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CGM/GM Price Comparison

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by tim2000s, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. steamerpoint

    steamerpoint · Newbie

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    I was one of the first T1 diabetics to start using CGM in the UK when a friend of mine brought a Dexcom Seven back from the States for me, before they were licenced over here. After upgrading to a Dexcom Seven Plus later and 3-years ago, going onto the Animas Vibe, using the Dexcom G4 sensors on and off for a few years now.

    I have recently had the pleasure of using the Abbott Freestyle Libre, I am now considering to switch to the Libre. I still have my Vibe so can easily go either way, but I am leaning towards the Libre and here is why.

    As has already been mentioned, the Dexcom transmitter is disposable when the internal battery dies! This is a money making scam and Dexcom know it. Because I am unable to fund 100% of my year with CGM coverage, it works out expensive when you only use 6 to 10 sensors on a single transmitter.

    Another issue with the Dexcom is the need to calibrate the sensor every 12-hours with blood tests! Like many people, I dislike the finger prick tests and really want a break from blood testing when I am wearing a CGM.

    Then there is the sensor life. The Dexcom is designed to last for 7-days and while they can be rebooted, trying to keep it in place for weeks can be a real challenge, especially in hot and sweaty conditions, or if you swim regularly. I found myself using Tegaderm film to keep it in place, dry and sterile. My longest sensor life was just over 3-weeks, but the last week was fairly inaccurate with several periods of ???. Living in constant hope of keeping the sensor in place and that it still keeps working day after day is a pressure you don't need. Calculating the price of the Dexcom based on what you might expect from a sensor is unreasonable. If it fails on day 8, customer services will not replace it.

    Plus if you only use CGM from time to time, the extra pressure of knowing that your transmitter is slowly dieing in a drawer somewhere is also no fun. It tempts you into spending above your budget and buy more sensors than you can afford to get more use out of your expensive dieing transmitter.

    The Dexcom alarms used to wind me up too. My wife started sleeping in the spare room, especially when the Dexcom started becoming inaccurate. It kept alarming that I was falling too quickly or was below 3.4, but subsequent blood tests showed that I was really 6.4 mmol or similar. You end up turning off all alarms!

    As the Libre needs no transmitter, it allows you to chill out, leave it for a month or two, buy a sensor, use it and then leave things for a while again. Cheaper long term costs if you don't need full CGM coverage.

    The Libre requires no calibration, so no blood tests required. Okay officially you are meant to do a blood test before giving yourself insulin, but I have found the Libre to be very accurate and after gaining my confidence, I would do a random test each day to check it was still fine and then used it's data to treat myself.

    The sensors stick very well. In fact so good, I found it really hard to detach from my arm!

    It is designed to last for 14-days, unlike the 7-day Dexcom, so peace of mind if calling customer support in week two or informing my diabetes nurse that I had rebooted my Dexcom and was using it for longer than I was meant to.

    If you are a pumper and have access to reliable CGM, you ideally want to be setting up your pump basal rates and getting to know how your body reacts to certain foods/carbs, which should allow you to opperate without a CGM for extended periods. The CGM can then be used to double check your control from time to time or when your life routine changes significantly. Though in my opinion, CGM provides T1 diabetics the full picture and allows them to correctly manage your blood sugars. It should be a minimum standard of care for all T1 diabetics. If only it was more affordable!
     
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  2. djking

    djking Type 1 · Member

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    Hi @steamerpoint
    I agree with all your points except for a couple. I find the libre doesn't stick to me very well and have lost multiple after a week - but maybe that's the under the arm location which I think is a terrible place to put it. Last time I put it on, I also added about a 4 inch square of Opsite Flexifix but alas, it still came off on day 11 after a bit of a knock.
    Do you or anyone else have experience with using other locations?

    I too think Dexcom could have done their transmitter power differently (ie LIR2032) and can only think it is for the profits. Personally, I have no issue having to calibrate a CGM every 12 hours or so...
    All in all though, I'm using the Libre for the same reasons as you are.

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
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  3. zbluebirdz

    zbluebirdz Type 2 · Active Member

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    I have used the Libre a few times and am not likely to go back to it - for the following reasons:
    1) Sensor has a short life - stops at end of 14 days
    2) I can easily cause readings to be incorrect (e.g. placement of arm, exercise, bath/shower)
    3) Don't have any thick skin on my arms
    4) The graph on the scanner isn't very useful when your mmol/L readings are in the range of 3.6 - 6.5. Mostly, I see flat lines with small "rises" and "dips" in the graphs. This is due to not able to adjust the upper limit of the graph's mmol/L range.
    5) Expensive (I'm based in Ireland, so self-funded)
    6) I received no support from Abbott regarding a suspect sensor
     
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  4. Gaz-M

    Gaz-M Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    can anyone tell me how long the G5 sensors and transmitter works for please?

    Dexcom are selling 1 trasmitter and 4 sensors for £275 at the moment so I'm a little curious

    Thanks in advance
     
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  5. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
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    That's a great price.

    The sensors officially last for 7 days. I get between 14 and 21 days out of them, but Dexcom won't replace them beyond 7 days.

    The transmitter lasts exactly 112 days with the official app, however, if you use xDrip+ on an Android phone, you can get a lot longer out of them.
     
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  6. Gaz-M

    Gaz-M Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tim, I have an Iphone so the 122 days it would be. I'll see what my car fails its MOT on tomorrow and may take the plunge as a 1 off for now
     
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  7. Gaz-M

    Gaz-M Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    can only find sugar mate on IOS for the G5
     
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  8. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
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    Not sure what you mean?

    On the iPhone you have a choice of the Dexcom app or nothing. On Android, you have the Dexcom app or xDrip+, which is the wearenotwaiting app.
     
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  9. Gaz-M

    Gaz-M Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    if you look for xDrip+ on apple store it comes up with sugarmate, its just a companion for the G5
     
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  10. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
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    xDrip+ isn't on the iPhone, so you won't find it in the Apple App Store.
     
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  11. DunePlodder

    DunePlodder Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  12. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
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    It has a few limitations, namely that it requires you to be permissioned on the Developer's server and he has constrained numbers.
     
  13. joanne75

    joanne75 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi I need some help please I have in the past tried the libre but I either knock it or it comes unstuck so looking for an alternative. Now I've read through what I can but I'm still confused, I use the omnipod and need CGM that will do the following:-

    Track my sugars via an iPhone or similar
    Alert me when my sugars get too low or high
    Small and discreet enough (don't like that the libre has to go on the arm)
    Has good adhesive
    As accurate if not more so than the libre
    Thanks so much
     
  14. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi Joanne, the Libre has one of the lowest profiles of any of the glucose sensors available. FOllowing that there are the Dexcom G5 and Medtronic Guardian devices. Neither is as low profile as the Libre, but both are more accurate and can be used on an iPhone app. The sensors are also supposed to be worn on the abdomen rather than the arm.

    Adhesive is very subjective to the person and I'd argue that all the CGM systems require additional adhesive to last two weeks.
     
  15. joanne75

    joanne75 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank u @tim2000s im swayed towards the dexcom G4 or G5 in your opinion which would b best I also like the idea of being able to see ur bloods on an Apple Watch. I have read that people mdntion the alarms being a pain, but one of the main reason I was interested in these rather than the libre is that u can set an alarm when ur blood gets low are u able to explain to me how the alarms work thd last thing I want is to be out or in a meeting and the alarm goes of constantly sorry for all the questions but it's quite expensive and I want to make sure I make the right choice
     
  16. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The G4 doesn't work with iPhone or Apple Watch. Only the G5 does.

    You tell the dexcom where you want your high or low alert to be. If you level drops under the line, the dexcom will alert. If you are getting the alerts to the dexcom receiver you can set the receiver to vibrate, and you can tell if you don't want it to alarm again for a certain period after the first alarm is responded to. So mine will alert and if I press the buttons to tell it I'm alive and I've heard it, it won't alert again for 45 min. If you are getting the alerts to your phone you can put your phone on silent - no alerts. However, when using the iPhone as receiver I think they have done it so you can't silence the urgent low alert - so if you drop under 3.1 it will make a noise.
     
  17. joanne75

    joanne75 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so does that as soon as I hear the alarm I can just press a button and it doesn't alarm again, I mean does it keep alarming until my sugars rise? do you have a problem with the sensor staying stuck? would you say its worth every penny what do you like the most do you have any pros or cons, how much is the running cost a month, how long to you get out of your sensors?, Im so sorry for all the questions Im not seeing DSN until end of January so no one else to ask, thank you :)
     
  18. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    With the G4 that depends how you have your alerts set. I don't know how the alerts work with G5 because I only ever used G5 when it was possible to fully silence it by putting your phone on silent.

    No. My sensors usually stick just fine for 3 weeks. I never use skin tac. I might occasionally use a rockadex sticker over the top in week 2 or 3.

    Mine are currently funded (hypo unaware) but I did previously self fund. I don't think I'd use that exact phrase, but I wouldn't have been self funding if i didn't absolutely need them.

    Well, I'm hypo unaware so it's alarm or just pass out and the alarm is a better option.

    Not really. I don't think I understand the question.

    See post one of this thread.

    The DSN is likely to know s*d all about it, so there wouldn't be a lot of point asking her.
     
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  19. joanne75

    joanne75 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for ur time.
     
  20. SamElliott1997

    SamElliott1997 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Okay, sorry if this has already been brought up. But, compare a G4 that lasts an average amount of time (not what dexcom quote), to a Libre with a BluCon Nightrider to make it a CGM instead of a FGM, and using something like xDrip on iPhone, would this make the Libre cheaper to run in the second year than the G4? Considering the Nightrider doesn't really need to be replaced for ages, only the battery.

    Correct me please if I have got anything wrong here
     
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