DexCom Rounding the Bend

I discovered DexCom when I attended the annual ADA conference back in June. They were displaying their exciting new tubeless conitinuous monitor (CGMS) product under a glass bubble, so you could look but not touch (no kidding!); since it is not yet FDA approved, the company is not allowed to actually let the public touch and feel the thing — display mode only!

The company is actually developing two promising products:

Dexcom2* a short-term continuous monitor (3-day wear) that consists of an insertable pod-like sensor that transmits glucose readings wirelessly to a handheld receiver

* an implantable long-term continuous monitor that does essentially the same thing, but can be worn for up to one full year!

The sensor worn on the body for both looks wonderfully teeny, and the external receiver appears to be about the size and shape of the handy FreeStyle Flash meter. What’s more, “with the push of a button, the receiver displays the patient’s current blood glucose value, as well as one-hour, three-hour and nine-hour trends.” Don’t you just WANT ONE?!

Despite the “wow-factor” of this technology, the company has had a rocky start. It was hit with some initial bad press and even a lawsuit by Abbott (makers of the FreeStyle monitor — mind the resemblance), which DexCom vigorously contested.

The good news is that according to diabetes consultancy CloseConcerns, the company is now gathering steam both in terms of investment and progress toward FDA approval.

Analyst Kelly Close writes: “All in all, looks to be very strong momentum and we would expect an approval in the not too distant future. Reimbursement (from insurance providers) will be the next hurdle and we would imagine all the players would benefit from Medtronic’s investments on this front.”

This alludes to Medtronic’s efforts invested in securing healthcare coverage for CGMS systems on the whole, of course, since Medtronic is a staunch competitor. Stay tuned…

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6 Responses

  1. John F Hall
    John F Hall January 29, 2007 at 6:36 pm | | Reply

    I would like for this product to work, but I have my reservations. First, credit where credit is deserved. The company have hired (at least one) great diabetis educator. But, that would only be worthwhile if they had a clue about anything else. When I purchased the product, I was given the choice of also purchasing supplies. Really! You get less than six day’s worth of the necessary ‘applicators” — wait a minute, don’t call it an applicator (as the instruction manual suggests) to tech support; they have a different term and unless you use their (unknown to you) term, well, geez, Dexcom doesn’t know speak your language; you have to learn its; and guess what, they are not going to give you their dictionary. So, unless you are truly mentally challenged, you, of course, order supplies, the order for which will be lost. So, in less than a week’s time, you would have been better to have taken your wife out to TWO dinners for the cost of the device. What kind of idiot says, “We don’t include more than a week’s supply with the product”? Dexcom, that’s who! Then, there is the issue of accuracy. The device kept me up all night telling me that I had a glucose reading of less than 80. But, of course, they also tell you, “Don’t believe what we say; believe your glucometer”, which registered 120. Remember, this is the middle of the night. So, half asleep, you are going to shut the thing up by correcting for your “low sugar” of 120. Otherwise, you won’t get any sleep. Guess what my glucose was when I finally awakened!

    Suggestion to Dexcom: include a six-month supply of “applicators”, oh, sorry!, to you, “sensor applicators”, obviously, not the same thing; for God’s sake, don’t call it merely an “applicator”! Go ahead and charge for the supplies and ship the customer enough supplies with the initial delivery. People don’t want a car, just to find out later that the battery goes dead after 200 miles, and the only person who can give you a replacement battery won’t be able to supply it for three more days. Hope you packed your camping supplies. Secondly, teach your tech support to SPEAK ENGLISH. I am certain my techie was brilliant, and knew the product back and forth. So what! He could not communicate with someone who “no habla Dexcom”!
    I would like for the product to work. But, a variance from actual blood glucose of 40 points; an inability for tech support to communicate with the customer, and the ridiculous policy of sending you off with two days’ worth of supplies and losing your order for the rest! I think I will put my money in Enron

    John F. Hall
    unhappy new customer
    jhall@ewingdietz.com

  2. pam becker
    pam becker February 9, 2007 at 11:58 am | | Reply

    i got my dexcom last spring, right after it was available. the first 6 mo or so were heavenly. learning curve wasn’t too bad and sensors worked well. tech support explained occasional wide variances with fingerstick and the vibrations of alarms did wake me up at night. the last +/-4 months have been brown-eyed misery. i am on the phone with tech support almost daily (and if i do skip a few days i have several problem sensors to report.) the company has replaced sensors that didn’t work–as in NO information, early stops, etc–but that doesn’t solve the frustration…to say nothing of the danger of sleeping without a “guard” watching my glucose readings. i am almost at the point of chucking this and getting one from minimed….and i am truly sorry to feel that way.

  3. Kurt Pedersen
    Kurt Pedersen April 14, 2007 at 10:19 pm | | Reply

    I have found the “sensors” to be both spasmodic, and unreliable. Of course those are the ones that work at all. Have had occurences when I have had to install as many as 5 sensors before I get one to work. The time involved installing and calibrating, and then trying numerous time consuming fixes to try an salvage the sensor is unacceptable. When it works as planned it is a great aid. I’m hoping that Dexcom can get it together.

  4. Jesse L.
    Jesse L. January 1, 2008 at 3:19 am | | Reply

    I’ve been using the Dexcom now for a couple months and I find it absolutely awesome! The important thing to remember is that the actual blood glucose number on the Dexcom may not actually exactly match the number on your blood glucose meter, however the Dexcom will very accurately show trends on which way your blood sugar is heading. I can now accurately know if my blood is around 120 heading upward or heading downward. I can now make tiny corrections in blood sugars before they get to 180. This technology is awesome, I’ve found the sensors last 7 days, and I’ve used some sensors for 10 days! The key to the whole thing is don’t look at the actual number on the dexcom, look at the trend at which way your blood glucose is heading.

  5. Isaac
    Isaac April 22, 2008 at 7:03 pm | | Reply

    Go with the transmitter from Medtronic. It communicates to my pump and they have by far more data then all the other companies combined. This is diabetes why put your life in the hands of a start-up that will be bought in less than a year.

  6. pre diabetes symptoms
    pre diabetes symptoms October 9, 2008 at 11:12 pm | | Reply

    Since it is the new brand why not give him a try. But we have to remember that refering to old ways is usefull to understand normal blood sugar level.

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