A technical glitch impacted thousands of people with diabetes in the US over the weekend, arguably leaving them vulnerable to hypoglycemia.
The Dexcom G6, a blood glucose monitor that links to a phone app and generates an alert when the user’s blood sugar levels dip dangerously low, suffered a serious service outage on Friday night.
The outage meant that many people did not realise that their monitors were no longer able to send an alert during the night, leaving some vulnerable to nocturnal hypoglycemia.
Twitter has been awash with complaints about the outage, particularly parents who had no idea their children’s blood sugar levels were no longer being monitored.
Speaking to The New York Times, Dr Virginia Coleman-Prisco, whose ten-year-old-son wears the device, said: “We rely on this technology. We didn’t get any alerts, and that’s really dangerous. Our son could have died in his sleep.”
Another Dexcom user Carrie Diulus, told MedTech Dive that the glitch had “rocked the diabetes online world.”
She added: “We’ve all gotten so used to this technology. The risk is if a parent doesn’t know their child is going low overnight, there is potential for a fatal hypoglycemic event. If a child’s blood sugar goes high overnight, diabetic ketoacidosis can occur, which can also be fatal.”
In an email to American news outlet CNBC Dexcom said the company became aware there was an issue on Saturday morning, blaming it on a server malfunction.
The company said: “We are still investigating official root cause. We did not release any updates or changes to cause this issue, further complicating our investigation. However, we have determined that a server overload occurred due to an unexpected system issue that generated a massive backlog, which our system was unable to sufficiently handle.”