It's been about a week since Arden's new DexCom Platinum G4 arrived and I've spent enough time with it to share my initial thoughts from the perspective of a type I CareGiver.
The G4 is smaller, lighter and more modern looking then the 7+. All good stuff. The wire that inserts into the wearer is smaller to try and further minimize the pain felt at insertion. A number of people have mistaken it for an iPod. The signal range is vastly improved and I'm seeing more accurate readings. Best of all, Arden loves it.
Arden's face lit up when she opened the box and found a pink CGM looking back at her. Her excitement level was just as high, if not higher then when we bought an iPad. She was genuinely happy to get the G4. I never thought that I would see a person, let alone a child, that joyous over a medical device but wow was I wrong.
The G4 began to send accurate and reliable readings immediately after the two hour marrying period. We've only inserted one sensor thus far and perhaps we won't get the same instant feedback next time, but I was not accustomed to being able to rely on the 7+ on day one, so hour one was not even in my mind. I'm also seeing a great deal of numbers within what I would call acceptable range of finger stick testing, both up and down the spectrum, 400 - 75 (Arden hasn't had a significant low this week). Last evening, I missed on a late night snack bolus, and when I tested Arden around midnight I got this...
Even though I have no scientific data to back up my statement, I'm comfortable saying that the G4 is more accurate then it's predecessor. Which is to say that it seems, so far to me, to be closer to finger sticks then the 7+. Time will tell how true my initial observations remain.
Sadly our bedroom and Arden's are at completely opposite ends of our house, not even the vastly improved range of the G4 can reach my bedside. While that was a momentary bummer, the rest is all great news. Arden is able to untethered herself from the CGM in our house and other relaxed situations while still benefiting from it's feedback. The range is quite impressive. A few days ago Arden had dental work performed and I was able to wait in the lobby instead of lurking around her during the procedure. The G4 sent it's signal to the receiver in my pocket, the distance wasn't great, maybe ten feet but I was on the other side of a wall. The 7+ couldn't even send a signal through Arden's hip so drywall is a a big leap forward!
In the past I would have needed to go in and out of the exam room to watch Arden's BG, interrupting the doctor and making Arden feel awkward. But now I'm right where I should be...
Ease of use
We found no confusion moving from one version to the other. Even though the button configuration is slightly different and the screen is redesigned, neither Arden or I experienced any slow down or inability to use and understand the new receiver. There was no transition to speak of, I found the change completely intuitive and unremarkable.
The DexCom G4 is smaller, lighter, nicer looking and it works better. Arden has never once mentioned that the transmitter is taller or that she in any way misses the 7+. I haven't asked her level of comfort during the insertion yet, I will, but asking her the first time wasn't going to yield an accurate reply, she was too jazzed up as we put in on.
Meanwhile her poor 7+ is just sitting on the counter as I search for a way to legally donate it to a child in need, which is not as easy of a task as you may think.
More information and final thoughts
Everything you need to know about the G4 can be found on DexCom's website. Colors, size comparisons, tutorials, cute little videos... it's all there. I can't tell you for certain that I would stop using a working 7+ and rush to buy a G4, I'm far too thrifty for that. We were lucky in that our 7+ had run past it's life expectancy and was about to be replaced by our insurance when the G4 hit the market. I would have waited for financial reasons if that was not the case. Never-the-less, if you are eligible for upgrade or thinking about using continuous glucose monitoring technology for the first time, I can't recommend the G4 Platinum strongly enough. It makes our days and nights better and aids me significantly in my daily dance with type I diabetes. I'll post more thoughts when we've been with the system longer. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have and I'll do my best to answer them.
Neither I or 'Arden's Day' is compensated for my thoughts or opinions. There is a "I'm not a doctor' spiel at the bottom of this and the main page, please remember it when you make decisions about health matters.
The second part of my review DexCom G4 Platinum: Second Look, can be found here.