Do you currently have a Dexcom CGM for your child? Have you ever wished that there was a way that you could see that data while they were at school, and you were 50 miles away at work? Or at dinner with your spouse or on a date, and wished there was a way you could know what was happening while they were at grandma’s or with a sitter? Or if your child was away at college in Massachusetts and you were sitting on your couch in Los Angeles? Yeah. This new program does that…
Okay, first things first. I was invited to be a small group of beta testers, working with the system and software to search for bugs and find issues. This software isn’t ready for mass consumption yet, people behind the scenes are still working on ways to easily scale this for a lot of users. It still crashes on occasion. It isn’t easy to install and isn’t very intuitive either. And we are still learning that certain pieces of equipment don’t work properly or play nice with each other. It isn’t a commercial product with an 800 support phone number or a warranty. So consider this a preview of something that is coming. Soon. And know that this isn’t authorized by Dexcom, the FDA, or any company for that manner. You could break your dex, your phone, a cord, or something and it may not be covered under warranty. So there is that. And support for this currently consists of a couple of enterprising type 1 family programmers that congregate in a group on Facebook. In technology terms, and I suppose diabetes terms too, this is seriously bleeding edge…
Here are some links for more info:
I created a couple of videos that teased the setup and posted them on my Facebook page earlier this week. They created a small stir, and I promised a more in depth look at the system. Here is that video, followed by a video that shows just one of the things that you can do with this set up. The watch is in no way necessary, all you need is a device with a web browser, but the watch adds a serious convenience factor. And again, this don’t eliminate any BS testing. We still test as often as we did. For those of you with Dexcoms, you already know that accuracy isn’t it’s strong suit, but trending is. And for users of other CGM’s like the Medtronic unit, there is currently no way to utilize this with anything other than the Dexcom G4.
This next video shows just one way that we will utilize this set up. I take Stella running around a local lake 2-3 a week. Well, I run and she rides her bike. We do 6 miles which takes me about an hour. We used to stop every 15 minutes to test her BS. Now, I just need to look at my wrist to know what her BS is doing, and I can let her know it’s time to drink some Gatorade without ever having to stop. Totally amazing.
So this is a first look. It isn’t ready for primetime yet, and even when it is, it will be with some assumed risk on the part of whoever uses it. The system is buggy, not particularly user friendly or intuitive to set up, and the documentation is sparse. The people behind it are parents of type 1’s with jobs just like us. They aren’t available 24/7 to set everyone up and spend hours trouble shooting each persons system. But let’s be serious for a second. If you have a child with type 1, and that child spends any part of their day away from you (in school, sports, a playdate, with the grandparents) you want this. You need this. You deserve this. You have no idea why this doesn’t already exist. If you decide to talk about this, share this, or pursue this, please use the hashtag #wearenotwaiting
Here is a video of me at the grocery store while Stella was at home several miles away, shortly after breakfast.
Obviously, the key feature is that you can access the CGM data while your child is away from you. But what if you are all at home? Does it serve a purpose then? Well how about leaving this in your child’s room, while you have an iPad on your night stand? Or what if you live in a large house, or a 2 story house, and your child is upstairs in their room, while you are down in the kitchen making dinner? Your child could be in the backyard playing, or you could leave the phone and receiver on the side of a soccer field. Put it in a back pack while your child rides a bike or horse. Or have your college aged student leave it on in his dorm room at night, and you can check on them a couple of times a night.
Here are my thoughts on this set up. If you have had a conversation with me about the CGM, you know that I am a big fan of what the Dexcom can do, but I have always prefaced it by saying “I wish it had blue tooth or wi/fi built in so it could send the data to an app I could access”. Well, not it does. This makes me absolutely giddy! There are still some bugs, and there are still improvements being made, but I can be sitting at my desk at work, look at my phone or a web page on my computer, and know what is happening to my daughter’s blood sugar during PE. Or her social studies test. It isn’t perfect, but it’s awesome. And it will get better. This isn’t available to everyone yet. But it is close. I suspect sometime in June you will be able to put all the pieces together yourself and be on your way. The pieces include the Dexcom G4, an android phone (not all phones work, it MUST HAVE OTG capability) a mini USB cable, and an OTG mini USB cable. The cloud based server/web app has a monthly subscription fee of $11-$12.
Welcome to the future