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A Comprehensive Review of the Dexcom G7



A brief overview of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a diabetes management tool that tracks blood glucose levels. Its fundamental departure from traditional blood glucose monitoring, which offers singular and static readings, lies in its ability to provide a continuous stream of data, sampled at regular intervals ranging from 5 to 15 minutes.


The mechanics of CGM are founded on a diminutive sensor discreetly inserted under the skin. This sensor gauges glucose levels within the interstitial fluid, painting a dynamic portrait of a person's metabolic ebb and flow. This sensor is linked to a transmitter, orchestrating a wireless relay of this crucial data either to a dedicated receiver or a smartphone application. The receiver or app renders real-time glucose data and insightful trends.


CGM provides valuable information about how food, movement, medication, and other factors affect glucose levels. This helps people with diabetes make informed decisions.



Image of the G7 logo, the phone with the G7 app, and the G7 sensor

 

Importance of managing blood glucose levels and how CGMs can help

Trials studying the use of continuous glucose monitors in people with diabetes have shown improvements in A1c, time in range, and overall quality of life. Even just within the first 3 months of use, CGM therapy correlates with improvements in psychosocial outcomes and improved HbA1c levels for people with T1D and T2D3.


A three-year, real-world clinical trial—the longest CGM outcome study to-date—reiterates the clinical impact of using real-time CGM (RT-CGM). Study participants with T1D using CGM showed significantly reduced A1C levels, increased TIR (70-180 mg/dL), and decreased time below range (<70 mg/dL), independent of insulin delivery method1.

The benefits of CGM therapy don’t just apply to people with type 1 diabetes. Patients with T2D on mealtime insulin achieved an average 1.4% A1C reduction after using CGM therapy for 12+ weeks2, allowing type 2 diabetes patients to better meet their target A1c goals.   


Meeting A1c goals can help people with diabetes maintain their health longer and live better lives. Having a more comprehensive picture of blood sugar trends can improve quality of life by helping people with diabetes feel more confident in their decision making and medication dosing strategies.



white hands holding a blood glucometer and checking blood sugar


 

Introduction to the Dexcom G7

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, the Dexcom G7 is the latest iteration in the Dexcom line of CGM devices. Its approval marked a significant milestone in diabetes technology, further enhancing the precision and convenience of glucose monitoring for individuals with diabetes. As of the current writing of this article in September 2023, the Dexcom G7 is only available in the United States. For the most current and specific availability details, visit the official Dexcom website or consult a health care professional.


 

Key features and benefits of the Dexcom G7

Here are the current key features of the Dexcom G7 as advertised by the manufacturer:

  1. Enhanced Accuracy and Precision: Improved sensor technology for highly accurate glucose readings.

  2. Compact and Streamlined Design: Compact sensor and transmitter for enhanced comfort and discreet wear.

  3. Real-Time Glucose Data on Smart Devices: Seamless integration with smart phones and other devices for real-time glucose monitoring and alerts.

  4. Customizable Alerts and Alarms: Personalized alerts for high and low blood glucose levels to assist with timely interventions.

  5. Interoperability and Connectivity: Interoperability with diabetes management apps and devices, facilitating comprehensive health tracking.

  6. Improved User Interface and Experience: Intuitive and user-friendly interface for easy navigation and understanding of glucose data.

  7. Remote Monitoring and Sharing Features: Ability to share glucose data with caregivers or healthcare providers remotely for better support and management.

  8. Water-Resistant and Durable: Ability to withstand exposure to water, making it suitable for various activities and lifestyles.

 

Two white hands holding a G7 sensor and a G6 sensor against a yellow background

Dexcom G7 vs Dexcom G6 (the previous model)

The Dexcom G7 boasts some pretty significant improvements to it’s predecessor, the Dexcom G7. Take a look at this comparison of the two:


 

My personal experience and Dexcom G7 Review

I wore the Dexcom G7 for a total of 20 days, utilizing two separate sensors. My intention was to provide a comprehensive Dexcom G7 review from the perspectives of a CDCES, RN, and my lived experience.


Anticipation surrounded the release of the Dexcom G7 system due to its promising new features. This included a grace period and alarm snoozing, both of which were much-needed improvements.


But, I regret to report that, based on my experience, I cannot recommend this system to my clients. In my professional and personal opinion, Dexcom rushed this launch. This has resulted in critical issues and bugs that impact the system's performance and reliability.


While every individual's experience with a medical device can be unique, it's disheartening to note that my issues are not isolated. Similar concerns have been echoed by my clients and various members of the diabetes online community, raising valid doubts about the readiness of the Dexcom G7 system for widespread use. For a detailed account of my experience and a more in-depth exploration of my thoughts, I invite you to watch my comprehensive video on YouTube.




Pros and Cons

Here is my personal list of pros and cons:

Pros

Cons


Person in heels wearing a pink jacket and jeans. Rolling a pink luggage carry on.

 

Final Thoughts

I had extremely high hopes for the G7. The allure of its new features and potential benefits was significant. But it's disheartening to discover that the G7's overall functionality overshadowed all the promising improvements.

I'm optimistic that Dexcom will swiftly address the signal loss and sensor noise concerns through updates, allowing us to confidently transition to this system and fully embrace its potential.


Are you going to make the switch to the Dexcom G7?

  • Yes, definitely

  • Already have

  • Pry the G6 from my cold, dead hands



References

1.

Šoupal J, Petruželková L, Grunberger G, et al. Glycemic Outcomes in Adults With T1D Are Impacted More by Continuous Glucose Monitoring Than by Insulin Delivery Method: 3 Years of Follow-Up From the COMISAIR Study. Diabetes Care. 2020;43(1):37-43. doi:10.2337/dc19-0888

2.

Champakanath A, Akturk HK, Alonso GT, Snell-Bergeon JK, Shah VN. Continuous Glucose Monitoring Initiation Within First Year of Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis Is Associated With Improved Glycemic Outcomes: 7-Year Follow-Up Study. Diabetes Care. 2022;45(3):750-753. doi:10.2337/dc21-2004

3.

Gilbert TR, Noar A, Blalock O, Polonsky WH. Change in Hemoglobin A1c and Quality of Life with Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring Use by People with Insulin-Treated Diabetes in the Landmark Study. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2021;23(S1):S35-S39. doi:10.1089/dia.2020.0666

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