The much anticipated Dexcom G7 is finally here! This continuous glucose monitoring system has undergone a remodeling of its technology with user-friendly updates. Though this new system has only been on the market for just over a month, available pre-launch data suggests that this system is the most accurate technology of its kind.
As someone who has been fortunate to experience Dexcom technology upgrades first-hand since the Dexcom Seven Plus, I was excited to get my hands on this new release. For some background, I am currently a high school junior involved in several extracurriculars and sports. Over the past 8 years, I have been using Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring technology to help manage my diabetes both in the form of stand-alone models and integrated with my insulin pump. I wanted to share my review of this new system to hopefully help other young people decide whether or not it may be a good fit for their diabetes management and lifestyle.
Let’s start off with some first impressions. Right off the bat, I was struck by how small the box was. I have been using the G6 since its release in March 2018, and with the arrival of G7 I was most excited about the new insertion system and the sensor itself. This compact packaging definitely met, if not exceeded my expectations. The sensor pairs with a new G7 app and setup process as well. There definitely weren’t a lot of changes, but the few that were made were all positive. First, the app is very similar to the G6 app, which definitely makes me feel more confident in navigating it. The new app is also integrated with the Clarity app. All of this info in one singular digital space will make it easier for everyone who is looking for more details on their trends. You can still journal and track insulin and medication administration within the new app. Overall, I thought the app and the setup process were extremely simple and straightforward. I found the instructions to be detailed and the app features are impressively customizable, preparing me to get started with my G7 sensors as soon as they arrived.
As I prepared to insert my first sensor, I was again pleasantly surprised by just how small the device had become. Taking the inserter and sensor out of the box for the first time also eased my nerves about the weight of the sensor. I found that the weight of the wearable component did not differ much from the past mode. In actuality, the G7 is 60% smaller than the G6. I also think the circular design is genius. By remodeling the insertion device to have a circular rim that is held firmly against the skin, Dexcom has mastered the art of nervous system distraction and reduced, if not eliminated insertion-related pain. Overall, I was extremely impressed by my first insertion of the G7 sensor; the process was short, simple, and painless.
Over the course of the 10-day sensor session, I was able to make a few more observations about the Dexcom G7. Firstly, I found the quality of the adhesive overlay of the sensor to be excellent. All G7 sensors come with an adhesive patch to use. Despite daily showers, swimming, working out, and more, I experienced no irritation or peeling around the normal sensor adhesive or the overlay, which comes included with the Dexcom G7 I think this will make a huge difference for everyone, especially for those leading active lifestyles. I also found the 30-minute warm up time to be one of the most impressive updates. Knowing that I will not be without readings for hours and having to rely on finger sticks is a huge plus!
I have always found my Dexcom to make a huge difference in my day-to-day management, with one of its most important jobs being monitoring blood sugar overnight. I chose to wear my G7 on the back of the arm, which is where Dexcom indicates you should wear your first sensor. Over my 10-day wear, I experienced an unexpected frequency of out-of-range errors, compression lows, and even sensor errors, including at night. I was disappointed in how easily blood sugar trends seemed to be affected by movement and pressure at night, so I may need to try a different area of my body to find what is most accurate to me.
I have often noticed that the reliability of my Dexcom readings can often dwindle at the end of a sensor session. In my experience, the G7 was accurate, especially in the final 48 hours. This definitely gave me peace of mind knowing that I am will be able to more completely trust my sensor readings, even as the session comes to a close. There is also a 12 hour grace period after the 10-day sensor session has ended. This new feature is incredibly useful. It is easy to forget when a sensor will expire or happen to find it petering out at an inconvenient time. This is a huge win for the G7 that makes it stand out in comparison to other CGMs on the market today!
In general, I was very pleased with the Dexcom G7 and I do believe that the positive updates outshine the challenges I had with the new system. Of course, no CGMs are perfect, but I definitely appreciate the improvements made for this model. Overall, I was blown away by the new insertion device, reduced warm-up period, and addition of the grace period. For me, the only drawbacks were the level of sensitivity to pressure and distance, which may be related to where I chose to wear the sensor. This product is certainly a major step in simplifying diabetes management, and I hope that this article can help others understand whether or not this device is right for them. I look forward to hearing other’s opinions and watching for the ways in which our collective voices shape future updates to the Dexcom system.
Thank you to Dexcom for sponsoring this article.
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