On March 27, Dexcom announced that the FDA had granted approval for their new Dexcom G6® CGM System, scheduled for release toward the middle of 2018. We had a chance to chat with Kevin Sayer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dexcom, about the new system, including questions from our PODS Leaders throughout the country.
What are the main differences between the G5 (current system) and the G6?
The first visible difference to patients is that the G6 requires no calibration, without sacrificing accuracy. Kevin pointed out that although he does not have diabetes himself, he does wear the Dexcom products to try them out, and was wearing a G6 when we spoke. He commented that the G6 has exciting new features without a sacrifice od the accuracy users expect.
As for those new features, another exciting difference is that the entire form-factor has changed. There is a redesigned one-touch applicator which allows the needle to be withdrawn within seconds! This could especially be a game-changer for users who are scared of insertion, and for seniors who may lack the dexterity needed for insertion. In addition, the transmitter is smaller, with a 28 percent lower profile, so it will catch less on clothing and other things, giving a much better user experience. And last, but certainly not least, the G6 is approved for up to 10-day sensor wear.
What does "no finger-sticks" mean?
We were pleased to learn that you do not have to enter a glucose value at all during the time one is wearing the sensor. After the warm-up period is over, the system just starts reading. However, for those who are uncomfortable with the thought of no calibrations, you do have the ability to calibrate if you want to. The system will use that as a data point. For the current G5, calibrations are required every 12 hours.
Where can the G6 be worn?
The G6 is approved for wear in the same places the G5 is approved to be worn. This includes an FDA approval of insertion in the abdomen area.
Does the system experience compression lows if laying on the sensor?
Yes, that can still happen. Dexcom is working to research what happens and how to avoid this.
Can the 10-day wear period be extended?
Kevin explained that part of getting FDA approval is for a 10 day hard shut off, so this is how the system was built. In the future, the goal is to have a product with a two-week life. However, Dexcom wants to be sure performance is good for the entire 14 days. This is in their long-term plan.
Any other cool features of the G6?
Yes! The G6 blocks acetaminophen. He has tried this feature himself, taking as much acetaminophen as he could for a headache while wearing the G6. He saw no change in accuracy — the sensor stayed on track!
It's also compatible with iOS and Android smart phones and watches to display and share glucose information with up to five people, and offers customizable alerts and alarms to warn users of dangerous high and low blood sugars.
In conclusion, Kevin shared that this is a game-changing product for the diabetes community. No finger-sticks, lower profile, and with all of the features of the G5, including the same sharing capabilities on Apple and Android platforms. Many years of hard work have gone into making the G6 a reality.
** The Dexcom G6 system is expected to launch later this year. The Dexcom G5 Mobile System, available now, is the first FDA-approved CGM System that lets you make treatment decisions without pricking your finger. it provides real-time glucose readings directly to the users smart-device.**
DiabetesSisters wishes to thank Kevin for taking the time to answer our questions about the Dexcom G6. Stay tuned, as we plan to share our thoughts and experiences, and perhaps a video or two, as we give the G6 a test run.
Disclosure: Dexcom is a 2018 National Strategic Partner of DiabetesSisters.