Dexcom G6: In-depth Review

The Dexcom G6 is one of the world’s leading CGM systems. It sends real-time glucose readings to your compatible smart device or Dexcom G6 receiver without scanning and eliminates the need for regular fingersticks. Best of all, it’s proven to lower your A1C and increase your time in range.

dexcom g6 cgm continuous glucose monitoring system

Why use a Continuous Glucose Monitoring system?

When you use a blood glucose meter, you get a snapshot of your body’s reaction to food, exercise, sleep, or whatever combination of variables you’ve recently experienced. Then, you have to make assumptions about the cause and trajectory of your blood glucose readings.

Using a CGM system, you can clearly see how your body responds to your regular and irregular activities, allowing you and your healthcare professional to make life-changing treatment adjustments.

By the time you recognize symptoms of high or low blood sugar, your health is already compromised. With this improved glycemic control, you can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes complications, many of which are fatal or life-altering, like hypoglycemic coma or amputation. Being able to see your glucose changes allows you to make proactive decisions and prevent health crises altogether – before you experience symptoms.

CGM doesn’t mitigate the need for fingersticks completely, but it does eliminate fingersticks as a daily testing method. With the Dexcom G6, you only need to prick your fingers to verify a reading before making a treatment decision that’s not part of your typical daily regimen.

Dexcom G6 CGM system components

At first glance, any CGM system might look complicated, but the Dexcom G6 is easy to understand. A sensor on your body uses an attached transmitter to send your real-time data to a display device.

Your display device can be the receiver that comes with the CGM system, your smartphone or another smart device, or even your watch. Not all display options are included with the CGM system.

dexcom g6 continuous glucose monitoring cgm

Dexcom G6 Auto Applicator

Your Dexcom G6 CGM system includes an auto-applicator that’s used to insert the sensor. It’s a simple push-button device with a safety tab that prevents the button from being pressed accidentally.

dexcom g6 sensor

Dexcom G6 sensor

Dexcom G6 sensors can be used for up to 10 days as long as the adhesive tape and inserted filament stay in place. Once applied, the sensor will work on its own, taking a reading every five minutes.

Dexcom G6 transmitter

The transmitter is a small device that attaches to the sensor to send the readings to the receiver every five minutes. The Dexcom G6 transmitter has one of the lowest transmitter profiles available, so you can wear it anywhere without it being conspicuous or obtrusive.

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Dexcom G6 receiver

Though you can view your results on your smartphone or another compatible smart device, the Dexcom G6 system comes with a convenient display device that helps ensure you always have access to your readings, even if your phone is dead or disconnected. The Dexcom G6 receiver is not water resistant and should not be taken in the shower or pool.

dexcom g6 real time glucose readings compatible smart devices dexcom receiver

Smart devices are sold separately. For a complete list of compatible smart devices, visit dexcom.com/compatibility.

Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) instructions for use

The Dexcom G6 CGM system comes with its own manufacturer instructions that are much more detailed than the instructions below. Please refer to Dexcom’s instructions when using your Dexcom G6 CGM system.

Prepare the receiver and app

If you’re replacing an existing sensor, remember you can reuse your Dexcom G6 transmitter for up to three months.

On the bottom of the auto-applicator, you’ll see a sensor code. Enter that sensor code into your receiver or smart device using the Dexcom G6 app. The sensor code gives the receiving device a calibration, so you don’t have to use a fingerstick to calibrate the sensor.

On your transmitter, you’ll find a serial number. That number will also need to be entered into your receiver before you get readings.

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Prepare the application site

Before you apply a new sensor, you’ll need to prepare an application site. Choose a location on your abdomen or back of your upper arm that:

  • has not been recently used

  • does not have any abnormal condition like irritation or bruising

  • is not bony

  • does not have excessive hair, a tattoo, or scarring

  • is at least three inches from your insulin injection site or insulin pump infusion set

Users between two and 17 years of age can also apply on the upper buttocks.

Start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure the site is clean, then disinfect with an alcohol swab. Let the area air dry.

Apply the Dexcom G6 sensor

Remove the two-piece film from the sensor’s adhesive area. The sensor is already in the applicator, so you’ll find the film on the bottom of the applicator where the sensor code is. Place the adhesive area flat against your skin in the prepared area.

Break the tab off of the button by wiggling it back and forth until it snaps off. Be careful to hold the adhesive in one place while you wiggle the tab. Press the button with one firm motion, and gently pull the applicator away from the site.

The sensor should be left behind on your skin. Attach the transmitter to the sensor by snapping it into place. Run your fingertip over the adhesive tape around the transmitter three times to secure it. Dispose of the single-use applicator according to your location’s blood-contaminated materials regulations.

If the sensor doesn’t come out of the applicator smoothly, refer to Dexcom’s troubleshooting instructions.

Some users report some pain during sensor insertion. Most do not. The feeling should be similar to a fingerstick or less intense.

if your readings don't match symptoms or expectations use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions

Using the Dexcom G6 receiver

Once you’ve entered both the sensor code and transmitter serial number, the receiver will ask if you’re successfully inserted your sensor and attached your transmitter. If you tap “yes,” the transmitter and receiver will pair.

Then you’ll be able to tap “start sensor” and begin a two-hour warmup. Keep the receiver within 20 feet of the transmitter and sensor during the warmup. You will not receive readings until the warmup is finished.

When the warmup is done, you’ll get your first glucose reading and subsequent readings every five minutes after. You can view your current reading and trajectory on the main screen and your glucose trends in the chart view.

If you need help setting up or navigating the receiver, refer to Dexcom’s user guides.

dexcom g6 urgent low soon alert glucose alerts and readings low or high blood glucose

Dexcom G6 alerts and alarms

The Dexcom G6 provides real-time glucose alerts and readings, like the Urgent Low Soon Alert. This particular alert is an invaluable new feature in the Dexcom line. By the time you get a low blood sugar alert, it’s too late to take preventative action. The Urgent Low Soon Alert gives you time to keep yourself in range and minimize the risk of complications.

When you look at your real-time reading on your app dashboard, you’ll see the number displayed inside a circle. If the circle is grey, you’re within your set target range. When you’re below your low alert level, you’ll receive an alert, and your circle will turn red. When you’re above your high alert level, you’ll receive an alert, and your circle will turn yellow.

The arrow on the reading display circle tells you how your readings are trending. If your arrow is straight to the right, your readings are steady. If it’s at a 45-degree angle, your readings are trending up or down at a moderate pace. If it’s straight up or down, your readings are rising or falling quickly. If there’s a double arrow straight up or down, your readings are rising or falling at a dangerous pace.

The Dexcom G6 Guide defines the speeds indicated so you can make diabetes treatment decisions precisely.

What do you do when your reading or alert doesn’t match symptoms or expectations?

CGM systems don’t measure blood glucose directly. They measure the glucose in the interstitial fluid – the fluid between your subcutaneous cells. From there, your blood glucose can be roughly calculated.

If there’s ever any disagreement between your reading and your symptoms, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. A treatment decision that is outside of your regular daily routine should never be made without confirming your reading with a blood glucose meter.

Always contact your healthcare professional when you’ve had to use your blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions.

dexcom g6 type of glucose monitoring cgm system. a blood glucose meter gives a single snapshot reading. an intermittent scan cgm requires scanning to produce reading. real-time cgm warns users of impending highs and lows. integrated cgm facilitates interoperability and must meet rigorous performance requirements.

Dexcom G6 Display Apps

Dexcom Follow App

The Dexcom G6 Follow app allows up to ten people to monitor your CGM data in real-time. This is particularly useful for children, spouses, and anyone who could use another pair of eyes on their blood sugar.

Dexcom Clarity App

Dexcom Clarity helps translate your CGM data into insights you and your healthcare professional can use to improve your diabetes treatment plan and your overall outcome.

Dexcom Share

Dexcom Share is a feature of the Dexcom G6 App that allows you to share your CGM data with your healthcare provider. With a clear picture of your trends and reactions, your doctor can refine your treatment plan to improve your holistic health and longevity.

Dexcom G6 App

The Dexcom G6 app is the app that enables your smart device to function as a receiver. It can also share your data with followers on command.

Does insurance cover the Dexcom G6 CGM system?

Yes! The Dexcom G6 CGM system can be covered by Medicare and other insurance providers. In many cases, the member can receive the durable components and the disposable sensors, transmitters, and applicators at no out-of-pocket cost.

Dexcom G6 price with Medicare

The reason we don’t say you can get the Dexcom G6 “for free” is that most insurance plans that cover the cost have a premium, deductible, or other costs. However, apart from your insurance coverage costs, it is entirely possible to get the Dexcom G6 system and replacement components delivered regularly.

older couple sitting on a park bench

FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Dexcom G6, according to Google. If you have any other questions about the Dexcom G6, please reach out to Aptiva Medical to check your eligibility for free delivery and speak to one of our CGM system experts.

You can also find complete and detailed information in the Dexcom G6 User Guide here.

Dexcom G6 codes

The HCPCS codes for the Dexcom G6 system are K0553 and K0554.

If you’re looking for Dexcom G6 sensor codes, it’s essential that you use the sensor code and serial number that correspond with the components you’re using. Check your components and packaging for the numbers you need to start your sensor session.

Can you get the Dexcom G6 for free?

If you meet the requirements, Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurances cover or partially cover the cost of CGM supplies. There are many variables. Call 1-800-310-2568 for a free benefits check.

Please note that any applicable insurance costs that are required to maintain your coverage must still be paid.

How long does each Dexcom G6 last?

The receiver is a durable device.

Each transmitter has a 90-day battery life, and the sensors can be used for up to 10 days each.

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Can you swim with Dexcom G6?

The Dexcom G6 sensors and transmitters are water resistant in up to eight feet of water for 24 hours when applied and used properly.

The Dexcom G6 receiver is not water resistant.

Contact Us Aptiva Representative for CGM. Diabetes Management

Call to speak with a diabetes care management specialist.

If you’re not sure which CGM system is right for you or if you have questions about your insurance or our services, call to speak to a care management specialist who is happy to help.