What is Dexcom Share?
Dexcom Share is the first medical mobile app approved by the FDA for continuous glucose monitoring. It has two parts: Share app and Follow app. Sharers can securely share their blood sugar levels from a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) with selected followers (up to five people) in real-time using the mobile Dexcom Share app. It allows caregivers to remotely monitor a patient’s blood sugar level through the Follow app on their mobile device so that they can monitor and manage a patient’s diabetes.
How are they used?
A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a small glucose sensor that is inserted under a patient’s skin. It detects glucose level in interstitial fluid (the fluid around the cells) and provides a steady stream of information about glucose levels. The information is first received in the Dexcom Share cradle or receiver, which is a device that transfers glucose information to the patient's (sharer) iPhone or iPod touch via a Bluetooth connection. The information is sent form the iPhone or iPod touch to the Dexcom Cloud using either Wi-fi or a cellular data plan. The Dexcom Cloud is a secured system that sends the information to the iPhone or iPod touch of “followers” (for example, caregivers).
What are some advantages of Dexcom Share?
It is critical for diabetic patients to monitor their blood glucose regularly and frequently, adjust doses of medications, and control their diet. Dexcom Share helps patients monitor blood glucose levels throughout the day and night and share the data with “followers” such as caregivers, physicians, parents, or spouse. It sends an alarm to “followers” when the patient's blood glucose level is too low or too high. There are higher chances of hypoglycemia (very low glucose levels) at night when patients are sleeping. The physical symptoms of hypoglycemia include sweating, dizziness, shakiness, pounding heart, and confusion. Hypoglycemia is life threatening if patients do not quickly recognize the symptoms and initiate treatment.
Dexcom Share adds another level of patient monitoring by sending an alarm to caregivers. It gives patients and their caregivers peace of mind. For example, parents can monitor their child’s blood sugar levels when they are not home. Also the blood sugar of elderly parents may be monitored even when they live hours away. It is a convenient tool that may improve quality of life.
Advice for patients?
Dexcom Share does not replace a blood glucose meter; it only provides secondary notifications for patients and their “followers”. A blood glucose meter should still be used to make treatment decisions for diabetes mellitus. Patients should not rely on their Followers to notify them about low or high glucose levels because there could be a problem with any of the devices connected to Dexcom Share.
Is a prescription required to get Dexcom Share?
A prescription is not required to obtain Dexcom Share. The Share or Follow apps area available in the Apple App store. However, a prescription is required to purchase a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).
What do they cost?
An iPhone or iPod touch with an Internet service is required. There is no charge to download the apps, however the Dexcom Share cradle costs $299 to purchase.