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

15 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?

    • avatar avatarGareth says:

      I don’t think so, Imran!

      We ended up getting ours directly from the US!

      • avatar avatarLilian says:

        I have tried to get the Share from Dexcom and have been speaking to a very helpful lady who tried to find a loophole but said it needs to be ordered by a US person with a prescription from doctor even though we are buying it. Thought when it came out we would be able to purchase it, hence buying the watch! A friend in US was too scared to fill in the forms even though she is a type 2 diabetic. Where do we go now?

  2. avatar avatarLilian says:

    How did you do it please. I have spoke. To dexcom at length and they say it can only be ordered with prescription in U.S. Have watch so would like share

    • We ordered the Dexcom Share Cradle before Christmas. I think Dexcom have changed their product range now and have added the Share functionality to the Dexcom receiver – so I don’t think the cradle is available separately any more!

      To get the receiver with share isn’t possible from the US because you need a prescription from a US doctor!

      Lilian – Have you tried asking Advanced Therapeutics if they will be selling the new receiver with share functionality built in?

      • avatar avatarlilian says:

        yes but they say talk to US which I have done but no good. They will not be having it and have no future date from Dexcom. I am trying all avenues

  3. avatar avatarChas says:

    Its my understanding if you do not have a local distributor (like your in Australia), then you can purchase direct from Dexcom in the USA who will sell you the Share, I have a contact in Australia who has type 1 who has the Dexcom share receiver after ordering a new one (she broke the earlier one).

    Its very frustrating but we are caught between Dexcom and their Distributor, who seem to not be able to officially ship into the UK.

    I’m just about to build an xdrip but means I have to move from iPhone to Android to use it, as their is no BT working app for the iPhone.

  4. avatar avatarImran says:

    I bought a share cradle off ebay. I haven’t used it yet as i am still in the process of getting a Dexcom receiver but ince i have it my intention is to use it via android and nighthawk.

  5. avatar avatarImran says:

    I don’t see how just one individual or one distributer in the UK will make dexcom apply for CE certification. Ultimately that is what is stopping it being sold in the UK. We need a way of applying pressure not through advanced therapeutics as i doubt they sell enough to make a difference.

  6. avatar avatarAndrea says:

    My understanding is the new G5 Sensor won’t need a receiver that the share receiver will be optional….does this mean in the UK we will be able to get the data to our phones or (those pumps that plan on g5 integration)?

  7. I think so, but I’m not sure!!! The G5 sensors are still some way away in the UK, apparently! The sensors aren’t out in the US yet and will have to go through UK approval before they can come out here…..!

  8. avatar avatarjo beasley says:

    If some people have managed to order the dexcom share from the uk. Does it still actually work in the uk. How does it actually share?

    I am based in guernsey, channel islands. I would rather have the dexcom share and would quite happily order from the us if they were willing to send it me. But does anyone know if the share function even works over this side of the pond? Otherwise I might as well just go with the other one available from AT.

  9. avatar avatarGareth says:

    Hi Jo – I ordered the Dexcom share cradle on the U.S. Dexcom site but they will only ship to a U.S. Address! So I shipped it to someone I know over there who then forwarded to me in the UK!

    You then have to get a U.S. iTunes account to download the share & follow apps that allow you to use it! It’s a bit of a roundabout solution but it now works well for us every night!

  10. avatar avatarReem says:

    Hi was wondering if u mean dexcom G5 by dexcom share. I was trying to order one now same way like others doing through a friend from the U.S. but they refused without a prescription from a doctor in the US. I’m still curious to know how they approved online without asking u about G4 then u get upgraded.

  11. avatar avatarAlz says:

    Hi All,

    Keen to understand if anyone has had success ordering the G4 share receiver recently from Dexcom and how this works with the sensors/receivers. I was advised by AT that it would send the values as mg/dl rather than mmol/l.

    G5 is available but it seems the transmitters are recommended to be replaced every 3 months whereas my G4 transmitter was good for 15 months.

    Why Dexcom why couldn’t you make this available to the Uk?

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