I have been suffering from type 2 diabetes for seven years now. The biggest challenge I faced initially was keeping the sugar level in check. I shared it with my doctor & he said, ” why don’t you try the CGM system.”
So, I was looking for the best continuous glucose monitor. Then, I came to know about Dexcom and Medtronic as the market-leading products. I tried both over the years & finally decided to stick into one.
Are you thinking about which one?
Alright then, let’s know in my Dexcom vs Medtronic trial which one wins finally. Here, you will get a quick overview, pros & cons, and, more importantly, their differences.
Table of Content
What is CGM?
CGM is a device that monitors your glucose level every few minutes. This is an updated version of the traditional insulin monitor to draw blood from your fingers.
In this system, a tiny sensor is inserted into your skin. It is usually inserted on your arm or abdomen using an automatic insert. The device measures the interstitial glucose level. Here the bigger question is, what is the interstitial glucose level?
Interstitial glucose is the glucose found in the fluid that resides between the cell. You can use an insulin pump with the CGM system from time to time to get accurate results, and insulin is taken.
Insulin Pumps are a small computerized device that pushes insulin in your body. This system is needed when you don’t control your insulin level, and even the medicines have failed you. This device helps you to handle your diabetics.
Another thing that comes in this line is the blood glucose meter. To find out the best fit, it would be best for you to sneak peek at this.
Blood Glucose Meter
A blood glucose Meter or glucometer is a device that measures the sugar level of blood. This is a small monitor that comes with some tiny strips. You have to take a little blood from your fingertip, put it in the strip, and then place the ribbon on the meter. Within seconds the meter will give you an accurate reading. But this is a one-time deal. You can not get a continuous reading on this meter.
Overview of Dexcom
Dexcom is a California-based medical manufacturing company that produces continuous glucose monitoring systems for diabetics patients. Their latest invention Dexcom G6 is one of the best sugar monitoring systems on the market.
In the whole package, you will get a sensor, a display device, and a transmitter. So here, the transmitter is connected with the sensor. And this sensor sends data to your receiving device. The reviving device can be an insulin pump or your smartphone. These features are vital while you are comparing Dexcom vs Medtronic.
This CMG system is made so that even a 2-year-old can use this without any harm. It is an excellent device for people who are struggling to control their sugar levels. Additionally, the device will show you how certain factors affect your sugar levels, such as sleep, certain foods, and physical activities.
So what about the insulin pump? As I have already said before, there is no Dexcom insulin pump. So what can you do? Well, you can use any other pumps to go with it. Another good thing here is that the device is waterproof. The sharing option allows you to share data with people. So you can share your data with your doctors and relatives. The device will last for about 30 days.
- Continuous monitoring of blood sugar level.
- Water resilient.
- It gives you notifications if your sugar level is too high or too low.
- Painless, easy insertion of the sensor.
- It lasts for a very long time
- It can’t be used again if the sensor falls off.
- Anytime the device can get disconnected from the phone or pump.
- Certain features are only available on the phone app and not on other receivers.
- The device is quite expensive without any insurance
Overview of Medtronic
Medtronic, an Ireland-based company famous for its medical supplies. This company is highly renowned for its continuous glucose meter and an insulin pump to monitor and control blood sugar.
This insulin pump mimics the action of a healthy pancreas. A healthy pancreas delivers basal insulin to our body. The computerized insulin pump imitates this action when your insulin level drops.
This pump protects you from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) by inputting insulin into your system. From a kid to a 90-year-old, anyone can use this insulin pump.
The Medtronic Continuous glucose meter works well with this insulin pump. You can get your reading on the pump or your smartphone. You don’t necessarily have to use an insulin pump if you don’t have to. Only People with less insulin control should use them together.
You can also download your blood sugar and insulin data in your cloud-based therapy management software and store them there for backup support. It alerts you if your sugar level goes too high or too low.
- You are getting both an insulin pump and a CGM system.
- The transmitter is rechargeable
- Lasts about ten days.
- Easy monitoring system.
- Any age group can use this.
- Doesn’t come off that easily.
- Customizable alert system for a better user-friendly experience.
- Doesn’t last very long.
- Not compatible with every smartphone.
- Fewer features
Dexcom vs Medtronic: Are They The Same?
Both Dexcom and Medtronic are famous for making medical equipment for diabetic patients. In most cases, their CGM system functions work more or less the same way. Both offer excellent devices that make it possible to keep track of and store data about the blood sugar level.
You can connect both devices to your phone. Both CGM systems come with a sensor and transmitter. Both CGM cannot give 100 percent accurate results since they only count the glucose level on interstitial fluid.
Reading all this might seem like Dexcom and Medtronic work the same. Then what’s the point of reading the difference between the CGM 2020 products, right? You have come here to know which one will give you more utility.
Medtronic gives you not only a CGM system but also an insulin pump for accuracy and better monitoring. That alone can be a good option for a few.
But here is the thing, Dexcom has some merits that make it my personal favorite. The Dexcom sensor lasts longer, the transmitter lasts longer ( though you can rechange Medtronic’s transmitter), and you won’t need any calibrations except when required.
Is Dexcom Better than Medtronic?
From my experience, I could indeed say that Dexcom gives me better performance. In the battle between Dexcom vs Medtronic, Dexcom got some additional pointers.
It is because of calibrations. It means that you use a blood sugar meter to measure your glucose and then enter that value on the CGM. In Dexcom, you don’t have to do that very often. But in my experience, I had to calibrate 2 or 3 times to get results.
And when you have to recharge the transmitter, you will have to wait a long while without using the device. I would instead just buy a new one.
Does Dexcom work with Medtronic?
Dexcom doesn’t have its insulin pump. However, the omnipod dash and Dexcom g6 are well suited to each other. Apart from that, many other pumps can also be used.
Medtronic, one of the largest insulin pump manufacturers, has taken the initiative to make a Bluetooth-based insulin pump that will be well suited with Dexcom CGM.
Dexcom vs Medtronic – Our Verdict
After reading our Dexcom vs Medtronic comparison, you might get to know your pick. Throughout the article, I tried to be as unbiased as possible. However, the only way to know which one will fix your issues – is by trying!
To sum up, If you want a CGM with an excellent compatible insulin pump, then Medtronic is your best bet. But, if you want a perfect CGM system, then Dexcom is the one you’re looking for.
Alright then, run your trial & don’t forget to share your experience here.
The FAQs About Dexcom and Medtronic
Can I buy Dexcom without a prescription?
In the United States, if you want to buy Dexcom continuous glucose meters in the pharmaceuticals, you would need a prescription from a genuine doctor. That’s why you need a doctor’s consultation first.
Does CGM insert needles?
Well, yes. The sensor uses a needle for insertion. But the experience is almost painless. You won’t feel a thing.
Which CGM costs less?
In terms of cost, the Medtronic CGM costs less than Dexcom.