When Dexcom announced their new G4 continuous glucose monitoring system last month, I was ecstatic. And anxious to get mine. Since I got my latest Seven Plus system only in July, that made me eligible for their upgrade offer. Which I enlisted for immediately. I was originally told the expected shipment for my upgraded system wasn’t going to be until early to mid December. However Dexcom made me a very happy customer by delivering it to me at the beginning of this month instead, one day past the date four years ago when I got my very first Seven system. It has been a week and a half using the new G4 and I wanted to share my thoughts. Kerri, Scott and Arden, Kim, Catherine, Kelly and Adam and Melissa have already shared their experiences if you’d like to check those out as well.
The tape. All of us who are Dexcom users know that the tape that keeps the sensor and transmitter on our body parts isn’t the stickiest of all tapes. I was somewhat hoping that they would have improved on that but it doesn’t look like they did. I’m currently on day 9 of my first G4 sensor and I’ve already had to add some Flexifix tape to the mix. (side note: if not-so-sticky tape is the most of the negative features of this system, I will gladly take it)
The transmitter. It is similarly shaped to the Seven Plus transmitter yet slightly thicker or bulkier, from top to bottom. I had a wee bit trouble setting it into the pod of the sensor. I’m hoping my next sensor insertion will be without that wee bit of trouble. My primary area for wearing the sensors is my outer thigh. I did notice at first that it sticks out a bit more than the old transmitter and thought maybe it would be a concern. However since wearing it, I really don’t notice the difference. It states in the manual that the transmitter battery life is only at least 6 months. We shall see how that pans out.
The receiver. Let’s face it. I like diabetes devices that are pretty or that I can pretty up. So of course I got the tinkled pink. I love that they offer three different colors. It is tiny compared to the Seven Plus “egg” receiver. This makes carrying it around much more flexible. The color screen is fabulous. I like how they color coded the out of range readings – red for low and yellow for high. I like how the alerts in color seem to draw more attention. See how the below low alarm looks much more alerting in red!
And also how the replace sensor soon warning appears more unmistakable.
Even the BG calibration notifications are more obvious – with the green check for the first reading already entered and remaining red drop for the additional reading still needed.
The alerts to me are more audible, which I know is a great thing to many. I keep mine on vibrate since I don’t usually have a problem hearing that during the night. I feel the vibration is stronger or louder. Even the tone that occurs if you’ve missed a vibrating alert is louder. This is a huge plus. Let’s not forget the range. The G4 can send signals from the transmitter to the receiver up to 20 feet away. How awesome is that?
The battery life. I haven’t noticed much of a difference in the battery life, positive or negative. I typically charge my receiver once or twice a week. The improvement, in my opinion, is that it has a normal USB plug to charge unlike the Seven Plus. This is wonderful since I already have USBs for my Kindle Fire and my work Blackberry. It allows more freedom in terms of having yet another cable to have handy in order to charge it.
The accuracy. For the past four years, I have always been happy with the accuracy of my Seven Plus system. There were times when it wasn’t all that accurate but those were few for me. The last 9 days of the G4 have proved to be a tad more accurate even, compared to my finger sticks. And isn’t that something we are all striving for? Better accuracy for our diabetes management? Heck yeah. Of course this device still isn’t perfect in terms of accuracy. I had an off reading last night. But overall, there is an improved accurateness that is evident. Also, I have not had one period of ??? yet. I’m hoping I didn’t just jinx it but that is a wonderful enhancement.
My overall impression. Thank you Dexcom for investing in a system that helps many people with diabetes manage their glucose levels. I heart you.