A G6 review

For all you cgm’ers looking at a future switch to G6 (voluntary or not): I leapfrogged the G5 system and went from G4 to G6 about half a year ago. I thought I’d share some thoughts, I’ll try not to be too repetitive with what is already on many other threads here over the last year or more. So, my G6 review so far:

Accuracy. Much better (again, everything here is based on my prior experience with G4), and to be able to do it with little or even no calibration is an impressive advancement for Dex and clearly a convenience. However, the first 24 hours can be really wonky and the false lows are extremely annoying. I pretty much write off the first day and use strips until after things settle in.

Adhesion. There were a lot of comments about poor adhesion with G6 initially, and I guess Dex is reformulating their compounds to get a new generation just right. I find it about right for 10-day use with normal wear and tear (well, accidental tearing off is a whole different story we’ve all dealt with). I secure the pad edges with strips of Opsite Flexifix for continued use after the first 10 days.

Inserter. Clunky sounding and pretty big waste volume, but I’ve not yet experienced the inserter troubles others have shared here. A bit less sensation than the G4/G5 inserter.

Failure. If I rode a sensor out to the bitter end, I could usually get about 14-20 days from my G4 sensors, with the last several days requiring some patience. I haven’t done that with many G6 sensors, but it seems I can get about 20 days. When it’s done providing good data, it dies out pretty fast, about a day.

Restarting. I like that I can restart the G6 at or before 10 days. There are so many times, especially with work or travel, when a hard 10-day replacement/reset is highly inconvenient or impossible for me. Like with G4, I can restart the G6 at, say, 5 or 6 days and skip over a time that happens to be 10 days out from the original insertion and when I know I can’t do a new sensor. I dread that Dex might make this impossible. Unless, of course, they and the pharmacy benefit managers agree to provide more than the minimum number of sensors required for the maximum expected duration of use. Hahahahaha!

Receiver. Most people use phones and the cloud I’m sure, so the fact that the receiver is basically just a double-chunky version of the ancient G4+Share receiver probably doesn’t matter much to most G6 users. But that’s what it is.

Transmitter. Those G4’s were great, they’d last a year. The G6 transmitter is a slimmer profile that is noticeably nicer, but like the G5, it is intended to be used 3 months and thrown out (I wish Dex at least had a mail-back transmitter/battery recycling program; it’s the right thing to do). Transmitters have always seemed way overpriced for what they are, but I digress.

Next Generations. So it seems G7 is well in the works, with a longer single-use time (I think I read the target was 14 or 15 days), and an integrated sensor + nonremovable battery/transmitter. If that’s true, I have typical concerns about the hard replace period, and about more waste.

That was longer than I intended but there you go!

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I’m on my first Dex ever, after using the Libre. Everything has been better than expected but I cannot remember to keep the darn receiver with me. I don’t understand either, why it will keep working if I am downstairs and it is upstairs, but let it be on the kitchen table and I am in the den…it stops getting the signal. I have no clue…???

Thanks for putting all that useful info in one place! I’ll be making the switch from G5 to G6 sometime later this year. Just counted my sensors and keeping my fingers crossed that I can use them all before starting G6. Putting it off until the stockpile is all used up.

Thanks for that timely review, @truenorth. I know many others have made the jump to the G6 already and I am in the group of hold-outs happy to live with the G4 to the bitter end. Now that I face a deadline of June 30, 2020, I’m hoping my transition to the G6 is as good as yours was.

I’ve built up some G6 spares as I’ve read the many complaints written here and elsewhere about G6 failures. I’m taking those accounts as honest testimony but over-representative of reality as complaints are much more likely written about than the much larger number of happy experiences.

I’ll use my buffer supply so that I don’t have to wait on telephone hold to report every single early failure. Extending past the usual 10-day life will help me keep that supply buffer in place.

I’m hoping that the seasoned G6 users will be patient with the many experienced people with diabetes who start asking beginner G6 questions in the next several months.

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I just started the G6. I gave up on the G5 two years ago because it was too inaccurate. The G6 seems more accurate, but I won’t use it for insulin dosing. I use it to warn me of hypoglycemic incidents.

John

I’ve been using the G6 for a few months and find it has been great. Sensors have been accurate right from the start every time. Have had a few come off accidentally, but Dexcom replaced them no argument. It is integrated with my Tandem pump, and they work great together - warnings on highs and lows, correction of Bolus for CGM reading and insulin on board, etc… Only thing I miss is the Log Book I had on the Freestyle receiver when I was using the Libre.

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I wish it showed averages or something! But my Dex has been very accurate. I think I like it! :slight_smile:

June 30 and the G5 is history? Must’ve missed that.
I’ve been reluctant to change because I understand that Medicare won’t cover test strips with the G6. That true?

I have heard anecdotal accounts of individuals with low BMI not able to get useful data from G6. Dexcom has just upgraded me from G5 to G6 and I am running out my G5 supplies before starting my new G6. Has anyone with low BMI had success with the G6? I am Male 5 ft 9 in. weighing 125 lbs. making my BMI 18.5. I would like to hear success story from anyone with low BMI. Thank you so much in advance.

@john39 – Here’s the Dexcom plan to make the G4 and G5 systems obsolete.

https://www.dexcom.com/obsolescence?fbclid=IwAR2E_Yt4ywNPdJPHOB0Kc1iFl-jOuvmvsAwEdvuqKaemGfXrQW8FCvyiiSk

Dexcom plans to stop sales of G5 transmitters on 30 June 2020 and sensors on 31 December 2020.

Yes, I believe it’s true that Medicare will no longer cover test strips under Part B once they are paying for the G6 under Part B. Medicare Part B pays for insulin, test strips or CGM supplies, and the pump itself. Part B requires pump use for coverage eligibility. If you subscribe to a Medical Part D prescription plan, your coverage of test strips will vary from plan to plan.

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I’ve had my G6 lose signal and it’s on the table not two feet away from me.

Are you using G6 Receiver or phone?

Receiver. My phone is not compatible with the app.

I’m using the receiver too. Still working upstairs to downstairs but not in the kitchen when I am in my den. CRAZY!

That’s right. Medicare will not cover test strips with the G6. That’s problematic for us since I do have my daughter check using her meter once in a while (when I’m skeptical that the G6 readings are right. Mostly they are close enough). So now we have to pay for the test strips out of pocket.

If receiver is missing signal in close range to transmitter, did you contact Dexcom ?
Does receiver transmitter details show battery ok?

Battery is fine, and it reconnects in 10 or 20 minutes. I haven’t contacted Dexcom.

Plus the fact that I can’t shut off the low-sugar alarm (I am a Metformin patient and don’t need it) I may just move back to the Freestyle Libre 14-day and pay out of pocket when my supply of G6s is up for a refresh.

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That is the function I hate by far the most on the Dexcom that it does not allow the user to set the low alarm. I intermittent fast, normally for 23+ hours after OMAD, however if I ate too much and my weight goes up, I intermittent fast for 47+ hours. On the longer fast, my blood sugar drops and stabilizes at 60 when ingesting no food and taking no insulin. When the body cruises along at 60, it takes almost nothing for the CGM to periodically drop to 55 or below due to compression or other variable and set off the alarm. Drives me nuts.

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I know some MC people still get strips covered, but not as DME part B. Check your RX plan.

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I am not sure if this is a good place to put this comment, but I thought I would be getting the G6 when I received my 3 months of CGM’s this week. I was surprised to see that they are G5’s. Maybe I won’t get the G6 until end of July at the earliest. That is fine with me, since I am a bit worried that I will be too thin for the G6 to work properly from what I have read.