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« Feel World Diabetes Day 2012 | Main | Spry's D-Hero Interview: Scott Benner »

First Impressions: DexCom Platinum G4

It's been about a week since Arden's new DexCom Platinum G4 arrived and I've spent enough time with it to share my initial thoughts from the perspective of a type I CareGiver. 

The G4 is smaller, lighter and more modern looking then the 7+. All good stuff. The wire that inserts into the wearer is smaller to try and further minimize the pain felt at insertion. A number of people have mistaken it for an iPod. The signal range is vastly improved and I'm seeing more accurate readings. Best of all, Arden loves it.


Arden's Reaction

Arden's face lit up when she opened the box and found a pink CGM looking back at her. Her excitement level was just as high, if not higher then when we bought an iPad. She was genuinely happy to get the G4. I never thought that I would see a person, let alone a child, that joyous over a medical device but wow was I wrong. 


BG Accuracy

The G4 began to send accurate and reliable readings immediately after the two hour marrying period. We've only inserted one sensor thus far and perhaps we won't get the same instant feedback next time, but I was not accustomed to being able to rely on the 7+ on day one, so hour one was not even in my mind. I'm also seeing a great deal of numbers within what I would call acceptable range of finger stick testing, both up and down the spectrum, 400 - 75 (Arden hasn't had a significant low this week). Last evening, I missed on a late night snack bolus, and when I tested Arden around midnight I got this...

Even though I have no scientific data to back up my statement, I'm comfortable saying that the G4 is more accurate then it's predecessor. Which is to say that it seems, so far to me, to be closer to finger sticks then the 7+. Time will tell how true my initial observations remain.


Signal Range

Sadly our bedroom and Arden's are at completely opposite ends of our house, not even the vastly improved range of the G4 can reach my bedside. While that was a momentary bummer, the rest is all great news. Arden is able to untethered herself from the CGM in our house and other relaxed situations while still benefiting from it's feedback. The range is quite impressive. A few days ago Arden had dental work performed and I was able to wait in the lobby instead of lurking around her during the procedure. The G4 sent it's signal to the receiver in my pocket, the distance wasn't great, maybe ten feet but I was on the other side of a wall. The 7+ couldn't even send a signal through Arden's hip so drywall is a a big leap forward!


We kept her a little high for the procedure

In the past I would have needed to go in and out of the exam room to watch Arden's BG, interrupting the doctor and making Arden feel awkward. But now I'm right where I should be...


Ease of use

We found no confusion moving from one version to the other. Even though the button configuration is slightly different and the screen is redesigned, neither Arden or I experienced any slow down or inability to use and understand the new receiver. There was no transition to speak of, I found the change completely intuitive and unremarkable.



The DexCom G4 is smaller, lighter, nicer looking and it works better. Arden has never once mentioned that the transmitter is taller or that she in any way misses the 7+. I haven't asked her level of comfort during the insertion yet, I will, but asking her the first time wasn't going to yield an accurate reply, she was too jazzed up as we put in on.

Meanwhile her poor 7+ is just sitting on the counter as I search for a way to legally donate it to a child in need, which is not as easy of a task as you may think.


More information and final thoughts

Everything you need to know about the G4 can be found on DexCom's website. Colors, size comparisons, tutorials, cute little videos... it's all there. I can't tell you for certain that I would stop using a working 7+ and rush to buy a G4, I'm far too thrifty for that. We were lucky in that our 7+ had run past it's life expectancy and was about to be replaced by our insurance when the G4 hit the market. I would have waited for financial reasons if that was not the case. Never-the-less, if you are eligible for upgrade or thinking about using continuous glucose monitoring technology for the first time, I can't recommend the G4 Platinum strongly enough. It makes our days and nights better and aids me significantly in my daily dance with type I diabetes. I'll post more thoughts when we've been with the system longer. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have and I'll do my best to answer them. 


Neither I or 'Arden's Day' is compensated for my thoughts or opinions. There is a "I'm not a doctor' spiel at the bottom of this and the main page, please remember it when you make decisions about health matters.

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Reader Comments (9)

Hey Scott,

Thanks for the real world review. In the Dexcom earnings call there was some joking about their surprise at the number of pink units ordered. I have noticed this before. At FFL I was talking with a rep that was amazed that I thought pink mattered. So I said OK count the young girls walking by with green wrist bands.

I am thrilled for Arden oh and dad too.



November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBennet

Hey Scott,

A big thing for us it the difference in the alarm volume.... We have a baby monitor in Tristan's room and we put the 7+ in a glass to help with the noise and we still at times sleep through the alarms.... are the alarms on the G4 louder?

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

To Bennet's point, pink matters to some mature female adults also ;)

It's been a week for me as well and I am happy with it for sure. I also found the set up very easy, just had to look in the manual to see if the vibrate profile included a secondary tone as the 7+ had the vibrate then beep option blatantly listed. Dexcom rocks!

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStacey D.


I didn't speak about the alarms yet because I'm waiting to see if I become desensitized to it over time. Which is to say that I am hearing it better then I did with the 7+ but I'm not sure yet if that is because it is louder or just a different noise in the house. I'll let you know when I do. G4 does have more sound options so if familiarity is the issue they can be cycled. More when I know. Best,

November 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

Stacey and Bennet,

Having color options makes it feel more personal. This is an item that is with you 24/7, it shouldn't feel like you are tasked with carrying the TV remote with you. Color choice helped Arden to feel like she chose the CGM. I hope Dex expands the choices when the see how much it means. Thanks for commenting! Miss you both!

November 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

Good review, thanks. Ours comes next week. Can't wait for the longer range. It will easily reach from G's bedside to my nightstand. I love the design of it and yes, pink matters a lot.
As for the donation, we are easily donating our SevenPlus. Not sure we have any legal matters to worry about. I wonder if you have heard something we have not. I have been hoarding SevenPlus sensors for the donation too.

November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPenny

Penny, Can we talk privately about the donating? Scott

November 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

Just got my G4 today, and will be wearing it plus my 7+ for a few days.
Several thoughts:
1) I wish they had supplied the ugly rubberized "skin" with the G4. Granted, it might detract from the hot pink color, but I would like the added safety from dings.
2) The delay before it turns on is annoying. Wonder how long til I get used to it?
3) I too will have a bunch of sensors and a working 7+ to give away. My cousin might take it, but if she doesn't, I'd like to know how best to donate it.

November 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill Quick

Bill, I just started speaking with an attorney to figure out the best way to gift previously owned devices. Trying to make sure that the donor is protected. Not sure what the outcome will be but I'll share it as soon as I know.


November 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

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