This week’s conversation features Jorge Valdes, Chief Technical Officer at Dexcom. Among the topics covered include Dexcom’s Apple Watch App, the future of their Share platform, integration among other mobile technology, the value of data access, and how the Nightscout community has made a difference within the walls of Dexcom. Enjoy.
For more information about Dexcom’s Continuous Glucose Monitors, visit dexcom.com.
I’m preparing for my endocrinologist appointment in a few days and have started to download/upload/analyze data from my various diabetes devices. While I might not be able to make the most sense out of what all these numbers will mean, it will help focus some of the questions I will bring into the appointment and some of the objectives I hope to accomplish by the time the appointment is over.
I want to have a solid gameplan for how to approach my diabetes care in 2015. I need some back-and-forth to go along with the material supplied by ‘Pumping Insulin‘. I know the results of this data download and accompanying blood tests will not be stellar, but I know I have the ability to put everything in order and figure this diabetes thing out.
But when I look at the averages from my blood glucose meter, I worry. The 30 and 60 day averages indicate 2 blood glucose tests per day. Yikes. What happened to 6-10 times per day? It looks like I’ve been relying on my CGM for far more than the occasional corrective action. The FDA, and my doctors, say the blood glucose meter result is the be-all, end-all number that informs diabetes management – I haven’t been following those instructions.
Did you know you can play games on a Pebble Watch? I suppose I should be surprised, but with so few control options, it can’t be satisfying, right?
After the charge cable for my Pebble didn’t make its connecting flight home and a replacement was ordered, Dexcom data is now back on my wrist, available for interpretation or occasionally admiration at a moment’s notice. Having my data presented like this doesn’t necessarily change how my diabetes is managed. I’m still using my Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor to fill in the picture of my blood glucose journey, and I’m still using a proper blood glucose check to inform insulin dosing – most of the time.
But Nightscout enables a bit more freedom during the more casual moments of living with diabetes. Instead of fumbling around looking for my receiver or worrying which pocket I last put it in, the receiver stays on my desk, roughly in the middle of our apartment. The watch then becomes my primary access point for my data. And looking at my wrist becomes the primary action for accessing my data.
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.
I’ve been particularly curious about the prospects of taking my CGM to the cloud as an adult with diabetes. For parents, being able to remotely monitor your child’s diabetes must lift an incredible burden off your shoulders. The worry will always be there, but having more information will always help. For me? It’s going to take a little more convincing to get on board. Right now I work from home. I don’t travel. And Dayle is here at night. As fancy as remote Dexcom monitoring is, I don’t see why it would benefit me.
I have no problem using my Dexcom receiver as the primary means of CGM data gathering. Especially as a guy, all of my pants have pockets, so it’s not a big deal to have it with me all the time. I am in no way discounting the adults with diabetes that have found benefits in setting up their CGM among the digital cumulonumbi, but I need a little extra convincing that I will find some practical use for this effort besides pointing at it and saying “cool, huh?”. I expressed these thoughts as concisely as possible on Twitter this afternoon and engaged in quite the discussion about what I would want out of Nightscout if I were to embark on the installation process.