This morning my inbox was greeted with an email declaring Dexcom’s much-anticipated ‘Share’ received FDA approval and was ready for public consumption. Share is a cradle that houses the G4 receiver, transmits data via bluetooth to a paired device to the ominous cloud, where it can be accessed by up to five (5) people. I know what you’re thinking – you’re thinking that this is remarkably similar to that CGM in the Cloud/Nightscout thing I mentioned last week. And you’re right. The premise is the same: remote access to Dexcom’s continuous blood glucose monitor data. However, there are a number of caveats within the fine print of the Share that, to me, make it less appealing.
First, the price. $299. Cash. And because this is considered an ‘accessory’, this isn’t something insurance will cover. Next, platform accessibility. Share only works on iOS. Only on certain iPhones or iPod Touches after a certain model and OS version. Also, this thing isn’t mobile – at all. The cradle has to be plugged into an outlet to function, meaning this doesn’t help if I’m driving, on the bus, or anywhere not next to direct current.
FDA approval for Dexcom Share is excellent news, establishes a great foundation, and bodes well for the future of diabetes technology.—
Chris | Just Talking (@iam_spartacus) October 20, 2014
But despite the limitations, I’m still thrilled to see this product on the market.
One. It’s simple to implement. Rather than worrying about buying the right type of Android phones, the right types of cables to connect said phones to the receiver, and juggling the battery life of multiple phones, the share is a simple Plug and Play setup. User configuration appears to be a straightforward and easy-to-follow process. For as detailed as the instructions for setting up Nightscout are, and they are very detailed, the process is much more intimidating than that of the Share. Reducing the burden on the user to take advantage of this technology is a big deal. The more people that are on board with data access, the better.
Two. It’s a start. Working with the FDA, we now have a federally certified foundation for future cloud-based diabetes data access. It’s not perfect, but we have to start somewhere. And if you think about the improvements made on Dexcom’s receiver and overall reliability from the Seven Plus to the G4, Share 2.0 could be a legitimate game changer by the time it comes around.
Stacey Simms (@staceysimms) October 20, 2014
Three. This will increase visibility and awareness for Nightscout. This will increase conversations about data liberation, data access, and data ownership. The more people that are aware of these conversations, the more allies we will have when there’s a call to action (or arms).
@iam_spartacus and just imagine where Nightscout will be by that point.... JW—
Nightscout Project (@NightscoutProj) October 20, 2014
Four. Competition is good for everyone. I think Nightscout is well ahead of what Share offers, but the fact that there’s an option means that iteration becomes more important. The Nightscout community has the benefit of being open, and not restricted by the FDA. Dexcom has the benefit and inherent trust that comes with an FDA approval and ease of installation. But both groups will be looking at each other and to the diabetes community for guidance on where to go next. Imagine what would happen if Nightscout became the unofficial beta test for new remote CGM monitoring features that Dexcom somehow included in Share 2.0. Everyone wins!
@iam_spartacus Exactly. My problem with both is the cost. Diabetes is pricey all on its own. But I'm really glad to see options cropping up!—
Kerri / Diabetes (@sixuntilme) October 20, 2014
No, Share isn’t perfect. No, Nightscout isn’t easy to set up. But the fact is, there are now two options for remote CGM monitoring when a year and a half ago there were none. I may not be ordering a Share of my own, but I’m still on board for what all of this means: more access, more peace of mind, more promise for a better tomorrow thanks to advancements in diabetes technology.
Check out dexcom.com/share for all the details on Share. And if you’re on Team Android but want to give this CGM in the Cloud stuff a look-see, head over to nightscout.info.
PS. Despite nearly forgetting, yesterday was my diabetes diagnosis anniversary, or diaversary. In 2002, I spent 3 days in the hospital and all I got was a diabetes diagnosis and this doctor’s note excusing me from class.