Xdrip and smartphone decision

I have a Dexcom G4 (which I’m very happy with) and an Animas pump (also happy).

I’m not sure I’m ready to DIY loop, but I am ready to use technology to help support my decisions and to make predictions about where my BG is heading.

I’m intrigued by xdrip but I’m not clear about exactly what it is. Is it a way for Android phone users to get dexcom info onto their phones and smartwatches? Is it an app that takes dexcom data plus pump data and user inputed data and uses it to support decision making and to show richer information than a dexcom receiver alone? Is it primarily a piece of a DIY loop system? I’ve done some quick google searches, but I’m afraid it’s not clear to me.

Another question that is part of this. Right now, I don’t have a smartphone. If I choose an iPhone, would I find apps that show dexcom data and support decision making? Is xdrip a better app than the ones available for iPhone or are there similar apps for both?

Thanks so much for your collective help with this.

You mention the Animas pump but don’t say which one. If the Animas Ping then the pump is not relevant to the Dexcom. However if you have the Animas Vibe and are running integrated with the Dexcom G4 then the pump will only integrate with the Dexcom G4 (ie - Animas Vibe is not compatible with Dexcom G5) hence another reason to stick with the G4 in your case.

The Dexcom G4 does not have Bluetooth capabilities native to the transmitter. (Whereas the Dexcom G5 does have native Bluetooth communications direct from the Dexcom G4 transmitter.)

AFAIK, the most typical way to get the Dexcom G4 to transmit to any Smartphone app is via the “Dexcom Receiver with Share”. This will pick up the non-Bluetooth signal from the Dexcom G4 and then relay a Bluetooth signal to a nearby Smartphone.

However, in regards to my first question, if you are running the Animas Vibe integrated with the Dexcom G4 then the pump is acting as a receiver type of device from the perspective of Dexcom. Dexcom only allows one receiver type of device (smartphone is different category and not considered as a receiver) to be simultaneously connected to the transmitter. So, with the Animas Vibe connected to the Dexcom G4, you would not be able to use the Dexcom Receiver with Share.

So. Which pump do you have?
Which Dexcom receiver (if any) do you have?

I have a Vibe and an old G4 receiver. I have both receiving BG info. I have them staggered so that when the session runs out on my receiver I can still get readings on my pump until the receiver warms up for a second session. (I almost always get two sessions out of each time I insert the Dexcom transmitter.)

I wouldn’t mind no longer using the Vibe to receive Dexcom info if I could get the same staggering effect out of using the receiver and a smartphone.

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Your current setup is very interesting. I was not aware this was possible - good to know !!!

In order to transmit a G4 to a Smartphone, you must specifically use the Dexcom Receiver “with Share” feature. It would clearly say this on the receiver. (Right under the DEXCOM)

Alternatively if you are no longer interested in continuing the Dexcom integration with the Animas Vibe and are looking to have the Dexcom Transmitter communicate directly to an app running on a SmartPhone without having to hop through a Dexcom Receiver (with Share) first, then you could consider upgrading to the Dexcom G5 system.

Note that if you switch to the Dexcom G5 system, any remaining Dexcom sensors you have are fully compatible between the G4 and G5 transmitters.

There are a number of posts on the forum regarding differences between the G4 and G5. Among other things, the battery life of the Dexcom Transmitter is substantially different. Many threads on that topic.

Thank you, Tim. I had the option of going to the G5 when I last got a new dexcom a while ago but didn’t because of the shorter battery life. I already dread the low battery warning because, in my experience, the transmitter dies before I can get a new transmitter approved by insurance and shipped and a week without CGM (or even a few days) has become anathema to me (to think that I went years without knowing my BG trends and so forth!)

My current receiver is not “with share,” but assuming I could get one that did have that, do you know anything about the apps I could use – either xDrip or the ones available for iPhone. Do any of them predict future results based on past behaviors? I think I might make some of the same mistakes (overbolusing at certain times, underbolusing at others, having the wrong basal for what I’m doing) over and over and a computer brain may be able to nudge me out of some of those patterns. I’d also like to see insulin on board and carbs and bg all on one screen.

Check the availability of the “with Share”. I have no idea if that can be obtained any longer from Dexcom or if it would have to be 3rd party or from the pre-used market (where obviously you take the risk of proper functionality).

The Dexcom provided apps for the Smartphone do NOT provide BG predictions. If you want BG prediction based on cgm data then you may want to look into the details of 3rd party apps such as the xdrip software.

Although the G5 Transmitter has the shorter lifespan (as compared to the G4) when using the Dexcom G5 Mobile App on a Smartphone, if you were already looking at a different app such as xdrip for the purpose of additional functionality, you would also be able to bypass the programmed 112 day max lifespan of the G5 Transmitter as that is enforced from the Dexcom App Software (or Dexcom Receiver) not actually from the Dexcom G5 Transmitter itself. So perhaps that is an option to consider.

If using the G5 Transmitter with Dexcom Receiver or Dexcom G5 Mobile App software, you do not have unexpected transmitter death (unless it is an actual error which would be covered under warranty). This is a benefit of the G5 that the “end of life” is well known in advance such that you can absolutely schedule your orders so as to avoid gaps of product on hand. In terms of cost, the intent has been to allow people to obtain two G5 transmitters for the same cost as one G4 transmitter. However effective that is when routed through distributors and insurance companies - who knows.

We do not use xdrip so I have only basic knowledge of its existence. There are a number of threads on xdrip and some very experienced xdrip users. Certainly they would be far more capable to provide expert information on that.

With G4 you can use as many receiver devices as you want. The G4 transmitter just sends out the signal (RF?) to be picked up by as many receiver devices as you want. This is very different from the G5 which is limited in how many Bluetooth connections it can make. So someone using the Animas Vibe as a G4 receiver can also use the G4 Share receiver.

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I use xdrip+ with my g5 and as many have experienced, it is truly a life saver. It does provide predictions based on the cgm data and your treatments which are either manually entered or received from your nightscout (see cgm in the cloud below) site. You do need an android phone though. I use a Sony smartwatch 3 as the main collector and the smartwatch syncs the cgm data to the phone upon connecting. This way I continue to receive and visually see the graph of cgm data even when I don’t have my phone with me. I think someone has developed an xdrip iphone version but I hear it is very limited. I used dexcom g4 share and then moved to dexcom g5 clarity sw but xdrip+ has so many more great features, plus is more accurate for me.
Do a search for xdrip g5 and cgm in the cloud. They both have Facebook sites where members help each other. Sorry I don’t have their links handy.


Excuse me butting in on this thread but is it possible to get the data from a G4 transmitter/CGM linked to an Animas Vibe, onto a smartphone via xdrip? I do not have a Dexcom Receiver and I’m afraid I’m really ignorant about the possibilities, (or not) of getting the data onto my smartphone and how I would go about that with the devices I have - that is an Android smartphone, an Animas Vibe and G4 transmitter.

I think there are two ways of getting Dexcom data onto a smartphone. One is with the G4 and the Dexcom G4 receiver “with share” – which, as far as I know, is a receiver dexcom no longer sells. The other way is with the Dexcom G5. If you switch to the G5, though, your Dexcom will no longer communicate with your Animas Vibe.
It’s frustrating to me how there seem to be trade-offs like this around every corner with CGM and pumps and other diabetes technology, but I’m unaware of any way around this particular trade-off.

I just googled Xdrip and it seems as if you have really be in “the know” or a programmer. There are all sorts of gyrations to go through to find the correct download link if u want to put the right .apk on an Android phone. I gave up after going from one site to another. Way too confusing.

Thanks. I think there is a way to get G4 data onto a smartphone but I might not be knowledgeable enough to manage it! :slight_smile:

Yes I’m going from site to site at the moment, some are completely over my head but there are some basic guides as well, so I will try to persevere. Thanks for looking - I’ll post again if I get somewhere with it. :slight_smile:



ok. thanks! I’ve downloaded it. will that mess up my Medicare coverage if I use xdrip? will data still go to my G5 receiver if it also goes to phone (S7)?

It shouldn’t interfere with your receiver, but I don’t have a G5 receiver so I’ve never tried using both. Xdrip doesn’t upload data anywhere unless you want it to, so I think you’re safe.

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ok, thanks scott. I’m going to give it a try.

Go to settings and make sure “Hardware Data Source” shows “G5 Transmitter” and that the Transmitter ID below is correct. Then try going into “G5 Debug Settings” and select “Try the new OB1 G5 Collector”. Exit out of settings and go to System Status. Click “Restart Collector”. See if that fixes it!

Starting a sensor shouldn’t interfere with what your receiver is showing. You will be able to tell xDrip when the sensor was started so you won’t have to go through the 2-hr start-up and will start getting readings right away.

Let it go for a while, sometimes that takes forever for some reason but it should work.

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