Mar 17, 2021  |  Mobility Aids & Equipment | Like 0 |

People having diabetes regularly need to know the status of glucose in their body while on medications. No doubt numbers are a very important part of the treatment procedure of diabetes, while Glucometer has been a popular piece of equipment to measure glucose. However, a common drawback of Glucometer is that it shows your glucose numbers only once like a snapshot. Glucose in the blood can be affected by various factors such as food and the environment, that is why one or two tests don’t provide the whole picture.

On the other hand, a continuous glucose monitor or CGM is a technology that fills this gap and provides continuous data to the user regarding glucose levels. This includes the rendering of data even while the user is sleeping.

Dexcom is a market leader when it comes to providing the most advanced and user-friendly CGM for diabetes patients worldwide. Dexcom CGM can be used by people having type 1 or type 2 diabetes, who are aged 2 years and older and are taking pumps or insulin shots as treatment.

How Dexcom CGM Works

Before getting into everything else it is important to understand how Dexcom CGM works.

To effectively measure the level of glucose in the body, a Dexcom CGM uses a sensing process which itself is composed of many small processes. Beginning with the first process, the CGM uses a sensor that has glucose oxidase on its tip which then reacts with glucose within the body fluid. This reaction causes a signal which is then measured by the sensor to record the result. Still, the sensor requires a transmitter to send these results to a monitor. The transmitter can be connected to the sensor with the help of a plug that comes along with the sensor.

Once the transmitter is connected it sends out a signal to the pump or the monitor as the case may be. The Dexcom CGM G5 system even has the option to transmit the result to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

Types of Dexcom CGM

Dexcom has always been leading the CGM markets with its continuous innovative approach and quality products. When it comes to the range of GCM there are numerous options offered by Dexcom.

  1. Dexcom G4 Platinum

The Dexcom G4 Platinum is made up of three components as we discussed earlier. These are the sensor, transmitter and receiver. The Dexcom G4 CGM system can be worn externally and works with the help of an internal sensor. It shows the ratings every 5 minutes with trends of glucose levels within the body.

Dexcom G4 Platinum Sensors


When it comes to features, the Dexcom G4 CGM system offers a changeability feature which makes it handy for the user to charge the Dexcom G4 transmitter and receiver while travelling. Further, the receiver system also has colour customization options, for a better presentation of the data. It also includes the option of custom tones that change colour according to the levels of blood sugar.

The most important feature of this Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring system is the Share option. This lets sharing of the glucose data on a remote device with the help of the Dexcom app. This is especially helpful for parents having kids with type 1 diabetes. This way the parent does not have to follow the child all the time with the concerns of blood sugar level. Additionally, the parent can also view the pattern of glucose level to make changes in the diet and medication.

  1. Dexcom G5 CGM system

When it comes to taking new technological leaps, no one comes close to Dexcom. The Dexcom G5 CGM system although looks the same as the previous G4, it offers a breakthrough. The G5 offers the option of Bluetooth connectivity, with this option the user doesn’t need to have a separate receiver to display the results. The user can connect the Dexcom G5 mobile transmitter with the help of the Dexcom app. In case the transmitter is damaged or lost, the user can even purchase a separate one currently costing $569.99 at the AMSPharmacy Online Store.

This application provides various features such as a graphical representation of data and also provides timely alerts with the help of notifications. Though the Dexcom G5 can work without a transmitter, it is still provided with a receiver for the people who prefer it that way.

Dexcom G5 Platinum Sensors

A big problem that haunts the CGM users is losing the receiver, however, with the phone compatibility in G5, this problem seems to be solved. Further, seeing the trend graph on a larger screen provides better visuals of the BG values and events. The settings in a smartphone are more customisable in terms of notification and visuals as compared to a normal receiver.

The ability to receive the results on a smartphone also makes it easier to share these results with the user when needed in the form of images.

  1. Dexcom G6 CGM system

The latest offering from Dexcom is one of a kind device when it comes to continuous glucose monitoring systems. It significantly improves over its predecessors and provides some novel functionalities that very few CGM devices possess.

Just like G5, the Dexcom G5 mobile transmitter also comes powered by Bluetooth which provides its smartphone connectivity. A serious improvement in G6 is that it comes with a one-button applicator, which makes the process of sensor insertion easy and less painful. The G6 is among the few CGM systems that offer a no fingerstick calibration option. The sensors also offer a longer shutoff period of 10 days as compared to the previous period of 7 days.

When it comes to the hardware, the Dexcom G6 offers a much slimmer transmitter as compared to the previous models which make it easier to take in and out. The Bluetooth connectivity has also been drastically improved as compared to the previous versions offering an extended connection range. However,  one of the best features that have been included in the Dexcom G6 CGM is the connectivity options with various wearables. Dexcom offers its apps on popular application platforms like Android and iOS to augment the integration of CGM data with smartwatches and fitness bands.

Dexcom CGM Usage

The Dexcom CGM systems have revolutionised the way diabetics used to take their glucose readings. The Dexcom CGM usage is very easy, especially in the new Dexcom G6 CGM systems.

The user has to insert the small sensor that comes with the CGM into the abdomen or the back of the arm. The sensor has a tiny cannula that penetrates the skin. This sensor can be easily inserted easily with the help of the one-touch auto applicator provided with each sensor. The sensor takes its reading through the interstitial fluid within the body. The new Dexcom sensors need to be replaced every 10 days with a new sensor.

After the sensor is properly inserted, the transmitter is snapped into place with the help of an adhesive patch. This helps the user to carry on daily activities without worrying about the sensor and the transmitter. After this, the transmitter can be connected to a smartphone or wearable device via Bluetooth to take regular accounts of glucose measures.

However, before using any CGM  device, it is suggested to consult a qualified medical practitioner. Also before the insertion make sure your hands, as well as the application area, is properly clean. Avoid bony areas such as ribs along with areas of skin that are prone to irritation and do not use the same area for insertion twice in a row.

Once the 7 day or 10 period depending on the CGM is over, simply peel off the transmitter from the skin. Use the safety guard to remove the transmitter from the plaster by pushing it on the wide end of the transmitter. Make sure that you safely dispose of the sensor and applicator after its usage as prescribed.

The Dexcom CGM shows the glucose updates every 5 minutes which means that you get nearly 288 readings a day along with the trend of whether the glucose is falling or rising. If you are tracking the results with the Dexcom app, it uses various symbols for presenting the information. If the readings are falling with two arrows then this means that the glucose levels are dropping very fast. If it shows just one arrow down this means that the glucose levels are falling but at normal speed. A reading in red shows that the numbers are below the set limit and require attention, on the other hand, if the readings are in yellow then the numbers are above the set limit. A grey reading shows that the glucose levels are within the set range.

Dexcom CGM Benefits

The Dexcom CGM has been a top choice of diabetics for glucose monitoring due to its extended capabilities in comparison to other brands. Here are some of the benefits Dexcom CGM devices offer

  • Keeps the user aware

As a diabetes patient, the user must be constantly aware of any change in the glucose levels. This helps in identifying patterns relating to the effect of medicine and various foods on glucose levels. This can further help the user to make better treatment decisions according to the trends.

  • No fingersticks

One of the most prominent Dexcom CGM benefits is its factory calibration which prevents users from pricking the finger multiple times to confirm the results by the CGM. The Dexcom G6 CGM claims to be the only CGM that's indicated for kids who are 2 years or older. This helps the parent to decide the treatment course without finger pricking which could be difficult in the case of children.

  • Dexcom Follow App

Dexcom has paid special attention to the connectivity side of its CGM, especially for kids. The Dexcom follow app allows up to 5 people to follow the glucose numbers of the user. This is extremely helpful for parents who have kids with diabetes. The Dexcom Follow app is available for both Android and iOS platforms.

  • Customized Alerts and Alarms

If you are using a smartphone or any other smart device as a receiver and monitor, the Dexcom app allows the users to set custom alerts and alarms. Also, it lets the user set customised limits for the glucose levels. These limits can be changed within the app according to the suggestions of a qualified medical practitioner.

  • Long Life Sensor

In comparison to its previous models and the competitors, the Dexcom G6 CGM system offers a higher life. It is approved for a maximum of 10 days. Additionally, it comes with a one-button applicator making the insertion less painful and user friendly. The sensors are of high quality and are designed to provide the most accurate results. While the Dexcom G5/G4 Platinum sensors 4 pack is compatible with the G5 and G4 platinum CGM systems. It provides the best in class usage time of a maximum of 7 days with a thin and flexible sensor wire that offers painless insertion that leaves no mark after usage. It is currently priced at $399.95 at the AMS online store.

  • Wearable Connectivity

The newer model of the Dexcom CGM offers smart wearable connectivity to devices such as smartwatches. This adds extra convenience for the users to check the glucose trends while in a workout or other chores. However, it requires the user to install the Dexcom app on their wearables to take advantage of this feature.

  • Trend charts

In the case of a traditional glucometer, it shows only one snapshot of the blood glucose level at a particular time of the day. But in the case of CGM, the user can see a complete picture with the help of the trend charts available in the monitors or smartphones.

  • Water-Resistant

To make sure that the user isn’t restricted from doing the normal day to day activities, Dexcom offers a water-resistant transmitter providing complete security against any water damage. Also, the newer sensors are slimmer and discreet as compared to previous models.

To get a Dexcom CGM, it is suggested that you consult with a qualified medical practitioner before use. 

Reviews and Ratings

For choosing the best product that suits your needs, you may also need to check out reviews and ratings regarding various CGM systems and their accessories. You can get these reviews on various sites and blogs. But to check out authentic reviews it is much better to refer to established online medical stores.  When it comes to products like transmitters and sensors, you can easily take reference from the AMS online store offering the Dexcom G5 mobile transmitter, it has received excellent reviews from previous buyers. Also, the store has some extremely positive ratings for the Dexcom G5/G4 platinum sensors 4 pack that shows the strong trust of buyers in Dexcom products.


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Professional Pharmacists
Ahmed Rafei is a founder of AMSPharmacy, Medical Supplier in Australia. He has over 10+ years of experience as a pharmacist professional.

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