meters from Abbott are essentially the same meter with a few distinct differences. The FreeStyle Freedom Lite® is larger and the Freedom Lite® has a few lights built in. If you push the light button on the FreeStyle Lite®, a backlight comes on to backlight the display. If you have a test strip inserted, a light shines toward the test strip end so you can see your testing site better. Those are the major differences between the two.

FreeStyle Lite FreeStyle Freedom Lite Freestyle Lite Glucose Test Strips Freestyle Alternate Test Locations

Lets talk about what they have in common. They both use the same FreeStyle Lite® Test Strip. Both meters provide a 7, 14 and 30 day blood glucose average. They both have a serial USB data port to export data to the CoPilot Health Management Desktop Software. They are both easy to use but they are slippery at times. I have used the FreeStyle Freedom Lite® for about a year. I have nothing bad to say except the darn thing has slipped out of my hand many times. Now people drop things, that is a fact of life, but shouldn't a device which is more than likely going to have more elderly people using than not have some rubber sides. Something to allow the user to get a good grip. I am not elderly, but during a low blood sugar episode last year I could not keep the meter in my hand. OK, At that point I guess I did not need a meter to tell me to drink some orange juice, but still. I think both meters are very good for Alternate Site Testing, in fact I think they are the best glucose meters for Alternate Site Testing.

FreeStyle Clarke Error Grid

Test Strips

The FreeStyle Lite® test strips need only a .3 micro liter drop of blood. In over 300 test I had zero errors. That is very impressive. If you do not get a large enough sample, you can re-prick and get more blood within 60 seconds of the first attempt. I think this is the only test strip with that feature. If you are someone who hates wasting strips these meters are for you. The Clarke Error Grid show the accuracy of the FreeStyle test strips when compared to a lab glucose test.

Hematocrit Correction

A recent hematocrit interference study to test the ability of blood glucose meters to correct for a range of Hematocrit levels concluded that the FreeStyle Freedom Lite failed to to accurately meet their standards.


FreeStyle Line Specifications
  FreeStyle Lite FreeStyle Freedom Lite
Assay (test) Method Coulometric Electrochemical Sensor Glucose Dehydrogenase (GDH) and ferrocene derivative or an osmium-based redox polymer. 1 Coulometric Electrochemical Sensor
Glucose Dehydrogenase (GDH) and ferrocene derivative or an osmium-based redox polymer 1
Automatic Shutoff Two Minutes after last user action Two Minutes after last user action
Display B/W LCD B/W LCD
Battery Life 500 Test 1000 Test
Calibration Plasma Equivalent Plasma Equivalent
Hematocrit Range 15% to 65% 15% to 65%
Measurement Units mg/dl mg/dl
Meter Storage Temp -4° to 140° F (-20°to 60° C) -4° to 140° F (-20°to 60° C)
Memory 400 Blood Glucose and Control with date and time 400 Blood Glucose and Control with date and time
Operating Relative Humidity 5% to 90% (non-condensing) 5% to 90% (non-condensing)
Operating Temperature 40° to 104°F (4° to 40° C) 40° to 104°F (4° to 40° C)
Power Source One #2032 3 volt Lithium - Replaceable One #2032 3 volt Lithium - Replaceable
Resulting Range 20 to 500 mg/dL 20 to 500 mg/dL
Sample Fresh capillary and venous whole blood Fresh capillary and venous whole blood
Sample Size .3 microliter (300 nanoliters) .3 microliter (300 nanoliters)
Size 1.57" W x 2.9" L x .65" D 2" W x3.3" L x .63" D
Weight 1.0 to 1.1 ounces (28.3 to 31.2 g) 1.4 to 1.6 ounces (39.7 to 45.4 g)

1 Wang, J (2007) Electrochemical Glucose Biosensors, 820

FreeStyle Lite® and FreeStyle Freedom Lite® are trademarks of Abbott Laboratories. Abbott Park, Illinois, U.S.A.

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What is a Nerdy Glucose Meter?

A nerdy glucose meter must allow for "alternate testing locations". This means no finger pricks. Nerds need their finger tips pain free to keyboard and swipe.

A nerdy meter must allow for data transfer to a computer or website for in-depth analysis and review. How a meter connects to a computer is also important.

The last part is optional based on the prior features, but it is really nice when a meter can record data other than date and time of a glucose reading.



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FreeStyle™ Blood Glucose Test Strip Performance


Recent headlines about cinnamon are the result of an accidental finding in a Maryland USDA research center. Incredibly, the catalyst was as American as good old apple pie, flavored with -- what else -- cinnamon. Scientists were testing the effects of various foods on blood sugar (glucose) levels. They expected the classic pie to have an adverse effect, but instead they found it actually helped lower blood glucose levels.

The researchers then took their surprising discovery and tested it in a small 60 patient study conducted in Pakistan, reporting in the journal Diabetes Care. All the patients had been treated for type 2, adult onset diabetes for several years and were taking anti-diabetic drugs to increase their insulin output. But they were not yet taking insulin to help process their blood glucose. The subjects were given small doses of cinnamon ranging from as little as a quarter teaspoon to less than 2 teaspoons a day for 40 days.

People with diabetes must take extra precautions while traveling. According to an article in USA Today, travelers with diabetes should keep the following tips in mind while traveling during the holiday season: