Tracking your diabetes data can be a real burden, for you as well as for your loved ones and other caregivers. But new technology may make following your glucose fluctuations and keeping everyone up to date a lot easier. The FDA recently gave the green light to a set of mobile apps that allow users to continuously track – and share – their glucose levels. Developed by diabetes device maker Dexcom, the new apps will not only allow you to view your glucose data on you iPhone; they also send that data to your loved ones and any others involved in managing your diabetes care, no matter where they are. And while this is a first, the FDA does not expect it to be the only.
“Today’s marketing permission paves the way for similar technologies to be marketed in the United States,” reads an FDA press release issued on January 23. ““This innovative technology has been eagerly awaited by the diabetes community, especially caregivers of children with diabetes who want to monitor their glucose levels remotely.”
What does that mean for you? If you use Dexcom’s continuous glucose monitoring device – the G4 Platinum CGM System with Share – you’ll be able to designate up to 5 ‘followers.’ Customizable glucose level updates from your CGM will be transmitted to your followers’ Apple devices – iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch – via a pocket-sized, portable receiver. They’ll also receive alarms if those levels drop too low. An Android version is in the works but Dexcom has not said when we can expect it. The company is also developing an app for the Apple Watch.
Previously, the Share required users to dock their G4 in a cradle, a much less mobile setup. The new option is “a big improvement for caregivers desiring more convenient remote access to patients’ CGM data,” write Adam Brown and Alexander J. Wolf on Diatribe. They also note that the receiver will work with Dexcom’s upcoming G5 CGM, though it will only be needed as a backup. Data will flow from the wearable monitor right to your iPhone.
If you already bought the cradle version of the Share, you’ll get a free upgrade to the new device when it ships in March. A Dexcom rep tells WebMD that the cost of the G4 will vary from person to person based on insurance coverage. The Share app is free.
What do you think? Now that the FDA has approved these apps, what other types of apps would you like to see?