Dex Com 7 Vs Medtronic CGM

Hi- I was wondering if there were any people out there that have tried both dex com 7 and Medtronic CGM? Which did they prefer? Why?

I would love CGM but it it appears that the only viable way for me to purchase one is to come to the US, sign up to a private doctor and stay long enough for it to be shipped in the US (I’m based in London). Together with costs of sensors and the ‘meter’ it is going to be a pretty expensive trip and I want to make the right choice for me.

Thanks, Dee

Go Dexcom. I have used both extensively and I think there are clear reasons to pick the Dexcom system. I’ve never tried the Freestyle Navigator, but that will also be available soon.

This is a great comparison from Children with Diabetes website:

Here are the things I really felt were contrasts and made the Dexcom superior.

  • The needle gauge for the introducer of he Dexcom is 26 gauge versus 23 gauge in the Medtronic. Think about your shot needles – they’re 30 or 31. A pump is 27 gauge, so 23 feels big and often bleeds a lot. I had several sensors never give good data due to bleeding.

  • The insertion is also smoother an less painful due to the Dexcom applicator mechanism,

  • Sensor lag. This refers to the delay in the sensor picking up a high or low versus your blood glucose. The delay is there with every sensor, but it’s more noticeable with Medtronic.

  • I think the sensors last significantly longer with the Dexcom. You may get 10-14 days with a Dexcom sensor, while Medtronic’s seemed to last 4-7 days.

  • The Medtronic is integrated into a pump. This may sound like an advantage, but after awhile I realized I wanted the separation of the pump and the sensor. The reason is that at night, when you want the sensor to potentially warn you of lows or highs, my pump is down by my waist. It routinely went off for hours before my wife would hit me telling me to “shut that thing off!” I often ended up ignoring the alarms and waking up high or low. The Dexcom sits on my nightstand and when it goes off, you hear it, trust me. This is huge to me.

I wish that the Dexcom software could somehow integrate with a pump, so that when you look at the download, you could integrate the basal, bolus, and BG info. The Medtronic has a better software package because it does these things, allowing you to really see if your insulin to CHO ratios, basals, and corrections are correct. You can do it with the Dexcom, but it takes more effort and record keeping.

  • With the Medtronic, you can simply enter your BG, while The Dexcom has changed from a calibration cable that syncs with a One-Touch Ultra meter. However, the Dexcom recently switched over and now you can just enter the BG, like Medtronic.

  • The Medtronic and Freestyle have “rate of change” arrows that tell you how quickly you are going up or down. Dexcom doesn’t.

  • Price, Dexcom is ~$450 versus $1000-1400 for Medtronic and Freestyle.

Hope this helps.

Hi Mick,

That was unbelievably helpful! Thanks so much!

I think I will now go for Dexcom. I have also figured that I get a ‘free’ holiday if I buy that one rather than Medtronic, as the cost of the trip still won’t add up to the total cost of the Medtronic CGM. (Medtronic is available in the UK but is more than double the price than in the US.)

Freestyle Navigator looks like it will also be expensive.

I can’t wait to get going with CGM.

Thanks again,

I started with the MM sensors because I was using the MM pump. When I switched to the Omnipod pump I switched to the Dexcom sensors which work much better for me. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Also the Abbott Navigator has just been approved for sale in the U.S. and has European approval. If you can get that in London it will save you a trip.

The things I like about the Dexcom 7 system (I have one of the new receivers that allow manual glucose entries which a great improvement)

7-day sensor that I can usually get 10-14 good days use.

Less painful insertion with less bleeding

Sensor comes with applicator where MM you need the senserter

More accurate for me (others may find the MM more accurate)

MM advantages:

If you have a MM pump you don’t need a separate receiver

You have rapid rise and fall indicators

You can get more BG history on the receiver

CGMS systems are not as accurate as a blood test, so for people that are expecting an reading to be the same as a blood test every time it may not work well. It is however a great tool and if you use it for the trends it can really be a great safety net to avoid highs and lows. For me it allowed me to lower my A1c from 7.0 to 5.8 (I know the European method is different but that is a great improvement) and with the alarms I have not had one dangerous low, even while sleeping.

Thanks a lot for the advice! Much appreciated, Dee

i have to agree with the guys - all points they made are accurate to me as well…

One additional note is the Dexcom sensor/transmitter is one unit—the transmitter sits securely on top of the sensor… With MM the transmitter hangs off the side, and needs to be secured with tape, i found this very irritating.


With the meter being less costly, what is the cosst of the sets?

I switched from the Medtronic Revel CGM after using it for two years to the Dexcom Seven Plus earlier this week, and…

Oh. My. God…

It is SO much better - faster (it feels nearly like real time whereas the Medtronic lags 20-30 minutes behind) and - this is the kicker - ACCURATE more often than not.I had read reports of improved accuracy with the Dexcom and expected some possibly mild improvement over the Medtronic - but that is not what I got. The difference is night and day.

I tried wearing the two sensors side by side for two days when the Seven+ first arrived, since the Medtronic sensor I was wearing was on days 2 & 3 of its 3-day life- which are in theory its best days, since the first day is typically spent getting the Medtronic calibrated and anywhere close to accuracy.The Dexcom was calibrated - and accurate -within two hours. I was shocked, being entirely unused to this.

Over the next two days, the observable differences between the meters were stark. There were numerous entire event cycles with the Dexcom i.e, - glucose drop while running, eating to compensate, glucose correction - that were simply missed in their entirety by the Medtronic.If I had been relying on the Medtronic only - as I have been for years - my ability to act on the change would not have been timely, because while these rapid rises and falls were occurring, the Medtronic was staring at me as though nothing were happening for another 20-30 minutes, when it caught the change at all.

Accuracy of the Dexcom device is downright creepy compared to what I was used to from the Medtronic. Most fingerstick readings are well within 10 mg/dL of the meter, and more than a few have been dead on, to the number. This occurs with the Medtronic once in a very blue moon. That you get 7 to 10 days of this kind of accuracy from the Dexcom - as opposed to 3 days of slow-motion hit-or-miss from the Medtronic - is almost too good to be true.

Needless to say, this ability to see consistently accurate readings within an actionable time frame has made an enormous difference in my ability to take corrective action and keep my glucose within or close to normal range. It has additionally - and crucially - restored my confidence in my own sense of where my glucose is. When I feel low or high, I look at the Dexcom and the device ratifies that feeling without fail - whereas the Medtronic, as often as not, would refute it, leaving me wondering why or whether I should be feeling so badly. The importance of this difference is hard to overstate.

To anyone who is looking at using a CGM or is less than satisfied with the one they have, or is just wondering whether there’s a better one out there, I recommend the Dexcom very, very highly. It has surprised the heck out of me in the best of ways.

I still love my Medtronic pump - it’s tough as nails and ultra-reliable. But on the CGM front, Dexcom is miles ahead.

I am currently borrowing a dexcom 7 + for a one week trial. mine does have up and down rate change arrows.

Hi Dee,

Get a CGM. no matter what. I am currently looking at the Dex, but I have the Medtronic. Once you have a CGM and you use it for a while, things get less crazy and less unknown. You begin to not freak out of every up and down of your blood sugars. You will get a little less unreactive about having to correct or over-correct your current BSs. It is very calming to use a CGM. It is like having someone next to you keeping track of the little things like blood sugar and you get to stop worrying about that and spend time on things you want to.

From what I have read on this this site, the Dex is the choice of most. I have a Medtronic, and I am investigating whether I can get a Dex myself.

I will have to agree with the response you got from Mick, that the integrated system of Medtronic does not buy you anything. Once you use a pump with a CGM, you walk into another land of diabetes and blood sugar management. Your pump helps keep you on target with basils and boluses, and you CGM helps you tracks minor goofs or slips in any assumptions or estiamates you have madef. And with a couple of well placed alarms, you get to make key, small corrections, if necessary.

My biggest agreement with Mick's comment isabout a very quick maturation process that will take place when you own and use any CGM for a small length of time. The unknowns become known. The fear of unknown changes diminish. Being able to sit in a room without second guessing any feelings you are having and wherher they are blood sugar related, go away.

Kind of a mix of input here. But, the Dex does sound like the winner, performance and price. Also, try working with the ADA to be able to get the device without coming overseas. It is worth a shot. They have some very sharp administrators over there!

I wore a dexcom 7 for about 8 months.Now I use the MM sensors. Everyone says the Dexcom ones last longer, but I found I could not get it to stay in past 7 or 8 days. They fall off and get stuck to my shirt etc. I think the dexcom sensors are less likely to have trouble though.The big trouble was carrying that receiver around. On a cruise after my 8th month using it,I got splashed near the pool. Mind you I didn't submerge it just got my shorts wet as I walked past the pool. The Receiver stopped working and Dexcom said I would have to buy a new one, as they do not repair them. One would think they could make them a little bit resistant to such things. So I stopped using it all together. I didnt want to pay another $900 for a new one and i was irritated they would not repair it even at my cost.
Any the MM pump has only the transmitter to deal with, So I do not need to worry about it so much. I find the sensors to work just fine or a week,

It's interesting you should bring this up, Tim (even if this discussion is several years old!). The warranty on my Medtronic pump is 3 years (or something like that). I was shocked to find out that the warranty on the CGM transmitter is only six months! (The pump is my receiver).

What is the warranty time on the Dex, and is it different for the two pieces?