CGM devices or Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices are quickly becoming one of the hot topics in the world of medical technology, and for good reason. These devices offer diabetics with a way to constantly monitor their glucose levels in order to track what causes spikes, and to correct the issue before it causes harm. While they are not yet good enough to replace blood tests, new models like the Dexcom Platinum G4 are getting close, with up to 97% accuracy.
What are CGMs?
Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems operate using a two part system of a sensor and transmitter. The sensor is implanted under the skin, usually on the abdomen or arm, and monitors blood glucose levels through bodily fluids. Each sensor lasts from 7-14 days, meaning that they must be replaced periodically in order to continue to work. While in place, the CGM uses radio waves or NFC technology to transmit signals to a monitor, which enables the wearer to keep track of their glucose better. Most CGMs on the market now feature a five minute or one minute update, so that users can stay on top of their blood sugar. Unfortunately, none of the models currently approved by the FDA are as accurate as a blood sample test, meaning that the user must still monitor their blood as well. Current companies with approved CGM devices include Abbot, DexCom, and Medtronic, and the devices are currently available via a prescription.
The DexCom Platinum G4
The DexCom Platinum G4 is something a little different from other CGM devices for a couple of reasons. The first is that it actually features an LED display that shows glucose levels and movement on a chart. The device is a three part gadget with a sensor that slips under the skin, a transmitter, and the display, which also features a USB port. The G4 works with insulin injection and insulin pumps, and can be used to help fine tune the dosage for better results and effects. Because it updates every 5 minutes, owners can easily see when they have an issue. Because the transmitter projects up to twenty feet, the owner doesn’t necessarily have to wear their monitor to stay up to date.
What Makes it Different
The DexCom Platinum G4 is something of the first of its kind in the world of CGM and for multiple reasons. The first, and most important, reason is that with an average 85% accuracy with just two calibrations per day, the G4 is about 10% more accurate than other FDA approved devices with average at about 73% accuracy. It also has about three times more transmitting range then any other model on the market. In addition, the device is the first real LCD smart display to show off charts and easy to understand data, and it allows users to sync data via a USB port to a computer for better monitoring, or for sharing with Doctors and caregivers.
While the DexCom Platinum G4 isn’t yet accurate enough to replace blood tests, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. With more personality, a better display, more accuracy, and more range, it’s a huge advance towards what we hope will one day be a 99% accurate CGM.