On Friday 23 January the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved a medical app that allows data from a continuous glucose monitoring  (CGM) unit to be shared with other people, including doctors, in real-time.

The Dexcom Share and Dexcom Follow apps work with the Dexcom G4 Platinum CGM and the Dexcom SHARE cradle. The Share mobile phone app allows someone with a Dexcom G4 Platinum to share their real-time results with up to 5 other ‘followers’ who have the Follow app installed on their mobile phones.

Peace of mind

The apps offer peace of mind to people with diabetes. The apps play a useful function, particularly during sleep. Whilst CGMs can be set with alarms, the alarms may not always wake someone who has very low blood glucose levels. This where the apps come in and serve as a very useful second line of defence, sending notifications to followers that blood glucose levels are too low. The apps can also receive notifications if blood glucose levels go too high.

The Dexcom SHARE and its accompanying apps are likely to be an attractive prospect for children, teenagers and students with type 1 diabetes, in addition to any adults who have found it difficult to eradicate hypos during the night.

The FDA has been taking a number of factors into account before approving the apps, such as whether any problems could occur should Apple update its operating systems. The approval is a positive step forward and could see other CGM manufacturers releasing similar apps over the next year or so.

Which mobile phones and devices can the apps be used on?

At time of writing, the Dexcom Share App can be installed on the following devices:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPod Touch 5th Gen

The Dexcom Follow App can be installed on all of the above devices and also an iPhone 4.