I recently had the chance to talk with Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer to discuss the launch of the Dexcom G5 Mobile Android app. The free app, which connects to the Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System, allows people to view their glucose levels on their Android mobile devices to manage their diabetes in real time, as well as to share the information. According to Dexcom, “the Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM System is the first and only CGM platform available for Android in the United States, complementing the 2015 iOS launch.”
In my interview with Sayer, we discussed how CGM was uncharted territory when the company started meeting with the FDA in 2010.
“We knew that having information on your phone would be a wonderful innovation.” In 2015, Dexcom launched the Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM System for iOS, and that was just the beginning. Dexcom’s innovations also include “Share” technology, which allows people with diabetes to share data directly with family and friends. According to Sayer, this is a particularly reassuring feature for parents who have children with Type 1 diabetes. He noted that it’s also beneficial for adults — one user in law school, he recounts, routinely stayed up all night studying. One night, after falling asleep exhausted, his blood glucose dropped to 30 mg/dl. His brother was alerted by Dexcom Share and called 911, saving his life. This story will hit home for many of us who have awakened in the middle of the night with low blood glucose and stood in the dark kitchen eating glucose tabs or drinking orange juice and thinking, what if I hadn’t woken up? It’s a question that’s hard to ignore.
Dexcom continues to explore efforts to relieve this burden on people with diabetes. Recent research has shown that approximately 30% of people with diabetes are using iPhones, while 70% have Android phones. Launching the Dexcom technology to a wider variety of phones allows for greater access and “shows Dexcom’s commitment to the patient.” For current users, next steps include reducing calibrations to one a day and eventually eliminating calibrations all together.
Sayer says that making this technology more affordable is also a next step for Dexcom, noting that the company recently received approval for the Dexcom G5 Mobile to be covered under Medicare. He also explained that as more people begin to use CGMs, additional data is gathered that will reflect positive outcomes, and with this data, the hope is that insurance companies will acknowledge the value, and costs will be lowered.
Dexcom is doing important work, and I’m grateful that they are continuing to improve technology for people with diabetes. My personal hope is that more people with diabetes will be able to access these amazing technologies.
A current list of devices and software that are compatible with the Dexcom CGM apps can be found on the Dexcom website.
Want to learn more about CGM technology? Watch the video “Continuous Glucose Monitoring,” hosted by certified diabetes educator Alison Massey, or read “Making More Effective Use of Your Continuous Glucose Monitor.”