***Any content I publish on this blog or any of my social media is 100% my honest personal opinion. I have received no payment from Dexcom UK for my views. I am part of the #Dexcomtribe and received 1 x transmitter, 3 x sensors and 1 x receiver to use and give honest public feedback on.***
Four years ago when I was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I was pretty happy just going along, stabbing my finger and getting numbers that way. Fast forward 2 years and I started self funding a CGM, Dexcom G5 to be precise.
This changed the way I approach my diabetes on a day-to-day basis. In fact I would go so far as to say it was the missing bit of the puzzle for me. To see a continual trace of what my numbers were up to was so useful.
So fast forward to 12th June 2018 and the big announcement from Dexcom UK about the soon to be released G6. I for one am hoping for big things from this device.
My First Impressions
The Applicator – Well let’s be honest this is a big old lump! However, I must say it is a lot less scary looking than the old G5 applicator, I can’t see the hench needle for starters! As far as using it goes it couldn’t be any easier. Pull off the stickers from the sensor, snap off the safety tab and push a button, job done! I’m not saying this will be a painless experience, after all a needle is going in at some point, you are going to feel it! I’m hearing it’s a lot less noticeable than the G5 insertion though. This is now easily a one-handed procedure, although why would that matter lol 🙂
The Sensor – Not that much different looking to the old G5 sensor, slightly smaller size and profile.
Having suffered from reactions to the adhesive on other products in the past I’m hoping Dexcom haven’t changed too much on this front.
It does have a hard stop at ten days. This I can see being an issue for many Dexcom self funders who extend the life of the sensor to make it cost-effective.
Dexcom have worked hard at getting the cost down on the G6. At £159 a month (if using the subscribe option) there’s a saving of £61 a month over the G5 subscription.
No finger-sticks needed on this generation of Dexcom, calibrated straight out of the factory…. we shall see how this pans out.
We are being told these sensors are no longer effected by paracetamol, again I will update on that once I’ve tested the theory. More than likely on a Sunday morning with a slight headache 🙂
The Transmitter – Big improvements here. A much slimmer profile and fitting almost entirely within the sensor. This I think will help the more clumsy amongst us who always catch the G5 transmitter on anything that isn’t completely flush! Obviously we all wear it on our tummy though so things like door frames have never been a problem 🙂
It will be nice though to have a system which is about 1/3 less bulky, just stops it showing as much when a top is a little fitted.
The Receiver – A tidy looking bit of kit. Colour touch screen, seems to be nice and responsive from first impressions. In all honesty I will be mainly using the mobile app. Diabetes comes with enough stuff to carry about, without having to carry a receiver for my Dex.
The new ”Urgent Low Soon” alarm is something I’m looking forward to trying. All alarms on the G6 offer much more customisation than the G5 offered. This one however is going to come in handy with diabetes and exercise. To get an alarm when your bloods are 6 mmol and dropping fast is going to prevent a lot of hypo’s when I’m out running. I will let you know once I’ve used it for a bit.
G6 Other Bits To Note
* Sensor has a hard stop at ten days – no extending these ones folks (although I’m sure people will be looking for ways to do this), but it is a full 3 days longer if used as intended, and for less money.
* Full customisation of alarms – always good to be individual with alarms and will help with alarm fatigue.
* Factory calibrated, no finger-sticks needed here – the option to calibrate is still there if you feel you want to though. I’m keen to see how I feel about this after I’ve been using the product. It will take a while before I trust it completely I think.
* Sensor accuracy on day 1 is improved on it’s G5 predecessor according to a few early users experiences. A ten-day sensor needs to be accurate straight from the get-go.
* ”Urgent low soon” alarm – this is new to the G6, will come in handy around diabetes and exercise.
* Paracetamol no longer effect the readings – most useful on a Sunday morning
* Improved applicator design – think PC mouse and you’re not a million miles away – easy to operate one-handed. Also that big-off needle is no longer on view, it’s still there no doubt but at least we don’t see it.
* Flatter profile transmitter – No more catching these on door frames etc, although how we manage to do that when we always wear them on our tummy is a mystery 🙂
* If subscribing to the Dexcom program daily costs are down to just over £5 a day. Still a very expensive bit of kit for self funders. I may need to give up my Starbucks habit and redirect the funds.
* Fully compatable apps for Android and IOS
* Can still be used with Android Wear and Apple watches for numbers on your wrist – Essential for me when exercising.
I will be up and running with the G6 next week when my current G5 is finished. I will post updates on Twitter (@type1bri), Instagram and through the Type1Bri Facebook page.
Also keep an eye out for #dexcomtribe across all social media where there will be lots of reviews and opinions shared.
Take care, G6 is there