Like insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems all have certain basic properties in common (see below). But each also has unique features that make them better choices for certain individuals.
System includes a receiver/display, transmitter, and subcutaneous sensor.
Wireless system; radio signals utilized.
Waterproof sensors/transmitters (receiver/display not waterproof).
Require periodic calibration with fingerstick blood glucose readings.
Customizable alarms for high/low glucose values.
Multiple on-screen trend graphs.
Arrows indicate rate & direction of BG change
Mechanical device used to insert sensors.
Sensors typically re-usable; sensor life varies from person to person.
Warmup period at beginning of sensor session.
Some lag time between blood glucose (fingerstick) and subcutaneous glucose (sensor) values.
Insurance coverage varies from plan to plan.
Minimal skin irritation, even with prolonged sensor life.
CGM Systems: Pros & Cons
Dexcom G4 Platinum
Medtronic 530G With Enlite
Full-color, high-contrast display
Very good accuracy
Long transmitter range
Transmitter does not require charging
Event markers display on graphs when downloading
Sensor life averages 12-14 days
May be calibrated at any time
Simplicity of daily use
Display integrated into pump screen
Universally-accessible download software
Software integrates pump, meter and CGM data
Transmitter stores up to 40 minutes of data (if out of range)
Features “predictive” high/low alerts and low-glucose basal insulin suspension
Must carry an extra device (receiver/display)
Download software works on PCs only
Software does not integrate with data from other devices