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Dexcom G4 - Review

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#1
JediSkipdogg

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So today I received my Dexcom G4. Hooked up at 5:37 pm and did my first calibration/reading at 8:00 pm. Here is my initial review of it so far and when I have time off next week I'll try to add some photos comparing it to the Dexcom Seven Plus.

The device looks dead on the original iPod Nano. The screen is bigger, but other that that, it looks like an iPod Nano turned sideways. Personally, I feel this may make it more susceptible to theft if one doesn't keep it on them at all times. The charging port is on one end and is a Micro USB with a little slide cover over it to keep dirt/water out. I do not believe this is water resistant at all though because there is nothing covering the small speaker port. I love the charging change to a USB because it happens to be the same USB my cell phone uses, therefore I have a million cables to charge it with.

The G4 transmitter is bigger than the Seven Plus transmitter. I believe this reason is because of the communication method and the bigger battery. This supposedly has a transmit range of 30 feet which makes me think it's Bluetooth. I would say the G4 transmitter is maybe 2-3 mm higher on the skin than the Seven Plus transmitter. It's big enough that it now actually looks huge. Space wise on the skin it's the same size, just sticks out higher which makes it more susceptible to getting caught on something if you bump it against something.

The G4 sensor/inserter is dead on the Seven Plus for the most part. Insertion is exactly the same. I'm told the needle and sensor is slightly smaller and after inserting one I might have to agree. However, I'm waiting till I take it out then I'll see if I can find my old sensor that I took out a few days ago (shouldn't be too far down the garbage) and see if I can visually see a difference.

The screen, well, this blows all past Dexcoms away...FULL COLOR. They have also added at the bottom of the screen the hour for what each dash means. On the Seven Plus it was simply a dash and it told you 3hr for looking at a 3hr time frame. The G4 they have eliminated that and now show 7PM 8PM under each dash or if looking further 12AM 6AM 12PM (that would be the 24 hour right now). Everything else is pretty much like the Seven Plus just in a slightly different layout.

Volume, I haven't played with all of these yet but they have Vibrate, Soft, Normal, Attentive, and HypoRepeat. Default is Normal and when I tried that out I think I scared my cats. Soft is plenty loud. Normal will definitely wake up the dead while sleeping. Unknown what the other options are yet.

Now, the settings. I haven't played too much with all of these so I will post a second review later after I read the manual and see what secrets I can find. You obviously have your user programmable High and Low alert. You can set anything you want for these and even turn them off if wanted. There also is a High and a Low Snooze. What those are is the time before it will alarm again in each of those conditions. If you have it set to 15 minutes, then every 15 minutes you are over say 200, it will alarm. They also have a Rise and Fall Rate alarm. These can be turned on or off and set to 2 mg/dl/min or 3 mg/dl/min. Anytime you rise or fall greater than those, it can alarm. The last alarm option is for Out of Range. Again, you can turn this one on or off and set a time frame for how long before you want it to alarm that the receiver is out of range from the transmitter.

I have not tried the software yet so I can't comment on that yet. That will possibly come in Part 2 or 3 of this series.

I'll be glad to answer any questions with my limited experience of it so far. In a week I should have some good data with it to review and post some pictures.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#2
k_dub

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Thanks! I placed my order today, so I'm hoping to get mine soon!
Kelly

Current A1C: 6.0%
Diagnosed with LADA June 2008
Animas One Touch Ping March 2009
Dexcom Seven March 2010 --> Dexcom G4 November 2012
Apidra

Mom to Nicholas born 1/4/14. Ask me about diabetes and pregnancy!
First trimester A1c: 5.7%
Second trimester A1c: 6.1%
Late second trimester A1c (25 weeks): 5.7%
Third trimester A1c (35 weeks): 6.0%

"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about, but you refuse to investigate" Dr. Wayne Dyer

#3
GrammaBear

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I wonder if the Gen4 sensors can be 're-started' like the Dexcom Seven sensors?

Type 1 - Dx April 2003

 

Medtronic Revel pump - August 2010
Dexcom Gen4 - Sep 2007


#4
JediSkipdogg

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I wonder if the Gen4 sensors can be 're-started' like the Dexcom Seven sensors?


I will let you know on Wednesday at 4:37 pm EST. That's one feature I love under the Device Info menu. It tells you the date/time of insertion (aka started sensor) and also the date/time/BG of the last calibration.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#5
k_dub

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I read a review of the G4 in Diatribe and it sounds like you can wear the sensor for longer than 7 days like the Seven - you just trick the receiver into thinking you changed the sensor. My endo is a T1 and advocates for wearing the sensor for up to 14 days.

I should be getting my system today [excitedly looking out the window for the FedEx guy].
Kelly

Current A1C: 6.0%
Diagnosed with LADA June 2008
Animas One Touch Ping March 2009
Dexcom Seven March 2010 --> Dexcom G4 November 2012
Apidra

Mom to Nicholas born 1/4/14. Ask me about diabetes and pregnancy!
First trimester A1c: 5.7%
Second trimester A1c: 6.1%
Late second trimester A1c (25 weeks): 5.7%
Third trimester A1c (35 weeks): 6.0%

"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about, but you refuse to investigate" Dr. Wayne Dyer

#6
JediSkipdogg

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I had to recharge the receiver last night so not looking too promising on the battery life of that and when I first received it before using it I charged it. However, I have "played" quite a bit with it so that possibly has greatly shortened the battery life for this charge. I would imagine the screen kills it quite a bit being colored compared to the old school 1980 screen on the Seven Plus. I'll post more on that after this charge.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#7
Tony

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I know it's only been a week but, how are you finding the accuracy compared to the seven plus?

Tony
Administrator of Diabetesforums.com


"Weeding my way through Diabetes, and taking all of you along for the ride." - archimeech


#8
JediSkipdogg

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Very if not more accurate. Short of the first 24 hours, it has been within 5 mg/dl during each calibration. I have one that was a bit off but calibration came up at 3 am and it wasn't calibrated till about 3 pm. So it went 36 hours without a calibration and even then it was only 20 off (I think it read low then.)

I'll check more when I figure the computer software out. It's only Windows software and therefore I need to install Parallels on my new Macbook I bought earlier this summer before I can install the software. I really wish they would have created some Mac software.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#9
Debbiemt07

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Hi. I am considering buying the Dexcom G4. Have you ever used Medtronic's CGM? If so, how does it compare? Does the Dexcom talk to your Animas pump?

#10
k_dub

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Hi. I am considering buying the Dexcom G4. Have you ever used Medtronic's CGM? If so, how does it compare? Does the Dexcom talk to your Animas pump?


I have not used any Medtronic products.

The G4 does not currently talk to the Animas Pumps that are offered in the US. The Vibe has been approved in the UK. I believe once the Animas Vibe is approved in the US, it will work with the G4. In my case, I have the Animas Ping and the Dexcom G4 is an entirely separate system with it's own receiver.
I hope that makes sense.
Kelly

Current A1C: 6.0%
Diagnosed with LADA June 2008
Animas One Touch Ping March 2009
Dexcom Seven March 2010 --> Dexcom G4 November 2012
Apidra

Mom to Nicholas born 1/4/14. Ask me about diabetes and pregnancy!
First trimester A1c: 5.7%
Second trimester A1c: 6.1%
Late second trimester A1c (25 weeks): 5.7%
Third trimester A1c (35 weeks): 6.0%

"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about, but you refuse to investigate" Dr. Wayne Dyer

#11
jblo

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I'm waiting for my G4. I play competitive soccer 6-7 times a week. Anybody have any thoughts on securing the transmitter during play? A lot of sweat, a lot of bumping, a LOT of scraping. I'd hate to spend that kind of money only to not have it work for my lifestyle. I have no pump so an attached device is new to me.

#12
k_dub

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I'm waiting for my G4. I play competitive soccer 6-7 times a week. Anybody have any thoughts on securing the transmitter during play? A lot of sweat, a lot of bumping, a LOT of scraping. I'd hate to spend that kind of money only to not have it work for my lifestyle. I have no pump so an attached device is new to me.


Check out Tallygear's new G4 case and various belts to keep it on you.
Kelly

Current A1C: 6.0%
Diagnosed with LADA June 2008
Animas One Touch Ping March 2009
Dexcom Seven March 2010 --> Dexcom G4 November 2012
Apidra

Mom to Nicholas born 1/4/14. Ask me about diabetes and pregnancy!
First trimester A1c: 5.7%
Second trimester A1c: 6.1%
Late second trimester A1c (25 weeks): 5.7%
Third trimester A1c (35 weeks): 6.0%

"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about, but you refuse to investigate" Dr. Wayne Dyer

#13
jblo

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Thanks, K-dub. i'll look into those for the receiver. But for soccer, I'll leave the receiver on the side. It would get TOTALLY trashed in a game. That's why i don't have a pump. I'm worried about the transmitter attached to my body. Can't really take that off. How to keep it from getting ripped off or falling off from sweat?

#14
fantomas

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Thanks, K-dub. i'll look into those for the receiver. But for soccer, I'll leave the receiver on the side. It would get TOTALLY trashed in a game. That's why i don't have a pump. I'm worried about the transmitter attached to my body. Can't really take that off. How to keep it from getting ripped off or falling off from sweat?


In terms of the pump, you can always disconnect while you play. As for the Dexcom, sweat will most likely reduce the time the sensor will stick to you. Also, the G4 sticks up a bit higher than the Seven, and could very possibly get caught on things. You might be able to place it in a different location where it would be better protected though
-Scott
Animas Ping, Dexcom 7
Diagnosed Aug '92 at age 7
Sept A1C 6.5 :)

#15
k_dub

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I agree with fantomas.

I use Tegaderm IV3000 over my sensors. One complaint that I have of the G4 sensor versus the Seven Plus sensor is that it's higher profile and seems to get bumped more easily.
During a physical soccer game, you may need a Tegaderm plus additional padding over it.
Kelly

Current A1C: 6.0%
Diagnosed with LADA June 2008
Animas One Touch Ping March 2009
Dexcom Seven March 2010 --> Dexcom G4 November 2012
Apidra

Mom to Nicholas born 1/4/14. Ask me about diabetes and pregnancy!
First trimester A1c: 5.7%
Second trimester A1c: 6.1%
Late second trimester A1c (25 weeks): 5.7%
Third trimester A1c (35 weeks): 6.0%

"The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about, but you refuse to investigate" Dr. Wayne Dyer

#16
GrammaBear

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Thanks, K-dub. i'll look into those for the receiver. But for soccer, I'll leave the receiver on the side. It would get TOTALLY trashed in a game. That's why i don't have a pump. I'm worried about the transmitter attached to my body. Can't really take that off. How to keep it from getting ripped off or falling off from sweat?


I am not involved in sports however I do cover my Gen4 with Hypafix to help extend the life of my sensor. The edges of the adhesive on Dexcom Gen4 tend to curl up a little after 4 or 5 days. Since the sensors are not cheap, I would like to extend the life of the sensor past the 7 day recommended period.

Type 1 - Dx April 2003

 

Medtronic Revel pump - August 2010
Dexcom Gen4 - Sep 2007


#17
jblo

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Thanks for both replies. I'll try the Tegaderm. I'll ask my doctor if they have a trial, maybe even just the transmitter. I'd hate to drop that kind of money on something that just won't work for me. The high profile is exactly the problem. A lower profile, larger surface area would be better for me. I'm glad you mentioned it.

I hope i can get it to work. This would be a great asset to my management... and my wife would sleep better.

#18
jblo

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an update for anyone reading this. I've had my meter for a week. There is definetly a learning curve. One thing to know is that it is a CLUE, not an ANSWER to where your glucose is.

It's kind of like predicting the weather by the wind. The CGM is like the wind. You can use the wind to help indicate where the weather may be heading, but it won't tell you if it's raining, cold, warm or sunny right now. Just that it's windy. Hope that helps.

As far as holding it on. The Tegaderm was a fantasic idea. When I play soccer, I have a wrap that's designed to make you sweat. I cut it in half so it's about 3" wide. I wrap it around my waist and the transmitter to help keep it from getting ripped of. So far, so good.

Here's the wierd thing. I play indoors on a hockey size field. I leave the receiver on the sideline, behind the wall. I figured I'd loose all the readings while I was on the field. NO! They are all there. I'm WAY more than 20 feet away and there's a hard half-wall between me and it. My guess it that maybe the transmitter buffers the readings and picks them up when I get close enough? I'd be interested in a an answer to this. Anyone from Dexcom read this?

#19
JediSkipdogg

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Here's the wierd thing. I play indoors on a hockey size field. I leave the receiver on the sideline, behind the wall. I figured I'd loose all the readings while I was on the field. NO! They are all there. I'm WAY more than 20 feet away and there's a hard half-wall between me and it. My guess it that maybe the transmitter buffers the readings and picks them up when I get close enough? I'd be interested in a an answer to this. Anyone from Dexcom read this?


I'm not from Dexcom but I can tell you there is no buffer. This has been confirmed half a dozen times by leaving the sensor at home and driving off to work to find out I left it at home 10 minutes into my trip. A return back and it just has a gap.

I can say the range is extremely long and much longer than 20 feet and does work through walls. I've left it on my couch before in my living room and been in my shower. That's two walls and rain and I come out and it didn't miss a result.

I think 20 is their safe range as with anything wireless results vary greatly.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#20
squidsdc

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So how about it OP--did you download the software? I ask because I have spent the better part of the past 3 days trying to get the software to recognize my receiver with no success. I spoke with Dexcom tech support on Sunday, yesterday and twice today when it was escalated to a senior tech advisor. I love my G4 for it's accuracy, but it is not a lot of help to me that I cannot download my readings. :mad:

BTW, I was trying the download on two different computers and wouldn't you know the same thing happened on both. One is an old Dell WinXP SP3, and the other is an HP with Win Home Premium SP1. Both computers were updated with the .NET framework updates. Both will not "see" the receiver. The tech support had me uninstall and reinstall the driver several times with no success. Sigh. Any pointers, hints, etc would be much appreciated. *And I do have an MBA as well, but don't have Parallels. If it works on your Mac, I may have to consider trying that route.
Type 1, dx Memorial Day 1971, age 9
Animas PING!, DEXCOM CGM




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