How Sensors and Insulin Pumps Connect Diabetes Care

Continuous glucose monitors and insulin delivery systems are coming together to make diabetes care easier.

DIABETES CARE|Mar.25, 2024

Some things simply make sense as a pair, because coming together leads to something great. For people living with diabetes and using insulin, one pair to consider is a sensor and an insulin pump.

A pump that connects to an automated insulin delivery (AID) system. A connected insulin pen or a smart pen cap. When you pair this type of technology up with the sensor on a powerful CGM, it’s like plugging a guitar into an amp. You’re ready to be a rock star.

Sensors help take the guesswork out of insulin dosages by telling an insulin pump or smart pen to adjust automatic insulin dosages based on your real-time glucose levels. Less guesswork means more time living life and being in the moment.

This is bigger than just a Bluetooth connection. It’s the kind of breakthrough our FreeStyle Libre portfolio of CGMs was built for — and here’s how it works.

How CGMs Can Help People Living with Diabetes who are on Intensive Insulin Therapy

Insulin therapy is a critical management tool for people living with Type 1 diabetes because it replaces the insulin their body doesn’t make. Some people with Type 2 diabetes are also prescribed insulin therapy to keep their glucose levels within a healthy range.

This is where CGMs and AID systems can come into the picture to help ease the burden of managing diabetes. For example, when your CGM alerts you that your glucose levels are outside of your normal range, an AID helps deliver insulin into the bloodstream. Some insulin pumps can also slowly release insulin during the day, which can decrease the number of injections needed.

“An AID system is considerably more convenient since you don’t need to constantly check glucose levels and calculate basal insulin dosages,” said Dr. Mahmood Kazemi, chief medical officer for Abbott’s diabetes care business. “Because it’s an automatic process, people can feel more confident in spending time focusing on other things in life — including resting. While you sleep, a CGM and AID system are still working together to monitor glucose levels and administer insulin.”

In the U.S., our FreeStyle Libre 2 Plus sensor partners with Tandem’s t:slim X2 insulin pump. It delivers accurate readings and convenience: People only need two sensors a month, which saves time and money. In some countries in Europe, our FreeStyle Libre 3 sensor partners with the mylife™ Loop solution from Ypsomed and CamDiab, giving people the ability to manage their AID through a smartphone.

Jason Losk, an individual who is living with Type 1 diabetes and who works in Abbott’s diabetes care business, describes his combo of the Tandem tSlim pump and FreeStyle Libre 2 Plus as life changing.

“It gives me freedom to manage my diabetes more effectively. I can’t imagine living without it,” he said. “My blood sugars are now stable, and my A1C is now at its lowest level in nine years. The FreeStyle Libre 2 Plus sends my glucose readings automatically every minute,1,2 and the pump adjusts my insulin levels according to where my readings are. And I’ve checked … the readings are really accurate.”

Connecting these health tech devices can help give people confidence and more control over their diabetes management journey. It all starts with the CGM at the center: Once you know more about your glucose levels, you can better predict and prevent high and low blood sugar.

CGMs and Connected Insulin Pens: Bringing Convenience Back

We take convenience for granted sometimes. In the context of managing diabetes, though, convenience is something you want to pair with it — it’s what increases your ability to get back to everyday life.

And that convenience can come in the shape of a pen.

Connected insulin pens can enable people with diabetes to view their insulin data so they can determine the right amount of insulin they need when they’re experiencing high or low blood sugar, which prevents confusion about when to dose insulin. They’re a helpful injection device that can include a variety of features, like tracking the amount of insulin in your body or alerting you if it senses a missed insulin injection time.

FreeStyle Libre’s LibreLink3 app and LibreView4 app integration with Novo Nordisk and its connected insulin pens are available in some countries outside of the U.S. And there’s more to come thanks to our partnerships with more diabetes and digital health tech companies.

“Our FreeStyle Libre portfolio of products is at the center of this new era of diabetes management," said Dr. Kazemi. "We have a number of partners that will allow us to team up with leading insulin pump companies across the world, allowing for an integrated experience that streamlines and improves daily diabetes management for people on insulin therapy.”

That was the case for Jasmine Jaffar. The fact that our NovoPen integration helped remove the guessing game around her glucose levels (and what effect insulin had on her body) was crucial.

“It took such a weight off my shoulders to have that convenience,” she said.

CGMs and Smart Pen Caps: Putting Information in Your Hands

It’s possible to go smaller than a pen. Introducing: smart pen caps that can also help people manage their diabetes.

Smart pen caps are similar to connected insulin pens. They’re another real-time partner option that can help with multiple daily injection therapy, which is when a person with diabetes takes in insulin three or more times per day. When these connected pen caps are paired up with a CGM, they can help capture and upload dosing information. They can also integrate easy-to-read displays that let you see important information that can inform your dose, such as a recommended long-acting dose amount or the time since you last injected insulin.

Our 2023 acquisition of Bigfoot Biomedical led to a close pairing of two leaders in the diabetes space. Bigfoot Unity® is a smart insulin management system that features the first and only FDA-cleared connected insulin pen caps that pairs up CGM data with your physician’s instructions to provide insulin dosing recommendations that appear on the pen cap’s display. It works with our FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor, which means that people with diabetes have their glucose data on hand too when they’re determining their insulin dose.

CGMs and insulin delivery systems: When paired up for someone who has diabetes, they offer the freedom to focus more on life and less on the details of managing a chronic disease.

It's a connected tech combination that simply makes sense.

Jason is an employee of Abbott. Jasmine is a paid ambassador for the FreeStyle Libre portfolio. The views expressed should not be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice. Individual symptoms, situations and circumstances may vary.


1 FreeStyle Libre 2 Plus sensor connects via Bluetooth to the Tandem t:slim X2 insulin pump. Glucose data is visualized on the t:connect mobile app and t:slim X2 insulin pump every minute.
2 Based on product features including up to 15-day wear period, automatic readings every minute and accuracy data.
3 The FreeStyle LibreLink app is only compatible with certain mobile devices and operating systems. Please check the website for more information about device compatibility before using the app. Use of FreeStyle LibreLink requires registration with LibreView. Automatic upload requires a wireless internet connection or mobile data connection.
4 The user’s device must have internet connectivity for glucose data to automatically upload to LibreView. The LibreView data management software is intended for use by both patients and healthcare professionals to assist people with diabetes and their healthcare professionals in the review, analysis and evaluation of historical glucose meter data to support effective diabetes management. The LibreView software is not intended to provide treatment decisions or to be used as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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