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Dexcom G6

Dexcom G6

Overall Rating

1.2

55 Customer Reviews

Summary

The Dexcom G6 is a continuous glucose monitoring system that is designed to guide treatment decisions and management of your diabetes without the need for traditional fingerstick tests. While it may be a good option, it's important to factor in the costs and whether you're covered by insurance.

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Dexcom G6 Reviews - Important Things To Consider

By Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S

Updated on: May 9, 2020

What is Dexcom G6?

The Dexcom G6 is a small sensor and transmitter that continuously monitors your glucose levels to guide treatment decisions and management of your diabetes without the need for traditional fingerstick tests.

More than 10% of the US population has been diagnosed with diabetes. Though the disease is associated with a number of unwanted physical and emotional burdens, even monitoring glucose levels can negatively impact the quality of life.

Since their introduction, portable meters have allowed for self-monitoring and better control of diabetes. However, these devices require frequent fingersticks to obtain measurements and can contribute to considerable patient morbidity.

According to Dexcom, the G6 continuous glucose monitoring (GCM) system offers a pain-free method of measuring your blood sugar levels.

The small, wearable sensor sends your glucose reading to a smart device every 5-minutes without the need of fingersticks.

According to the company, your Dexcom G6 will:

  • Help you predict where your glucose levels are heading
  • Allow you to make treatment decisions with using painful fingersticks
  • Alert you when you’re readings are outside of the desired range
  • Allow you to share your glucose data with up to 10 followers

Dexcom states that the G6 is proven to lower your A1C (a measurement that indicates how well blood glucose is controlled over a 2-3 month span) and also reduce the number of hypoglycemic (unsafe drops in blood sugar) events.

But can you be certain that Dexcom G6 measurements are accurate?

In this article, we’ll help you answer this question by reviewing any available research examining Dexcom G6’s ability to provide accurate blood glucose measurements.

How to Use the Dexcom G6

To begin using your Dexcom G6, you’ll need 3 things:

  • A display device - this can be the Dexcom receiver or a smart device.
  • The applicator and a built-in sensor
  • The Transmitter

The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Dexcom app through Google Play or the App Store. To link your device, enter the sensor code when prompted by the app.

Similarly, turn on your receiver and enter your sensor code when prompted.

Then, you’ll need to use the applicator to insert the built-in sensor just below the surface of your skin. To do so, remove the applicator from the box and select the appropriate sensor site. The patch of skin over your abdomen located between your belly button and hip is recommended.

Next, wash your hands and prep the sensor site with an alcohol wipe. Remove the labels covering the adhesive portion of the applicator. Place the adhesive on the skin over the sensor site and break off the safety guard.

Lastly, press the button to insert the sensor and discard the applicator.

To insert our transmitter, first, clean it with an alcohol wipe. Next, insert the transmitter tab into the sensor slot and snap the transmitter firmly into place.

It can take up to 30-minutes to pair your device to the sensor. Once paired, follow the prompts for the 2-hour warmup. Once this is complete, you’ll begin to receive your glucose readings every 5-minutes, up to 288 times each day.

At this point, you can configure your app and personalize your desired blood glucose range, as well as select with whom you’d like to share the data.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to use your Dexcom G6, it’s clear that the system seems to provide more data than would be obtainable from portable meters and fingerstick tests. After all, it certainly isn’t feasible to stick your finger 288 times in a single day.

While eliminating the pain associated with traditional methods of monitoring blood sugar is important, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Dexcom G6 measurements are accurate.

Is There Any Science Backing the Dexcom G6?

According to Dexcom, the G6 is proven to lower your A1C and risk for hypoglycemia. Additionally, they claim that the Dexcom G6 has been compared to the test your doctor orders, which is considered the gold standard for measuring your blood glucose.

As both methods differ somewhat in how glucose is measured, the readings they provide are unlikely to be the same. They should be close, however. According to the Dexcom website, the G6 provides accurate readings, meaning that each measurement is relatively close to what your doctor would measure.

As an example, Dexcom believes that their system follows the %20/20 rule.

As your glucose is measured in mg/dL, your G6 reading should be within 20mg/dL when your meter reading is 80mg/dL or lower. If your meter reading is higher than 80mg/dL, your G6 measurement should be within 20% of this number. This rule is likely based on the results of clinical research.

When compared to a laboratory method of measuring blood glucose, Dexcom was found to be within 16.7% of gold standard measurements, on average.

When the original Dexcom system was modified, it was again put to the test. Over 7-days, subjects with diabetes wore a Dexcom sensor and compared glucose measurements to laboratory measures. Researchers concluded that the Dexcom system was within 9% of lab values, on average.

The Dexcom G6 was also studied. In both adults and children, this system was also found to be safe and accurate, with more than 90% of measurements falling within 20% or 20mg/dL of the gold standard.

The Dexcom G6 was also associated with fewer instances of hypoglycemia and more readings within the 70-180mg/dL range.

Most recently, the 20/20 rule was put to the test in pregnant women with diabetes that utilized the Dexcom G6 over a 10-day span. Researchers found that, when compared to the gold standard for measuring blood glucose, the Dexcom G6 was accurate and safe.

Dexcom devices have been safely and accurately tested in children, adults, and during pregnancy. The most recent generation has seemingly improved upon earlier devices.

Is It Safe to Use?

The Dexcom G6 CGM system is generally safe to use. Serious adverse effects were not reported in the available research studies that were published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

This does not mean that the Dexcom G6 is entirely without risk, however.

Skin irritation and infection are probably the most likely side effects of using this device. Following the instructions for placing the sensor can limit your risk for unwanted effects. Ensure that you’ve washed your hands and also prepped the skin, sensor, and transmitter with alcohol wipes.

You can take additional steps to limit skin irritation:

  • Make sure skin is clean and dried thoroughly
  • Trim hair over sensor site to ensure proper contact
  • Limit moisture at sensor site and avoid using lotions and creams in this area
  • A barrier film may help to further reduce the risk for skin irritation

While self-monitoring is a vital component of controlling your diabetes, you should always do it in conjunction with a medical professional.

Be sure to regularly discuss pertinent aspects of your care with your doctor regularly.

What Does It Cost?

Details regarding pricing are not provided on the Dexcom website.

The first step in obtaining your Dexcom G6 requires you to provide your personal contact information, as well as your diabetes type, current treatment, and insurance provider. To determine if Dexcom G6 is right for you, a customer representative will reach out to you to discuss further.

If you have Medicare, you may be eligible for coverage if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have a diabetes diagnosis
  • You have used a home blood glucose monitor at least 4x daily
  • You require 3 or more insulin injections or use an insulin pump
  • Your insulin dosing has required frequent adjustments
  • You’ve met with your doctor to discuss the criteria above every 6 months

If you don't meet the above criteria, you may be eligible to use the Dexcom G6. Once your doctor has prescribed it, you can pick up the system from your local Walgreens.

The Dexcom site does not provide pricing details if your insurance provider does not cover the Dexcom G6. Your best bet is to provide your contact information to speak with a representative about the most cost-effective options.

We were able to dig up some out-of-pocket pricing information elsewhere, however.

According to GoodRx, the Dexcom G6 is available over-the-counter from major retailers like Costco, Publix, Walmart, CVS, Target, and Walgreens.

Pricing for the G6 receiver varies, ranging from $600-$850.

Keep in mind that you will need to replace the sensors every 10 days. Also, the transmitter battery lasts about 6-months, so replacing your transmitter is also required as well. A pack of 3 sensors costs around $420 on average, while a transmitter often costs around $300.

As you can see, the Dexcom G6 can be an extremely expensive method for monitoring blood sugar if you are required to pay out-of-pocket. Again, speaking with a customer representative may reveal more cost-effective options. However, even a 50% reduction in average pricing would still represent a costly investment.

What Are the Alternatives to Dexcom G6?

There are other CGM devices available that similarly aim to avoid the pain and hassle associated with constant finger pricks.

The FreeStyle Libre System is one example. This GCM device uses a sensor that communicates with a receiver, and can store 90-days of glucose data. Medicare also covers this device.

The starter kit costs $215. Libre sensors last 14 days, and replacements cost $67/sensor. This is still a pricey option, but more cost-effective than the Dexcom G6. A prescription is required, however.

The Eversense Implantable GCM is also covered by medicare and uses a sensor that communicates with a receiver. Covered by Cigna and Medicare, Eversense sensors last for 90-days through insertion and removal must be done by a medical professional.

Again prescription is required and pricing information requires you to speak with a customer representative.

The Bottom Line

The Dexcom G6 is reasonably accurate when compared to the gold standard for measuring glucose. Also, serious side effects were not reported in the available research. Nonetheless, you should always take precautions to minimize the risk of skin irritation and infection.

While the Dexcom G6 does avoid the need for fingersticks, it is an expensive method for measuring blood glucose. If you aren’t covered by insurance, your monthly costs can top $700 for replacements.

There are more cost-effective CGM devices available that also use sensors to communicate with receivers. If you’re interested in CGM and are required to pay out-of-pocket, these may be a better option when compared to the Dexcom G6.

Be sure to speak to your doctor about your current management to determine if CGM is safe for you to use.

Customer Reviews

1.2 Stars out of 55 Reviews
5 Star:1% 4 Star:0% 3 Star:3% 2 Star:7% 1 Star:87%
2% Recommend This Company
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Posted on Aug 28, 2021

Not happy

By Kimberly A., Haughton, LA, Verified Reviewer

My 7-year-old is a type one diabetic and we use Dexcom G6. He was diagnosed at 6 so we are new to this and really I have felt that Dexcom was a life savor until recently. I noticed his actions and behavior would be totally out of wack. His receiver would be reading 300s but multiple finger sticks show 90. Also, the receiver started showing multiple lows, I mean urgent lows, 20 and 30s, and he would be fine and a finger prick shows totally fine.

We have already gone through one receiver and had to have a replacement due to not staying charged.

Dexcom app completely crashed my phone and his. Full battery drained in an hour.

But the worst is the TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE rash from the adhesive patch. It's been 3 months since we used the adhesive patch and his belly is just now almost healed. Rash is so bad he would cry from the burning.

Dexcom has gotten completely too comfortable at supplying cheap supplies.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

Rash

Inaccurate readings

Posted on May 30, 2021

Awful

By Steve L., New York, NY, Verified Reviewer

The product is highly overrated. I got burns and rashes on my skin from the adhesive. It was brutal. Sometimes the Dexcom is accurate and other times it is way off! One time it was reading my blood at 61 and going down. I had taken some glucose to raise it. I decided to test my blood with a meter and I was 100. I was no longer low. Thankfully I didn’t take any more sugar to raise my blood.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

The adhesive leaves a rash, burn, and scars

The numbers are not always accurate

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on May 5, 2021

First time user, terrible product.

By Tom T. , Mercer, PA

My first time using Dexcom, two out of the three applicators I used wouldn't release the sensor. When I called Dexcom customer support, they admitted to having issues with manufacturing. They were willing to mail me two new units if I mailed them the two failed units. However, they only sent me one kit to return two units. When the time came to insert a new sensor using one of the new units they sent me, the sensor or transmitter kept failing by giving me extremely high readings, even after calibrating it several times. When I called customer support this time, I got someone obviously answering from home because there was a dog barking in the background. I felt like she had a hard time understanding the situation. I also had a hard time understanding her and what she was asking me. I eventually just ended the call because it sounded like she put me on hold? Or was dealing with something at home, possibly with her dog? Either way, three failures out of four attempts at using their product. Sounds like Dexcom started out strong then they outsourced and changed their manufacturing and customer support and it looks like they're headed for rock bottom. I just noticed their stock dropped by $35 a share and keeps going down. I'm guessing the bad reviews, bad products, and bad customer support are catching up with them.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

If the product would work as advertised, it would be a great product

Poor manufacturing

Outsourced customer support

Can't understand customer support

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Dec 31, 2020

Better keep a charger with you

By Cory H., Butler, PA, Verified Reviewer

This is my first CGM and I absolutely love it! A few problems with the app though:

1.) To say that it drains your phone battery insanely fast is an understatement. My battery before this app would last 8 to 10 hours on a full charge but with this app, it doesn't even last 2 hours. Something has to be done about this because it couldn't be more inefficient.

2.) The dumbest thing in the world is that the app won't work unless you give permission to override the do not disturb function which it will wake you up as it keeps losing connection. It was a very dumb idea to institute this.

3.) The adhesive on the sensors doesn't last near ten days and having to input a code every time you use a new sensor makes it so that you can literally only use the device for 2 weeks then you have to go back to the old way until you can refill your prescription for more sensors.

4.) It's crazy that the app isn't compatible with all types of smartphones. I don't understand why there is such a limited number of devices the app is compatible with.

5.) Also an unbelievable waste of material making the sensor inserter 95% garbage. The cost of this device is way too high. I will give it 3 months until I move on to a different type of CGM.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Accuracy of readings is pretty good

My doctor office is able to get my readings instantly

Pretty user friendly, not hard to understand

Do not disturb override on app

Battery usage is unbelievably inefficient

Adhesive life on sensors and overall cost

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Nov 19, 2020

I think Dexcom G6 is fantastic!

By Matt A., Dallas, TX, Verified Reviewer

It works great, other than an allergic reaction I got from the sensor patch adhesive. That was cleared completely by using kinesiology tape on my skin and placing the sensor patch on that. My A1c has dropped from 7.3 to 6.3 and nighttime lows have been eliminated through the alert function with this unit. It has been a life-changer. My level of control is much better. I've had nothing but positive results on those few occasions I've dealt with customer support. Seriously, my life has changed for the better.

Length of Use: 6–12 months

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Product

Support

Impact on my life

I'm highly allergic to sensor patch adhesive

Posted on Sep 27, 2020

Poor connectivity and tech support

By Clay C., Waynesville, NC, Verified Reviewer

The app is useless and rarely connects to the transmitter. The sensor had issues and could not give readings and the receiver was getting readings off and on for two days then stopped altogether. A call to tech support resulted in a snippy response to my issue. Stopped using the device completely. Same issues with the G5 two years ago. I thought the product would have improved by now but the product and customer service are as bad as they were before.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Promise of a functioning product

Tech support

Connectivity

Customer service

Posted on Sep 2, 2020

Not working

By Jeff B., Vancouver, WA, Verified Reviewer

I updated my operating system about a month ago and it seldom works. If they're gonna sell this product, they should be able to keep up with the operating systems. I do not recommend this.

Length of Use: 3–6 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

System does not work

Posted on Jul 9, 2020

Worst customer service ever

By Steve B., Texas, Verified Reviewer

If you need assistance, you will be placed on hold for almost ever, stuck listening to commercial after commercial prior to being able to make a choice for the next round of choices and the next hundred commercials. The people are great but the phone option menu lengths and commercials are horrifically long and never-ending.

Length of Use: 2+ years

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

Decent device

The horrible phone help menus and commercials

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Feb 24, 2020

Dexcom is focused on profits, not patient service

By Mark D., Lawrence, KS, Verified Reviewer

I love the Dexcom G6 system, which performs wonderfully to provide blood sugar readings over 5-minute intervals to your phone, and the Clarity software is easy to use, provides awesome analysis tools, and even allows me to provide my doctor access to the readings. These are the positives.

Unfortunately, the negatives are awful. My experience reordering sensors and transmitters has been horrendous. Orders I have placed online offered a variety of shipping options, and I have generally chosen the 3-day option. Most of the orders I have placed in the past year have been delayed and have taken weeks to be delivered. And the problem is Dexcom, not the courier. I have emailed customer service and rarely get a response. The time I did receive a response via the email option, it came almost 36 hours later. By then, I had given up and called the customer service number. By then, the order was 8 days old, and I was down to my last 2 days of sensor life on my remaining supply. The customer service rep (CSR) said the hold-up was insurance verification. I clarified that I was prompted to verify my insurance information in the order process and fully complied, so asked if the issue was on Dexcom's end, verifying whether the info I provided was consistent with the insurance company's records. He said yes. I've dealt with my insurance company on earlier issues with Dexcom, and the insurance company has superior customer service, so I suspect Dexcom was sitting on the order. The rep said he would get the order released for carrier pick-up that afternoon. Two days later, my order was picked up by FedEx, and the tracking information shows the order will arrive FOUR DAYS AFTER IT WAS PICKED UP. That will be 14 DAYS AFTER THE ORDER WAS PLACED.

Dexcom is very efficient at charging your credit for your orders, at the expense of accuracy. I had experiences last year when Dexcom charged my card so early that the charges appeared on my bill before I received my insurance company's explanation of benefits statement. After discovering, as a result, that I had been billed for charges that my insurance company had covered, I called my insurance company to address the issue, which quickly determined I was overbilled for a total of over $700 for two orders. The insurance company rep followed through by contacting Dexcom, which responded by stating my credit card would be credited for the full amount. I waited for over a month to no avail, had to call my insurance company again. The insurance rep called Dexcom while I waited on hold, and after addressing the matter with his contact, patched me into a 3-way call to get a commitment from the Dexcom rep that the credit would be provided in the next day or two. Monitoring my credit card online, I received the first of two credits in two days, and a second for the remaining balance in four days.

Dexcom offers an excellent product that overwhelmingly exceeds the quality of the company's patient care and customer service. I believe it is practices like Dexcom's that call for more thorough federal regulation of companies that are granted patents for drugs and medical supplies. If those granted the patents for medical devices cannot provide adequate services to sufficiently respond to patient needs by meeting reasonable standards of service, the patents should be permanently revoked, freeing the formula or technology opened to competitors to produce, sell, and distribute. I could guarantee that that type of check and balance would motivate Dexcom's behavior to better respond to its patients or at least provide them sufficient competition to promote patient welfare that is seriously lacking in this instance.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Jan 14, 2020

Lack of customer service

By Gordon L., San Antonio, TX, Verified Reviewer

I am a Medicare/Tricare for Life customer of Dexcom. I use the G6 sensors and transmitter. They are wonderful products. Using the call center that Dexcom routes its calls to is absolutely useless. I tried reordering my supplies, I called Dexcom, was routed overseas, the agent said I did not have a valid Medicare number and to call my doctor's office and get one. The next said I needed a four-day investigation to determine benefits although Dexcom used my Medicare account the month before. My sensor expires in 8 days after that I’ll move to another CGM with USA-based customer service.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Jan 8, 2020

In my opinion this is a rip-off company

By Patricia C., Alabama, Verified Reviewer

I have been dealing with Dexcom for over a year now. I filled out the information required to have a representative contact me about ordering the Dexcom G6. I first waited until Medicare-approved paying their part for this apparatus. When I called I was asked to pay cash then try to get my money back from Medicare. Are you kidding me? I know this wouldn't go too easy if I ever got my money back from Medicare. I told him I couldn't afford this. He then told me to call back in 3 to 4 months and maybe they would have some machines available to Medicare Insurance clients then. I waited again and called back with the same runaround. I think Medicare should check into the practices of this company. Am I not being discriminated against by Dexcom for only having Medicare insurance along with my supplementary insurance instead of having the cash needed to purchase this Dexcom G6.

Needless to say, I am still sitting here with no Dexcom G6. I am in my 70's and type 1 diabetic but who cares? Certainly not Dexcom. In my opinion, I call this company a rip-off and disgraceful company to do business with. I don't know how they get anyone to work for them and most involved with this company will account for their actions some day. If you can go with another CGM system then I would advise it as that is what I am going to do myself.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted
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