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!