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Q & A with Kevin Sayer – Overview of the Dexcom G6

Authors: Kevin Sayer, President and CEO of Dexcom Published Online: March 4th 2020

At the ATTD annual meeting in Madrid, Spain, on the 19-22 February, 2020, Dexcom released the latest G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system. Blood sugar that is not well controlled in a pregnant woman with Type 1 can lead to serious problems for the mother and child, and the ways diabetes is managed during pregnancy currently are limited and this licensing provides more choice for HCPs and patients. Women are now able to use the Dexcom G6 system during pregnancy, which is a huge development in improving quality of life, not just for this group of high risk patients, but for all types of people living with type 1 diabetes.

President and CEO of Dexcom, Kevin Sayer, joins touchENDOCRINOLOGY to outline the key benefits of the new Dexcom G6 system, and what we can expect from the company in the near future.

Q. Please summarise the unique features of the Dexcom G6 system?

The Dexcom G6 is our latest CGM system. It is a small, wearable device that can track glucose levels 24 hours a day and give real-time alerts on smartphones if levels exceed or drop below the user’s defined levels.

One of the biggest advancements of the Dexcom G6 is that users no longer need to do routine fingerstick glucose tests, ultimately eliminating the need for this painful daily burden. The Dexcom G6 sensor generates continuous glucose readings automatically every five minutes.

The Dexcom G6 has been designed with consumer convenience in mind and the new features include:

  1. Elimination of routine fingersticks – including daily calibrations
  2. One-touch, simple-to-use sensor applicator
  3. ‘Urgent Low Soon’ alert, which aids the detection of hypoglycaemia before it starts to help avoid dangerous low glucose events
  4. Re-designed transmitter with a 28% lower profile than the G5 for improved device comfort while remaining easy to wear underneath clothing
  5. Paracetamol/acetaminophen blocking that provides for accurate glucose readings even for those taking this medication
  6. 10-Day sensor wear providing for more than 40% longer use than the G5
  7. Compatibility with smartphones and Apple Watch to discreetly display glucose information in real-time

Q. How will the Dexcom G6 improve the lives of patients with Type 1 diabetes?

People with Type 1 diabetes typically need to take between 4 and 10 fingerstick glucose tests per day, which is a significant burden and provides no indication of whether glucose levels are heading up, down or are stable. Dexcom G6 sensors automatically take glucose readings every five minutes and send readings to smartphone apps or a smartwatch through a Bluetooth connection. Caretakers of Dexcom users can also use Dexcom Follow, an app that allows for remote monitoring. Patients can share their CGM information with up to – five people of their choice if they have downloaded the Follow app.

All of this information can be used to better understand a person’s time in range, which we know is becoming an important metric for people with diabetes to understand and track, as it can offer a more nuanced, cause-and-effect understanding of diabetes and ultimately help them better manage the disease.

Q. What are the current unmet needs in effectively measuring glucose levels in pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes?

Glucose levels are hard to manage in pregnancy due to the increasing need for and resistance to insulin. Poorly controlled glucose levels in pregnant women with Type 1 or gestational diabetes can lead to serious problems for the mother and child, and the solutions for managing diabetes during pregnancy are currently limited.

The CE Mark we recently received for the Dexcom G6 for pregnant women provides more choice for both healthcare professionals and patients to manage their disease, helping to ensure pregnancy is as safe and healthy as possible.

Q. How will the Dexcom G6 system help pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes?

CGM is a means of measuring glucose levels continuously throughout the day and night, and can provide short-term insight into the effectiveness of diabetes interventions. With the Dexcom G6 CGM now available for use during pregnancy, pregnant women living with Type 1 or gestational diabetes can now have their CGM data readily available, which can help make their diabetes easier to manage.

Women with Type 1 or gestational diabetes usually require six or more fingersticks per day. These fingersticks are required when fasting as well as one to two hours after eating. CGM eliminates the need for fingersticks and provides patients with regular updates and alerts throughout the day and night. This allows them to better manage their glucose levels with confidence.

In addition, our app allows patients to share their glucose information with up to five people who have the separate Dexcom Follow App and an internet connection. This feature enables not only family and loved ones to remotely monitor patients for extra peace of mind, but also provides ease of management when a patient is pregnant and sharing health data with their healthcare professional.

Q. What do you expect to be the next major development in the Dexcom CGM?

At Dexcom, we are always looking for opportunities to innovate on behalf of the diabetes community.

Our next major development will be our next-generation G7 system, which incorporates many of the features of G6 and more. Similar to G6, our G7 product will be a real-time CGM, factory calibrated and feature a simple sensor application. Improvements unique to G7 include an even smaller wearable that combines the sensor and transmitter into one component and is fully disposable, extended sensor wear and significant manufacturing cost reduction. We anticipate a limited launch of G7 by the end of 2020 and a full launch some time in 2021.

Looking further ahead, in the next five years we would like to see CGM become a first-line technology for all individuals with Type 1 diabetes, including those who are either pregnant or admitted to hospitals. Additionally, we are looking to expand CGM adoption to people with non-intensively managed Type 2 diabetes who could use the technology as a behavior change tool.

Support: No funding was received in the publication of this Insight article.

Published: 4 March 2020

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