Dexcom received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to allow third-party developers, such as Garmin, access to real-time CGM data.
The big picture
Diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. Over 10% or some 34 million Americans have the condition. Nearly 27 million of these are undiagnosed. The prevalence is even higher in seniors. According to the CDC, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the US. Globally, the condition is estimated to effect over 400 million individuals.
Developments in medicine mean that people with diabetes can live long, healthy lives. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides a list of things to consider. This includes being aware of your blood glucose levels, managing your blood pressure and cholesterol, stopping smoking, physical activity and following a diabetes meal plan.
Dexcom gets FCA access for third-party developers
Dexcom is a leader in real-time continuous glucose monitoring solutions. The San Diego-based company has a range of devices that were launched over its lifetime. This includes the first such gizmo – the Dexcom STS Continuous Glucose Monitoring System launched way back in 2006. To the Dexcom G6 in 2018 and Dexcom G7 which is expected soon.
The Dexcom G6 app is compatible with the Apple Watch and can be used to discreetly monitor your glucose levels and trends. Now, this sort of functionality will make its way to other devices.
The company has just received approval from the FDA to expand the connectivity and interoperability of its digital system to third-party developers, more specifically its Partner Web API. This will allow other brands to develop apps that integrate real-time CGM data with their own devices.
Companies that were specifically mentioned in the Dexcom press release include Garmin and Teladoc Health Livongo for Diabetes. The first of these is particularly interesting to us as its one of the biggest sports watch sellers globally. Garmin is apparently already in the testing and developing phase of its app.
“Garmin welcomes the opportunity to bring Dexcom CGM data to runners, cyclists and everyday users who rely on the technology 24/7 to proactively manage their diabetes,” said Joe Schrick, vice president of fitness at Garmin.
“We are proud to be part of this integration that will allow users a secondary way to quickly and discreetly view estimated glucose levels and trends right from their smartwatch at any time.”
Other companies will be invited by Dexcom to develop their own apps. This type of integration will give people more choice in how they view and interact with their glucose data. Which can only be a good thing.
Future of glucose measurement
Non-invasive, real-time glucose monitoring is considered to be the holy grail of diabetes management. We are still not there yet although there are some promising movements in this area.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets
The company that has us most excited is Rockley Photonics. They claim to have developed a sensor that can track a multitude of health markers from the wrist. This includes core body temperature, blood pressure, body hydration, alcohol, lactate, glucose trends and much more.
The list makes wonderful reading for keen followers of wearable tech. It’s fair to say that it has been a few years since we’ve seen something truly revolutionary on the sensor front.
The spectrometer-on-a-chip platform works by capturing higher wavelengths on the invisible spectrum. This is in addition to the commonly used wavelengths on the visible spectrum.
With big names behind it such as Apple, Samsung, Zepp Health and Withings Rockley Photonics is in a good position to make their sensor into a reality. The first wearable device packing the tech is entering trial phase this year, with consumer devices planned for sale sometime next year.
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