The G6 is the first and only CGM that doesn’t require you to poke your finger with a sharp lancet even a single time! The sensor is calibrated in the factory before it is shipped, so there is no need to calibrate it with twice daily with fingersticks as is the case for the G5. Also, there is no double calibration required once you start a sensor – so you can start it before bed and go to sleep, rather than waiting up for two hours.
You can still manually calibrate the sensor but it is important to note that this will not have any effect on the sensor’s accuracy. If the sensor picks up on any inconsistent readings, it will automatically shut off. If you call technical support, they will of course replace the sensor, no matter what day you’re on – one or nine.
New, much simpler, and less painful inserter
Gone is the G5 torture device! In its place is a much easier to use inserter. It’s not yet recyclable (they’re working on it!) but because the needle is safely retracted into the inserter pod, it can be thrown away with general waste. The inserters are also single use, so you’ll receive three in a one month’s supply.
The new transmitter is 23% slimmer than the G5 transmitter, and is generally more streamlined, so is much less visible under clothing. It also has no edges to catch on jeans etc. so is much less likely to be pulled out by snagging on clothing – although this did only ever happen once for me with the G5 when I pulled down some skinny jeans very quickly forgetting that Dexy was on my thigh.
Customisable alert schedules
Whilst this is a current feature for the G5 app in the US, this is brand new for the UK. This means that you can set different thresholds and sounds for say weekends, or for days when you exercise.
Urgent low soon alert
The ‘urgent low soon’ alert is another new feature which is designed to warn you that your BG is heading towards an urgent low (3.1 mmol/l) twenty minutes before it happens. It should only alert you once you’re at a maximum of 6.6, so don’t worry that it will be alerting you when you’re at 10!
No interference from paracetamol
I’m sure that the ibuprofen industry is going to take a massive hit now that the G6 can handle paracetamol without any dodgy readings. Load up on the Lemsip save in the knowledge that your sensor won’t mistakenly read it as sugar!
A new G6 app
The G6 also comes with its own, brand new, very swishy app. You will also need to delete the G5 app and download the G6 app when you wish to use your sensors. You’ll also need to allow sharing so that your Followers can see your BGs on the Follow app. Clarity will also work as it has done for the G5, with the app on its way to the UK in the coming months.
Anyone who wishes to try the G6 can purchase a starter kit for £159 which will include three sensors (enough for 30 days’ wear) and one transmitter (which will last for three months). This offer is open to new and existing customers. When your first month is coming to an end, you will be contacted by Dexcom to see how you’re getting on, and see whether you want to continue using the G6. If so, you will be seamlessly transitioned onto the ‘Subscribe and Save’ plan – which costs £159 per month and is a 12 month contract. Your Dexcom supplies will delivered quarterly directly to you – no need to call up, no need to source your CGM from a random pharmacy, no patronising of existing customers being limited to two sensors at a time! Instead, Dexcom will take care of your CGM needs, so that you can spend time on something other than thinking about your diabetes.
This is a substantially better deal than buying the G5 – which with full time use costs £7.23 per day, £220 per month, and £2640 per day. The G6 ‘Subscribe and Save’ plan works out to £5.22 per day, £159 per month, and £1908 per year – a saving of £732 for a much better piece of tech. Individual G5 (7 days wear guaranteed) and G6 (10 days wear guaranteed) sensors will still cost £51.25 each and a three month G5 or G6 transmitter remains £200. Existing G5 ‘Subscribe and Save’ customers can remain on their contract until its full term, or will have the option to transition to the much cheaper G6 contract. The G5 S&S plan will close to new customers, but G5 supplies can still be purchased for the above prices.
How do I order?!
If you’re an existing G4/G5 customer, you can order through the website as you usually would. If you’re a new customer, you can fill in this form to request a callback or you can call Dexcom’s UK sales team on 0800 031 5761
A final note on extending sensors
I know that for a lot of people who extend their G5 sensors, there has been question about whether the G6 will work out cheaper. If you currently get two weeks out a G5 sensor for £168.50 per month, the G6 will still be cheaper at £159 per month. If you get more than that, it’s obviously up to you as to whether the improved technology is worth the extra money. I am yet to find any evidence that you can extend a sensor past ten days, but I would have to advise caution if you do try to do this – the ten day shut off isn’t designed to line Dexcom’s pockets – it is a requirement of the FDA to maintain the accuracy of the sensor. It has always been Dexcom’s intention to make sensors that last even longer than seven days – now they’re at ten days, they’re not stopping.