Dexcom CGM versus Integrated Medtronic System

I’m a new type 1 diagnosed 6 months ago at age 49. I have been using the Dexcom CGM and for the most part I’ve been happy. I have now qualified for the Medtronic Pump and they are recommending the “integrated” CGM. I’m trying to find out if anyone has used this latest generation of CGM and if you like it.

Everyone seems to love the Dexcom but I was hoping the integrated system would be a tad easier/less things to drag around. I’m a newbie so I don’t know anything other than the Dexcom at this point. I’m definitely getting the Medtronic Pump. The question is really on the CGM…Dexcom vs integrated Medtronic. Any insight is appreciated. Thanks!

I have a friend who used it and was 100% satisfied, but I am not a pumper myself so consider that second hand info.

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I used to think that an integrated system was something I wanted. My first CGMS was with Medtronic. I liked the pump, but had a horrible experience with the SofSensors. I tried to get them to work for almost 2-1/2 years and switched to Dexcom and never looked back. But Medtronic does a good job of integrating the sensors into the “system” software.

The Enlite sensors are better than the Sofsensors, but I have never seen a study that indicates they are as accurate as Dexcom. Anecdotally I know many people who did a trial with Enlite and thought they were awful. Although no CGM technology is perfect, IMO Dexcom is easier to use, has a longer sensor life, and is more accurate. I wouldn’t give that up to move to the Medtronic system. The next generation of Dexcom sensors will have a new inserter and be even more accurate than this generation.

Although Dexcom is integrated into a couple of pumps, their sensor technology has been evolving faster than pumps. In the future hopefully pumps like the t:slim and Vibe will be able to have a software update to use evolving generations of sensors, but right now that is not the case. If you purchase a Vibe or t:slim, you are locked into the Dex G4 without the most recent software upgrade. IMO the G4 is better than the Enlite anyway. And if you don’t want to carry a Dex receiver, the Dex G5 allows you to use an iPhone as a receiver. The Dexcom Android software is expected to be submitted soon to the FDA with an expected release by the end of the year.

Good luck with your decision. I personally would never switch to Medtronic from Dexcom.


Everything I’ve read seems to indicate that Medtronic has narrowed the gap with Dexcom in the last couple of years after playing catch-up for quite a while. But I’m one of those Medtronic pumpers who uses a Dexcom CGM anyway.

I got my first CGM last year and at the time it seemed like the accuracy was still not entirely there with the Medtronic system. Also I had recently switched to an Asante Snap pump before reverting to Medtronic when Asante cratered, and I really didn’t want to be locked into Medtronic that closely. Plus the Dexcom Share allowed me to repeat my data to my iPhone, which I really liked, and shortly thereafter I was able to upgrade my firmware to G5 for Bluetooth iPhone integration. For me that outweighs the advantages of having the receiver integrated with my pump, but plenty of other people feel the opposite way about that–as always YDMV.


I have struggled using Medtronic CGM sensors for years and was continually frustrated with accuracy and calibrating besides the constant changing of sensors. With the Dexcom G5 I have been extremely happy although I have only used it since early February. I have used Medtronic pumps for years and am totally satisfied but would not go back to a integrated system if it meant using a Medtronic CGM sensor. I would consider switching form a Medtronic pump before I would quit using the Dexcom CGM sensor. Good luck!


Hi Kelly, Is there any way you can ask for a trial of the CGMS part of the Medtronic pump to see if that works for you. If the Medtronic CGMS doesn’t work for you then you just turn it off (since you “are definitely getting the Medtronic pump”) and go back to using the Dexcom CGM.


I use neither… but I do read a lot of reports from users of both. The general consensus seems to be that historically Medtronic cgms were terrible and that Dexcom was light years ahead of them.

Medtronics more recent cgms are supposedly much much better but it’s hard to get an accurate sense of if they’re in the same league as Dexcom now because their history of being inferior for so long biased all future comparison for a long time— how much of this is just historical leftovers is really hard to determine, for me

if I was going to use a Medtronic pump myself, I’d be inclined to give medtronic cgm a try myself because of their integration… If I was going to use only a cgm, I’d probably still tend towards Dexcom. At this point I’m not particularly interested in either though so these are just distant observations on my part. I have used previous generation Dexcom cgm in the past and wasn’t impressed with it either.

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I currently use Minimed pump, with Dexcom CGMS. I started with MM sensors in 2007ish, and had nothing but trouble. However, it was the reason I found this support group and other sites that taught me about the ISIG factor !

I continue to use Dexcom and not consider MM because the alarms on the MM are not loud enough to alert me, and shorter sensor life. The other key reason is the frequent improvements and upgrades that are released by Dexcom, as mentioned.

Are you locked into MM due to insurance ? If not you might consider the Tslim with G4. Is your medical team or Medtronics recommending the integrated system ?


That was my thought, too. I’ll try it and if I don’t like it, I still have the Dexcom on hand.

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I have been a pretty loyal Medtronic user. I switched to dexcom after 5 years with the Medtronic CGM. I still have my Medtronic pump

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When I was using a cgm with my medtronic I had both the Sofsensors and the Enlite. Me personally I did have better success with the Sofsensors than I did the Enlite. Me personally though, I gave up on cgm, it was more effort and headache than it was worth for me. An integrated system is handy for the one fact you dont have excess stuff to carry around, but you want a system that isn’t more headache than its worth. I don’t think Medtronic for me made it worth the headache.

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I favor and wear the Dex G5 system. Here’s a point no one has made yet. If you integrate the pump and the CGM together then you slow down your ability to adopt new CGM-tech as it emerges. The pump warranty period generally runs four years but the CGM warranty is likely one year.

If your pump and your CGM are married then you must accept no CGM upgrades for four years instead of one.

I think the Dex system is superior and running it with a MedT pump doesn’t matter. I use a Dex and an Animas Ping. Same thing.


That was an important consideration to me. Just before getting my first CGM I had switched from a Medtronic to an Asante Snap pump and then back again after Asante cratered. I decided on Dexcom because pump-integration seemed far less important to me than not wanting to be locked into something just because it happened to be compatible with the brand of pump I happened to be using. Asante’s failure notwithstanding I think we’re on the cusp of major changes in pump technology, particularly in interface design, and I want to be as free as possible to take advantage of those changes as they come along. I think being able to coordinate your various devices via your smartphone is much more the way things are going than bundling it all into your pump. Particularly since Medtronic seems to be so dedicated to engineer-oriented, rather than user-oriented design. It’s a pretty robust device in some ways, but let’s face it, the interface is state-of-the-art pager/Blackberry design from the 90s.

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I like the Medtronic 90’s pager design. Small, durable(it has survived some nasty drops) and love the agility to easy bolus(by touch only) without needing to look at the pump.

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I have been loyal to Medtronic for a long time, and recently decided to try the Dexcom instead of the MM Enlite. I really liked many of the Dexcom features over the Medtronic features, but there are also things I like about Medtronic over Dexcom. I found no difference in accuracy at all. Here are the pros/cons of each that I saw:


  • I like that the unit is smaller and sexier.
  • It adjusts to corrections, when it is inaccurate, much quicker than Medtronic’s 530G with Enlite
  • The alarms are louder, and the vibrate is stronger
  • Battery life on vibrate is longer
  • I like the micro USB charging of the internal battery over Medtronic’s AAA batteries (Note: This can be a plus, or a minus - with AAA batteries, the unit lasts longer. Internal batteries have a maximum number of charge cycles before they are “dead” and need to be replaced.)
  • The range of the sensor to receiver on the Dexcom is longer than on Medtronic. Less “lost signal” errors.
  • The Dexcom “Clarity” site is much more useful, and simpler to use than Medtronic’s “Carelink”. Dexcom’s site also works on any computer. Carelink is… iffy, if at all functional on any new operating systems. Clarity has good reports. Carelink is… a pain to interpret for the average user.
  • Dexcom will upload to the site by itself via Bluetooth. Medtronic requires a Contour BG monitor to upload to Carelink, and special serial port drivers.

Minimed/Medtronic 530G with CGM:

  • I like the integration with the pump
  • The sensor is smaller than Dexcom’s
  • Dexcom claims their sensor has “memory” and will keep up to 20 minutes of data when out of range of the reciever. This may be so, as they maintain accuracy, but they do not display this “lost data” - you get blank spots on the display. Medtronic keeps and syncs this data, so you see it when you get back near the sensor.
  • The Medtronic display can be seen in bright light. Dexcom’s receiver cannot be seen in bright light.
  • The biggest one for me is support. Medtronic support is hand above Dexcom’s. Dexcom and their distributors are “lacking” in the ability to get the job done. Despite getting faxes of my insurance information from my Doctor, and from me directly (and several phone calls to clarify), they never did get my insurance verified. Called wrong numbers, wrong insurance companies, etc. There is no direct phone line into Dexcom’s sales people - you go through an “information expert” who does not seem to be much of an expert. Medtronic has A class support.


  • Accuracy, in my opinion, is the same
  • Both have connectivity to a smart phone. This is not unique to Dexcom as some posted.
  • Though I personally prefer the Medtronic iPhone app display over Dexcom’s, that is a personal preference. They both have them.

Overall, if I was still using the insulin pump, I would stick with the Medtronic 530G due to the integration. Without needing the pump, I would go with the Dexcom. (I actually use my 530G as just a CGM at this point, since I have it already.)

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Okay so I am about 2 weeks in on the Medtronic pump and less than a week with the Medtronic CGM. So far, I LOVE it! I had been using the Dexcom and really liked it a lot but liked the idea of the integrated system and so far I’ve been super happy.

The Insulin pump is a GAME CHANGER for me! I’ve had much more stable sugars and my tennis game has been much easier!!

The CGM is great but I am still getting used to it. I was told the Medtronic isn’t as comfortable as the Dexcom and I was neutral on that one until today. I think the Dexcom one might be a tad more comfortable BUT the Medtronic is slightly flatter which is a big difference for me on many fronts.

Probably the thing I like the BEST is that the integrated system will shut off your insulin if you have an untreated low sugar. This is HUGE for me as lows at night are something I struggle with and my husband doesn’t hear very well (too many loud bands and hunting issues!) so I’m kind of flying solo at night.

The jury is still out on the comfort but it may be a trade off I’m willing to accept. I do love the concept of the integrated system, I like the connectivity with smart phone and their customer support is excellent! I’ll keep you guys posted. I’m headed internationally for a 2 weeks so I’ll give it a good test:)


Hi Kelly
I am just at the same junction that you were in May 2016. I have been offered the opportunity to get a medtronic CGM which will integrate with my pump, instead of the dexcom G4 which I am currently using (and often quite frustrated with after having previously been used to the Freestyle Libre system, which is very simple and user-friendly).
All of a sudden I am having cold feet and wondering if I should stick with the G4?

Some of the ideas I like in the medtronic are

  1. less stuff to carry ( ijust went out for a run with an mp3, my phone, my pump, my dexcom, and some glucose…)
  2. supposedly the medtronic stops your basal before you hit lows.
  3. all data visibile one 1 screen
  4. waterproof (?)- I hate the G4 receiver not being pool-friendly, but also not having any memory to tell you what’s been happening as you swim, and also not being able to momentarily get out the pool and immedaitely see what your sugar levels are like- you need to wait uo to 5 minutes (with the Freestyle I used to keep it in a plastic bag by the side of the pool and I could quickly see the current sugar as well as the direection and prevent hypos/hypers when in the pool for a long time)

some of the ideas that put me off the medtronic:

  1. being extra lazy I like not having to swap the sensor too often on the Dex vs. every 6-7 days on the Med
  2. having to also mess around with recharging, sounds like I’d would often get stuck at critical times with no readings at all, either cos I am unable to recharge or cos I have recharged and now need to re-calllibrate
  3. i wonder if the Medtronics glue is irritative or less strong than the (rather large) Dex sticker which is super easy to use.
  4. I dont know how easy it would be to wear the Med on the back of my arm, where I like to kep my CGM, as its out of the way and doesn’t use up prime abdominal real-estate…?

Any input would be very helpful, thanks in advance

First of all I should tell you I’ve only used Medtronic products but I have respect for the quality of the Dexcom sensors and product having some close friends using them. I’ve been using the 670G since late Spring this year (2017). Let me answer your questions and share my experience.

  • Less stuff: True. Waterproof and rugged.

  • Most significant feature is that it does dramatically reduce lows when in Auto Mode. Auto Mode and Auto Basil will stop insulin delivery to arrest most lows.

  • I was having trouble getting 7 trouble free days out of the sensor until changing from the abdomen location to the back of my arm. So far, so good.

  • I’ve never had an issue with the Medtronic adhesives and for years now they’ve never come off. Just not an issue.

  • The transmitter, after 7 days, is usually at 50% power remaining. Recharging is easy, fast and just once a week and doesn’t need to be recharged between changing sensors. Easy process. The pump is a single AA battery and lasts 2 or 3 weeks.

  • Easy so far to wear the CGM on the back of my arm. Hardly know its there.

  • The 670 has really helped overnight BG control.

  • I should also sum this up by saying there are two other developments that have helped get my A1C’s below 7 in addition to the 670G. I’m taking Jardiance and I’ve cut bread and pasta nearly completely out of my diet. Jardiance has been incredible and going low carb has really helped too.

Good luck with your decision.


Let me start by saying I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 670g. Best blood sugars ever with minimal (almost no) lows! I love the auto mode feature. It’s really been exciting!! I also love that it’s water proof. I think having the new auto basal is amazing and you should highly consider having this new technology!

For your cons…you change the sensor 1/week and the infusion sets generally every 3 days. Not bad and I haven’t had issues with the tape with either. My skin can get a tad irritated if I wear longer than I should but it’s minimal. Charging isn’t an issue. I keep extra AA batteries for the pump and they are readily available if you forget. The sensor charger isn’t bad either. I pop it in the charger and hop in the shower. It’s good to go by the time I’m ready. You are supposed to charge it each week but it will last a second week if you’re in a pinch or don’t have time for a full charge.

I wear everything on my abdomen just bc it was easy but I’d like to try my arm. I just need my nurse to show me how. I store my pump on my bra…it’s just so easy and doesn’t show. (But I get some strange looks sometimes!). I also can use it without the clip and put under my arm (inside bra) and it’s so convenient.

Overall I give the 670 a BIG thrumbs up. The only real advantage to the Dexcom for me was the fact that it could be viewed on the phone. My family liked to monitor things which was good yet annoying sometimes!! If I had a child with T1D, I’d want them on a system that I could acres. But 670 isn’t rated for kids anyway.

Good luck!!

Been using the Medtronic 630G with the Enlite sensors for the last year and my feelings of the Enlite sensors don’t rank high. The pump is good but the sensors can be a real problem for being accurate. They can be as much as 80 points difference from the BG meter, then other days within 5 points. They say you only need to cross check it with the BG meter twice a day… its more like 4 to 5 times a day. I get low readings saying its 54 when the BG (and feelings) are at 90 to 100 .
Now that the Dexcom G5 is cover by Medicare I’m thinking of switching to it to replace the Enlite sensors. I don’t want the new Medtronic 670G system because I will be tie up under Medicare for the next 4 years to it. I don’t think pump manf. are going to come up with new ones until they get some money back on the new products they have out.