Call: 954-398-4474

A Comprehensive Guide to Continuous Glucose Monitors vs. Flash Glucose Monitors

A Comprehensive Guide to Continuous Glucose Monitors vs. Flash Glucose Monitors

Blood glucose levels must be precisely and promptly monitored in order to effectively manage diabetes. To help in this process, two cutting-edge devices have emerged: flash glucose monitors (FGMs) and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). Both offer more thorough glucose data than conventional finger-prick tests, but their applications, user experiences, and functionalities are very different. To assist you in selecting the technology that best meets your objectives, this article examines these variations.

Overview of Flash Glucose Monitors (FGMs)

Intermittently scanned Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs, or FGMs for short, are continuous glucose monitors that only deliver data when needed. The FreeStyle Libre method is the most well-known form of FGM. FGMs and CGMs both use a tiny sensor that is implanted beneath the skin, but they differ in the way the data is displayed and retrieved.

The Mechanisms of FGMs

On-Demand Scanning

To get a glucose reading, users must manually scan the sensor using a reader or smartphone. This shows the glucose level as of right now along with a trend arrow that shows if it’s stable, growing, or declining.

No Constant alarms

Real-time alarms regarding high or low glucose levels are not provided by FGMs. To see their levels, users must scan the sensor.

Data Storage

FGMs keep track of past information that may be downloaded and examined at a later time. Although it may not provide the same instantaneous insights as Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs, this does enable for retrospective examination.

FGM Benefits


FGMs are more widely available since they are often less expensive than CGMs.

No Calibration

Finger-prick tests are not necessary for the majority of FGMs.


It takes only a few seconds to scan, and sensors can be worn for up to fourteen days.

FGM’s limitations

Lack of Real-Time alarms

For people who require ongoing supervision, the lack of alarms and continuous monitoring can be a disadvantage.

Manual Scanning

In order to get a glucose reading, users need to keep in mind to scan the sensor.

Less Immediate Data

Compared to Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs, FGMs do not offer the same amount of real-time data and analysis.

Overview of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs)

CGMs are cutting edge gadgets that offer continuous, real-time glucose monitoring day and night. They are made up of a tiny sensor that is placed beneath the skin to monitor the amount of glucose in the interstitial fluid, usually on the arm or belly. The sensor provides information to a transmitter, which connects to an insulin pump, smartphone, or receiver.

How CGMs Operate

Continuous Monitoring

CGMs collect glucose measurements periodically, often every one to five minutes, to provide continuous data. This continuous flow of data makes it easier to monitor glucose level trends and patterns.

Alerts and Alarms

The ability to set alerts and alarms for high or low glucose levels is one of the main features of Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs. By warning consumers to take action before levels reach dangerously low or high, these warnings can help avert dangerous hypoglycemia or hyperglycemic situations.

Data analytics

CGMs provide in-depth reports, trend graphs, and statistical insights using apps or software that analyzes large amounts of data. This supports users’ and healthcare professionals’ decision-making on the management of diabetes.
Benefits of Continuous glucose monitoring

Real-Time Data

A dynamic picture of glucose levels is provided by constant updates.

Preemptive Warnings

imely interventions are made possible by alarms for both hyper- and hypoglycemia.

Detailed Views

Comprehensive data analysis facilitates comprehension of the impact of lifestyle factors on glucose levels.

CGM Restrictions


Insurance coverage varies and CGMs can be costly.


Finger-prick tests must be used on a regular basis for certain models.

Insertion of the Sensor

Some users may find the insertion procedure painful.

Important Distinctions Between FGMs and CGMs

On-Demand vs. Continuous Monitoring

The way glucose data is provided by Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs and FGMs is the main distinction between them. While FGMs need to be manually scanned in order to receive readings, CGMs provide continuous, real-time monitoring. This distinction affects how consumers engage with the gadget and day-to-day diabetic care.

Notifications and Alarms

By warning users of potentially hazardous glucose levels, CGMs’ customisable warnings and alarms for hypo- and hyperglycemia offer an extra degree of security. This trait is absent from FGMs, which might be important for people who are prone to abrupt swings in blood sugar levels.

Analysis and Accessibility of Data

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) offers real-time analysis of continuous data, revealing patterns and trends in glucose levels both during the day and at night. Having this much information can be especially helpful when deciding on insulin dosage, food, and exercise. FGMs, on the other hand, only produce data when the sensor is scanned, providing useful information for retrospective analysis but less immediate insight.

Necessities for Calibration

For many CGMs, maintaining accuracy requires routine finger-prick calibration, which adds a step that may be extra for users. Since most FGMs don’t need to be calibrated, using them is made easier, but this could compromise accuracy when compared to Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs that are properly calibrated.

Price and Availability

Generally speaking, FGMs are less costly than Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs, both in terms of the initial device cost and the recurring sensor costs. For many users, especially those without full insurance coverage for diabetic technology, this makes FGMs a more viable option.

Wearability and Simplicity of Use

Although carrying a sensor on the body is a need for both FGM and CGM, the user experience may vary. While FGMs offer longer sensor wear durations and no calibration, CGMs may require more frequent sensor swaps and possible calibration.

Explore More What Factors Should You Consider When Buying Continuous Glucose Monitors?

Selecting Between FGM and CGM

The decision between a FGM and a CGM is based on the needs, choices, and circumstances of each individual. To aid in decision-making, take into account the following factors:

Real-Time Data Requirement

A CGM is a better choice if you need real-time alerts and continuous monitoring to effectively manage your diabetes.

Regarding Costs

If cost is your top priority, a FGM may be less expensive while still offering useful glucose data.

Lifestyle and Convenience

Take into account how each gadget will fit into your everyday schedule. An FGM might be appropriate if you would rather not to worry about calibrations and can remember to scan on a frequent basis. A CGM would be better if you require continuous monitoring without the need for manual intervention.

Advice from Doctors

To find out which gadget best suits your medical needs and treatment plan, speak with your healthcare professional.

In summary

In comparison to conventional finger-prick tests, Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and Flash Glucose Monitors (FGMs) provide substantial improvements by giving comprehensive glucose information to support diabetes management. The primary distinction between CGMs and FGMs is in the way they provide data: Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs offer continuous, real-time monitoring and alerts, while FGMs only provide on-demand readings without alerts. It can be helpful to know these distinctions in addition to cost, convenience, and personal taste when selecting the gadget that will help you achieve your diabetes control objectives.