Over the last 18 months I have made no secret of the fact I had concerns the Freestyle Libre was making my control over my blood sugars worse. A mixture of inaccuracies within the system and complacency on my part meant I was considering stopping using it completely and returning to finger pricks. I won a giveaway on Instagram last November and was given a MiaoMiao 1 to use with my Libre. I loved the idea of it, but if I’m perfectly honest I just couldn’t get on with it. The system just did not work at the time and I quickly moved on to use the Bubble Libre converter to give me alarms instead.
Last month MiaoMiao asked me if I would consider trialling their newer device, the MiaoMiao 2, and giving my honest opinion. I would be lying if I said I didn’t go in to this with a decent amount of skepticism after my previous experience, but as always I was willing to give it a try.
What Is The MiaoMiao 2 CGM?
In very simple terms, the MiaoMiao 2 is a device that you attach to your Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitor that will then give you alarms in the same way a traditional continuous glucose monitor does. It essentially converts the Libre into a CGM and sends the data directly to your phone (or watch) with alarms for when your blood sugar is high or low.
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The app allows you to customise your target range, at what stage it should considering your blood glucose levels out of range and even snooze the alarms when they get a bit much. You can also set up followers, so if you are a parent of a child with diabetes you can view their graphs on your phone too for peace of mind when they’re at school or with friends.
The MiaoMiao is designed to last for years, with a 1 year guarantee. You don’t need a new one for each Libre sensor, you just peel it off and place it on to the next one. It is compatible with the Libre 1, Libre 1-10 day, Libre 2 and Libre-pro/H sensors.
What Do You Get In The Box?
The MiaoMiao 2 comes in a very small box. Inside you will find:
- MiaoMiao 2 device
- Charging cable
- 20 adhesive stickers
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MiaoMiao 2 Set-Up
As there were no instructions with the MiaoMiao I imagine most people would be a bit stumped at first. You can access the official instructions online here, but it is actually very simple when you know how. As I have used 2 similar devices before I was confident that I knew what to do.
Using a pin (the device for getting a sim card out of an iPhone is perfect for this) you press the small reset button on the MiaoMiao. You then place it on charge. There is a light that flashes blue when it is charging and changes to green when fully charged.
Once you have charged it you place it on the sensor using the adhesive and then use the app to link it. You will then start getting readings pretty much immediately.
MiaoMiao 2 Tomato App
There are a couple of apps that you can use with the MiaoMiao, however I have only ever used the Tomato app. My main reason for stopping using the MiaoMiao 1 last year was inconsistencies with the app, as it continually lost connection which rendered my alarms pointless. This time around it has been a completely different story.
I really liked the usability of the Tomato app, so instead of jumping straight in to using xDrip+ for iOS like I did with the Bubble I decided to give Tomato one more try. It has been nearly 3 weeks since I connected my MM2 and in that time I can’t recall a single time that it lost connection. Not once. Tomato’s reliability is now so much better than it was before, and I really appreciate the work the team have done to make sure they are delivering the best product.
Within Tomato you can calibrate the readings. This is the thing that makes the MiaoMiao 2 truly invaluable to me, as I find the readings on the Libre very innaccurate. The trend line is the same, but the actually readings are 2-3 mmol/l below what I finger prick shows. I do a finger prick every night and calibrate the app, and I have found that after the 2nd day of a sensor the finger prick is usually very close to the reading Tomato is giving.
Using the app you can also set readings to show on your smart watch. For some reason I am not able to do this using the Tomato app, but I know many who are. It shows me out of date readings from last year, and so instead I have it set up as an event in my calendar. I would love it to work “properly”, but actually the way I am doing it works just fine.
There is also a premium plan for Tomato which gives you access to advanced insights, however I have not had access to it and at the price of $25 annually I don’t really feel it is necessary.
Within Tomato you can customise you alarms. You can choose to have a sound or just a vibrate, which if you’re working in an office or are somewhere quiet like the theatre could be really useful. You can then choose to have any of the following alarms switched on:
- Above 13.9 mmol/L
- Above high target
- Below low target
- Below 3.9 mmol/L
- Fast rise
- Fast drop
- MM disconnected
- Cannot read sensor
- Sensor failure
- Battery low
You can also snooze the alarms for either 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours. I often snooze an alarm once I’ve dealt with a hypo or high to give it time to sort out without an alarm every 5 minutes.
If there was one thing I wish I could do with the alarms it is change the alarm sounds. Being able to distinguish between a blood glucose reading that is above target or one that is above 13.9 mmol/L without having to look at my phone or watch would be really useful with the kids around. It would mean I could choose the urgency at which to take action.
Using The MiaoMiao 2 Daily
I’ll admit I had some concerns about the MiaoMiao 2 battery life before I tried it. I had read about people charging every couple of days, and I just couldn’t see how that would be practical. However, I have not found it a problem at all.
With my first Libre sensor I changed phones around a week after attaching the MiaoMiao and so had to rebind it. I took that time to charge the MM – but really it didn’t actually need it yet. I still had 10% of battery life left I changed sensors at the end of the 14 days which I didn’t think was bad at all.
I currently have the MM2 attached to my next Libre sensor. It has been on for 3 days and still has 100% of the battery. I am curious to see how far I can get with this one.
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I have always struggled with contact dermatitis and over the last year my list of allergens has expanded to include more the the substances included in adhesives. I am SO glad to say that I do not react to the MiaoMiao CGM adhesive.
The MiaoMiao 2 stays stuck for the full 14 days with no problem. Unlike the MM1, the MM2 covers the whole Libre which really helps it to stay stuck down fully. Pulling clothes on and off, kids climbing on top of me and 3 or 4 workouts a week – it stayed stuck through it all.
The only situation I haven’t fully tested it in is water. I have showered with no problems but due to the current restrictions I haven’t got it in to the pool yet to see how the adhesive is after an extended period in water.
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Does It Get In The Way?
Having things stuck to me is the norm these days. Between the Libre and my insulin pump I am no stranger to diabetes tech, and if you are considering buying a MiaoMiao then you are probably the same. That said – looking at pictures of the MiaoMiao on people you can’t help but think it looks a bit bulky.
The MM2 doesn’t stick protrude out from your arm more than a few millimetres more than your Libre does. It comes down the arm further, but it doesn’t get in the way and honestly I don’t notice it any more than I do my Libre.
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Does The MiaoMiao Reduce hbA1c?
Now that is a bit of a loaded question, and I’ve no doubt that it could spark quite a bit of debate. I am aware that we are all different in how our bodies react, but for me I would full credit MiaoMiao with a drop in my hbA1c.
With the current restrictions in place I haven’t had any blood tests recently, but at my previous test after starting to use the Libre again but before converting it to a CGM my hbA1c had gone up. It was still within my clinics targets, but at the top end and not at a place I was happy with. The ability to calibrate the MiaoMiao has made a huge difference and it means I am correcting my blood sugars when they are just out of target rather than waiting until they are quite high.
It’s not a perfect solution by any stretch, and at around £135 GBP it is not a cheap solution either. But to me it is worth every penny.
MiaoMiao Discount Code
If you would like $10 off the price of your MiaoMiao then click here to get my discount code. I receive a small commission on your order.
I was sent a MiaoMiao 2 CGM in order to carry out this review. All words and opinions are my own.
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