Dexcom’s continuous blood glucose monitoring systems help people living with diabetes track their blood sugar levels. The device connects to a person’s skin and provides continuous feedback to an app they can download onto their phone or tablet.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

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What is Dexcom?

Founded in 1999, Dexcom released its first continuous glucose monitor (CGM) in 2006. The company has since made changes and upgrades to its designs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Medicare have approved the system and devices for various uses.

Dexcom claims its systems can continuously provide updates and feedback about a person’s blood sugar levels. The person can then use the information to help manage their diabetes

A person will require a prescription from their doctor.

Dexcom continuous monitoring systems

Dexcom’s CGM systems pair with companion apps to display data in real-time. The comapny’s products and services include:

G6 CGM System

Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring system and app against a blue background.

The G6 CGM System is Dexcom’s primary product. It includes everything a person needs to monitor their blood sugar levels, including:

  • sensors
  • transmitters
  • applicator
  • a small device to display data
  • app connectivity 

The G6 CGM system works by attaching a monitoring device to the skin. The system does not require a person to use finger sticks to get results. Instead, they can access their current levels anytime through the app.

Read our Dexcom G6 review here.

Pros

  • The transmitter can send alerts to a compatible device.
  • The CGM checks blood glucose levels every 5 minutes.
  • People do not need to use finger sticks to check their levels.
  • It can display data about blood glucose levels on a smartphone or other devices.
  • The system can work with an insulin pump.
  • Medicare and insurance may cover some of the costs.
  • People can use a smartwatch to display the app.

Cons

  • This type of device is expensive without insurance.
  • Medicare users must get the compatible monitoring device from Dexcom if they require coverage, though they can also use their smartphone if they want to.
  • If a person’s results do not match symptoms, they will need to do a finger stick test to check their levels. 
  • A person will need to replace the sensors and transmitters regularly.
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Dexcom G7

The Dexcom G7 is the company’s newest device. Like the G6, it does not require finger pricking. It’s features include:

  • sensors
  • glucose alerts
  • app connectivity
  • information sharing with up to 10 people

The company states that this device is suitable for children and people who are pregnant. It may be a good option for children as adults can check their glucose levels remotely.

Pros

  • It is suitable for children and people who are pregant.
  • The device does not require finger pricking.
  • It offers real time alerts.
  • The sensors and transmitters are water-resistant.

Cons

  • If the glucose alerts do not match with the G7 readings, a person may have to use a finger prick blood glucose meter.
  • Not all smartphones may be compatible with G7.
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CLARITY App

Dexcom also has an app for use on both Android and Apple devices. The Clarity Reporting software app displays live data and collects information to display in graphs.

The app also allows the person’s healthcare professional to log in to the individual’s accounts to look at the recorded data. 

The app can show data such as:

  • glucose average
  • how often the person’s blood sugar remains in good or bad ranges
  • trends, such as when levels spike or dip
  • custom alerts

Dexcom CGM comparison

The following table compares Dexcom’s CGM systems.

Dexcom G6Dexcom G7
Lifespan10 days10 days
Warm-up periodtwo hours30 minutes
Suitable for pregnancynoyes
Water resistanceup to 2.4 meters (m)up to 2.4 m
Alerts• customizable sound and volume
• high and low alerts
• urgent low alert
• alert schedule
• customizable sound and volume
• high and low alerts
• urgent low alert
• delay first alert
• alert schedule
Wear location• abdomen
• upper buttocks for kids 2–17 years old
• back of arm
• upper buttocks for kids 2–6 years old

How to order

Dexcom does not directly sell its CGM systems on its website. However, people can fill in a form on the website, and a customer representative or a service provider will contact them to discuss which product is suitable for their needs.

According to the company, most insurance companies and Medicare will cover the cost of these systems. However, people should contact their insurance provider to discuss coverage.

Dexcom CGM systems are available from online and brick-and-mortar pharmacies.

For example, Diabetic Warehouse sells combination transmitter and sensor packs. This company offers a Dexcom G6 sensors and transmitter combination pack for around $1,100, and a Dexcom G7 sensor for around $170.

Customer reviews and reputation

Though Dexcom highlights positive reviews from several influencers’ on their website, all are “paid spokespersons.”

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Dexcom an A- grade. However, the company does not hold accreditation with this organization.

From over 90 reviews, Dexcom has an average rating of 1.24 out of 5 stars. The reviews on BBB mention poor service and inaccurate readings. The company has closed over 40 complaints in the last 12 months. 

Trustpilot ratings also suggest the brand has a poor reputation. Out of over 290 reviews, Descom currently has a rating of 1.6 out of 5 stars. Reviewers mainly complain about poor customer service. Several also mention that the sensors are inaccurate and need constant calibration. 

Alternatives

There are several other CGM systems available. The following table compares Dexcom to some other options.

AgerDiabetes typeWear locationSensor life spanPrescription required?
Dexcom G62 years and oldertype 1 diabetes• upper buttocks
• abdomen
10 daysno
Dexcom G72 years and older• type 1 diabetes
• type 2 diabetes
• gestational diabetes
• upper buttocks
• upper arm
15 daysno 
Freestyle Libre18 years and older• type 1 diabetes
• type 2 diabetes
• upper arm14 daysyes 
Medtronic
Guardian
Connect
14–75 years• type 1 diabetes
• type 2 diabetes
• arm
• abdomen
7 daysyes 

Some people may not want to use a CGM to manage their diabetes. If this is the case, a person can use a blood glucose meter. This device requires that a person pricks their finger to get a blood sample that they use to test their blood sugar levels. 

Learn about other tests for diabetes here.

Diabetes and health

A person living with diabetes needs to continually monitor their blood glucose levels to prevent blood sugar from going too high or too low. A CGM, like Dexcom, may help a person manage the condition.

In a 2019 review, researchers found that CGM systems can be safe and effective in monitoring blood sugar levels. The review notes that they can help with:

  • improving quality of glycemic control
  • reducing the risk of hypoglycemia
  • permitting selection of lower target levels for average glucose and HbA1c

In other words, a CGM can help someone know when they need more insulin or when they need to eat more to help elevate their levels.

Diet and exercise can also play an essential role in keeping blood sugar at a safe level. The American Diabetes Association recommends a person base their diet on the following groups of food:

  • lean ground beef
  • fresh vegetables and fruit
  • nuts
  • fish containing omega-3, such as salmon

A person should avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar, and saturated fat. 

Learn more about the best foods for diabetes here.

Exercise can play an important role in helping a person maintain a moderate weight and manage their blood sugar levels. Physical activity can lower a person’s overall blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours.

For people with a regular exercise routine, a CGM can show how the routine affects their sugar levels, allowing them to make diet adjustments as needed.

Learn more about the benefits of exercise for diabetes and other conditions here.

When to contact a doctor

A person will need to talk with their doctor before ordering the any CGM system. Medicare and insurance require a doctor’s prescription.

If a person experiences any unusual symptoms, they should talk with their doctor. 

A person should contact Dexcom support if their symptoms and blood sugar readings do not match. This could be a sign the device is not working correctly.

Frequently asked questions about Dexcom

These are commonly asked questions about this brand.

What does a Dexcom do?

Dexcom products are blood glucose monitoring systems that continuously monitor blood sugar levels.

People wear the sensors and read the results on their smartphone. People do not need to prick their finger with these products.

How long do you wear Dexcom for?

The Dexcom sensors have a lifespan of around 10 days.

The company states that users should receive a notification to let them know that they will soon have to replace their sensors.

Does a Dexcom have a needle?

The sensor has a small needle and individuals may feel a slight pinch when they stick it to their skin.

However, the products do not require finger pricking to track blood sugar levels. A person attaches the sensor to their arm, abdomen, or upper buttocks so that they can monitor their condition.

Summary

Dexcom’s continuous blood sugar monitoring system allows people to follow their blood sugar trends. It also warns people of potentially dangerously high and low blood sugar levels.

The device is a convenient way for people to monitor their blood sugar, but it can be quite costly even with insurance.

A person should talk with their doctor before ordering the device. A doctor can help them better determine if a CGM device like Dexcom’s can help.