Snow White banner
Meeting Mickey EPCOT Aug 18 banner
Nikki banner

Why aren’t Dexcom Sharing….?

October 27, 2014 | 9:04 pm

Despite the slightly antagonistic title to this blog post, I’m not setting out to ‘have a go’ at Dexcom as I write this. I simply want to voice our disappointment that the new Dexcom Share accessory won’t be coming to the UK, and perhaps provoke some debate that might get them to change their minds!

By way of background, please have a look at this video.

For readers new to my blog (where have you been?), you will find definitions of my sons Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and our experiences to date with it elsewhere on this blog. I won’t go into all the advantages of Dexcom and CGM here. For now, I’m focusing on the next phase of this technology.

The one area that we would like improved is the remote communication of his CGM data. Until the CGM and his pump talk to each other intelligently (The Artificial Pancreas), it still needs someone to make a call when his levels change. During the day, Sam does this himself, as he carries the Dexcom receiver on his belt at all times. He can just see his Bg’s and react. At night however, when he is asleep, then this role falls to Nikki and myself. If we could have a monitor by our bedside that talked to his CGM, we’d all get more (and improved) sleep!

Last year, Medtronic released their mySentry monitoring accessory – basically a screen that sits on a parents bedside table and shows them their child’s Bg level. When Nikki and I first saw this, it seemed like the next step in Sam’s care. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with Sam’s Roche pump or his Dexcom CGM system, so that wasn’t really on the menu for us. What it did do was open our eyes to the possibility! Not long after, we heard about the ‘CGM in the Cloud’ project – essentially a home brew project that’s run by volunteers who have managed to ‘crack’ the software on a Dexcom CGM and get it talking to a mobile phone app. This app then pushes the Dexcom readings up to the Cloud where they can be viewed on any device that has a browser. This has since become known as the ‘NightScout‘ product – that I am led to believe is a very well received and supported project.

I didn’t pursue this option at the time. A combination of things put me off. When I researched it, the setup seemed quite complicated (to my layman’s eyes). It isn’t a commercial project, so its not something you can order and simply set up – it requires research and understanding, which at the time I didn’t have time to look at.

More importantly, we have committed to Dexcom. We self fund and it’s not cheap! To get the most value out of it, we need to make the sensors, transmitters and receiver last as long as possible. This sets me up to want to stay with Dexcom (whether that’s good or bad is an argument for another time) but it does make me sit up and listen when Dexcom tell me about their future. In my research around remote monitoring, I found out that some or all of the features of the ‘CGM in the Cloud’ project may be superseded by the next version of the Dexcom, the G5.

As early as Jan last year (2013), Dexcom showed a transmitter sending data to a phone (replacing their handset).

Go to 4’15” in on this video to see it…

Dexcom also talked about Dexcom Share (and very briefly Dexcom G6) in January this year..

Although Dexcom haven’t committed to a timescale or a feature list for G5, a number of statements have come out where they’ve outlined their strategy. These are best summarised by another blogger (Mike Hoskins at DiabetesMine) who is much closer to the Dexcom company than me and recently posted about G5…

“As exciting as it is, Dexcom SHARE is pretty much a placeholder device that allows the G4 sensor data to be shared with mobile devices before the launch of the eventual G5 sensor, which will eliminate the need for a receiver altogether and allow for direct-to-smartphone communication. Last we heard, Dexcom is still planning to have the G5 ready for FDA submission sometime in early 2015.

Dexcom’s Kevin Sayer (who takes over as CEO on Jan. 1, 2015) also offered this tidbit: “G5 is going to be focused largely on connectivity, mobility and convenience. And it will come out more than likely as a series of launches rather than one big launch, with the end goal of G5 being a simplified application system, combined with connectivity to a phone in addition to being connected to your receiver and cloud-based data. We’ll go there in a series of steps. That system will use the G4 sensors current configuration, but with new algorithms that we’ve developed over the course of the past few years that will improve accuracy and reliability.”

So it appears the new Dexcom SHARE truly is a stepping stone toward the company’s more sophisticated mhealth vision — which in my head, is like the yellow brick road that leads to a big beautiful city full of… mind-blowing stuff.”

So, basically, we are on a journey. A technological journey along the CGM road. And we are taking that trip with Dexcom. So far, its been great. The technology is super accurate. Its also reliable and robust! The support in the UK from their distributor Advanced Therapeutics has been first class! (They even mailed me out a spare charger to a friends house on a Saturday, when we forgot ours and left it at home!!!!)

Suddenly, we’ve come to a bump in the road…..

The Dexcom Share is the next chapter in our story and we aren’t going to see it released in the UK!


Why not?

The UK distributor of the Dexcom system Advanced Therapeutics didn’t know anything about the Dexcom Share product until I asked them about it last week. That was a bit of a surprise, to be honest, but I’m not here to denigrate them – given how good they’ve been to date – I want those guys on my side because if we are to persuade Dexcom in the US that this product should be released here, the official distributor is the route to go through!

And that is what I want to do…. Get Dexcom Share released in the UK.

I’ve been on Facebook all day – on a number of different CGM groups – all of which have expressed surprised that the Dexcom Share accessory is not coming to the UK. Some UK users have even ordered it from the US and are having it sent here as we speak! (Whether that is a workable option remains to be seen!)

I could go down that route, but I’d rather see it launched officially. For some, the official route is the only route. If you aren’t able to self fund like we can, but you have managed to persuade your hospital to support you with a Dexcom CGM system, there is no way that their Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will countenance an imported product without CE approval!

So come on Dexcom…. Get with the Sharing… and Share the Dexcom Share with your loyal users on this side of the pond!!!

Posted by Gareth

2 Responses to Why aren’t Dexcom Sharing….?

  1. avatar avatarImran says:

    Any further update on whether or not dexcom share is coming to the uk from Advanced Therapeutics?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.