Dex support claims Medicare xmitters are incapable of working with smart devices

Not that I want to try using a smart device with my G5 (I’m on Medicare and do not want to void my coverage), but while on an unrelated phone call with support, they said that the G5 xmitters shipped to Medicare patients is different than those shipping to non-Medicare patients in that it won’t work with a smart device.

Does anyone know if that’s true?

I’ve gotten other info from Dexcom support that is the polar opposite of what their coworkers have told me.

  1. Some say that the G5 receiver will backfill data (it doesn’t). Others say (correctly) that it won’t.
  2. Some techs say that if I get a new receiver I can swap receivers mid-session and not have to do a RESTART SENSOR. Another said they know of no way that can be done.

AARGH! I wish Dexcom support people were all on the same page!

Probably true. We can swap mid-session from receiver to X2 pump and NOT have to restart the session. AFAIK the pump is classified as a receiver type of device not a smart type of device. So, yes, I expect this to work.
I am also aware that swapping a Smart Device mid-session with the G5 Transmitter using a current version of the Dexcom App will result in an app error message which requires Dexcom Tech Support to clear/bypass.
Clearly there is a functional difference in swapping a Smart Device mid-session as compared to swapping a receiver/pump mid-session.

(Actually you can not even swap from one Smart device to a different Smart device for a given transmitter without getting Dex Support to assist. Whether in the middle of a session or not.)

I would be shocked to the point of falling over (figuratively - lol). That just doesn’t make sense for multiple reasons.

The Dexcom Receiver as currently being shipped (non-touchscreen) does not support the backfill. Whether the new touchscreen receiver which (AFAIK) has not yet shipped supports the backfill is not something I know. I would HOPE the new Dexcom Touchscreen Receiver (when it ships) will support the backfill technology. If so, perhaps the Dex Tech/Supp are confusing the two receivers?

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I also find it hard to believe the xmitter for Medicare patients is “special”.

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I know nothing about this but I know Dexcom is very worried about people using their phones while using Medicare. They could lose the approval if the rules are not being followed. So I know they really want to make sure everyone using one is not using their phone. So maybe they have “made” special transmitters for Medicare patients. No idea and no conspiracy plots, just know they are concerned.

That is exactly why the concept of special Medicare transmitters makes zero sense. Forgot for a moment that they would likely need an FDA approval to launch a new Transmitter. Forget for a moment of the R&D required to change the firmware on the transmitter. Forget for a moment of the change in distribution to ensure only Medicare gets the special transmitters. Forget for a moment the Dexcom CEO has firmly stated his desire and intention to change this policy.

If Dex was sending out special transmitters, this would 100% alleviate their concerns. They would never have the need to mention another word about not using a SmartPhone. It would be impossible. The only reason to ASK somebody not to use a SmartPhone is if that person has the ABILITY to use the SmartPhone. That in and of itself is enough of a reason to discount the “special transmitter” as simply another internet rumor making its rounds.

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Your logic is unassailable, Tim! I agree wholeheartedly. I suspect the xmitter is not “special”; ie not crippled so that it can’t send data to a smart device. I wonder if what they are getting at is that it will send to only one device at a time??

@Dave44 - That can not be done at the transmitter level without changing the firmware in the G5.

However it is trivial to block any G5 transmitter from connecting to a Smart Device (which uses the Dexcom G5 Mobile App) at the Dexcom cloud server level. I have no idea why Dexcom doesn’t just do that and be done with it. And that would be just as quick to reverse. Obviously they know this is an option - they have a bunch of very smart people working for Dexcom.

Do you know of anyone who is taking the risk, by using a smart device with their Medicare-provided Dexcom G5?

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Nope. lol.

But I guarantee some people are. There is just no way everybody (ie - 100% complete) in this situation both:
A) Knows about this.
B) Care about it.

People are people. Always some people will do something different. Who knows what Medicare will decide to do about. I guess somebody at Medicare must decide if they want to make a Federal Case about it or if they just want to ignore it and pretend like they didn’t see it.

I would imaging there are even some people doing it who are HOPING medicare will make a Federal Case about it so they can push back with an appeal. Obviously that would take a good chunk of financial resources but this is a lot of people so there would be people in all sorts of different financial situations.

While I’m not about to pair it to the smartphone app, for grins, I just scanned nearby BT devices with my S7 and I see nothing listed that would indicate a Dexcom device. I wonder if that’s either 1) because the xmitter is already paired to the receiver, or 2) that the info the tech gave me about the Medicare “version” of the xmitter can’t pair to a smart device.

Oh wait: BT devices nearby also have to be “made visible” in order to be found by a BT device not currently paired. So it makes sense that the S7 can’t “see” the Dexcom as the Dexcom isn’t in pairing mode, or “made visible to other devices”.

I also tried a BT scanner and was not picking it up. I don’t know enough about BT to know how that works. Maybe I don’t know enough about BT scanning to get it right and pick up a signal.

Maybe it only pulses a signal every 5 minutes and you have to “catch it” within that small window of time?

But when connecting the G5 transmitter to a smartphone, you do not do anything on the transmitter. You only enter the receiver ID into the smartphone and the phone will find and pair to the transmitter. Supposed to take up to 30 minutes but we find it is much much faster. Handful of minutes maybe? So I don’t know the details of how that works from a BT technology point of view.

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Dexcom told me it is only connected when it is sending info. This is why for those of us not on Medicare who use our phone it shows not connected when you look at your BT. It’s only connected for the brief period of time.

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