Dexcom Opens Their API to Third Party Developers

From the press release:

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DexCom, Inc. (Nasdaq: DXCM), the leader in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), announced today the availability of a public API, empowering third-party developers to connect patient-authorized CGM data into a broad range of software applications. This pioneering approach to CGM data sharing is intended to enable a rich ecosystem of novel solutions and put the user in control of where and how they interact with their glucose data.

Full press release here:

More on the topic from DiabetesMine.com:

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Very smart move on their part.

Like most continuous glucose monitor (CGM) users, my primary focus when I first started watching my blood glucose numbers was about the real-time data. It was great to get timely warnings about actual low and high BGs as they happened in real time. This gave to me the ability to act in a timely way to change the trend-line in a better way. While fingersticks are snapshots, CGM was live video.

Real-time access to CGM data is/was a game-changer for many of us. I discovered that looking at past data, aka restrospective analysis, could provide important insights into how to make adjustments to my treatment. My favorite report for this analysis is the 14-day standard day ambulatory glucose profile (AGP) report. You may read more details about my take on the value of the AGP report.

So Dexcom is allowing participation of all developers who want to access retrospective data (that is data at least three hours old) and help the patient learn how to live better with diabetes. Here’s one key piece of this development as written in the above linked DiabetesMine article:

“The most important message is that there’s now a lot more choice in where people want their data to go,” Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer tells us. “We realized we just can’t do everything better than everybody else. Some people have ideas for better solutions to expand capabilities combined with Dexcom data that will improve diabetes care. We think that’s really important.” [my emphasis]

This is truly a breath of fresh air in the D-tech arena. Dexcom opening its technical doors to the innovation of the many should create for them a better and larger market for their product and a richer eco-system that serves patients with more choices. And this wider range of choice will flow from the iterative effort of many companies and entrepreneurs, not just a single proprietary enterprise.

Dexcom, however, will not share tools and data-flow from realtime data. This is data younger than three hours old. The company cites FDA regulations as the impediment. Unfortunately, realtime data is the primary focus of most patients. The #WeAreNotWaiting movement uses hacked realtime data as the heart of do-it yourself innovations like Loop and OpenAPS.

This is a significant positive development in the D-tech space and I hope that more patients will start to appreciate the usefulness of retrospective data. I say, “Congrats to Dexcom” for bravely taking this step!

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So is the point that real time data would likely result in people delivering insulin off of it and therefore release of it is restricted by the FDA? Am I stating the glaringly obvious and don’t realize it’s that obvious? That seems like an unfortunate, albeit understandable assuming that’s the reasoning, restriction.

A great step forward, nonetheless!

Yes, that’s my understanding. And in this context, app developers would use it and base recommendations for treatments on real-time data, something Dexcom wants to avoid.

What does this mean exactly? Are we going to get a cheaper version of dexcom made by someone else?

@meee - No.
It means you can use different 3rd party apps to analyze your historical cgm data.

https://developer.dexcom.com/app-gallery

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My son took a look at it and he’s excited because he is developing something for us to compare our Dexcom and Medtronic data and this makes it easier for him.

He said that Dexom’s caveat is that if you do create an app you could only have 20 users attached to this API. Iif you wanted to make something on a larger scale you would have to register with Dexcom.

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Thanks so much for posting this. I’m a software developer by day and I’ve been working on a simple bolus logging app on the side. I was primarily interested in giving myself an easy way to record insulin needed to return blood sugar to normal for a meal (easy for me at least to lose track with everything going on during typical day). Wasn’t going to bother with recording blood sugar itself, but looks like this might be a nice way to feather those numbers in beside the insulin numbers without the user having to enter themselves.

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Ah somehow I knew that would never happen. I don’t analyze my data on any apps so it’s no use to me. I want cheaper devices and sensors.

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