Dexcom's next generation Apple Watch CGM app needs one less device to work

By Jonah Comstock

When the Apple Watch launched last year, Dexcom announced that it would have an Apple Watch app ready for its G4 continuous glucose monitor system, and it did. While users could see their CGM data on their wrist, that data had to go on a long trip to get there. With the G4, the implant sent data to a receiver box which sent data to the phone which sent data to the watch, and the user needed to have all four in reasonably close proximity.

Now Dexcom has announced a new Apple Watch app that will be available with the company’s new G5 CGM, which received FDA premarket approval last August and began shipping shortly thereafter. This one will not require the user to have a separate receiver box, though it will still require that the iPhone be in range. 

For users without an Apple Watch, the company also announced a new feature called “Today View” with a similar aim of making the data from the user’s CGM available to them as easily as possible. The Today View widget makes the user’s glucose trends accessible even on a locked phone and even when the Dexcom G5 app is closed. This feature makes use of the relatively new iOS support for widgets that Apple announced last year.

"The Dexcom G5 Mobile interface with Apple Watch and the new Today view widget allows us to continue to enhance options and product offerings that include even more useful features for people with diabetes," Kevin Sayer, CEO of Dexcom, said in a statement. "These features were driven by feedback from G5 Mobile users, and showcase our commitment to continuously improve the user experience, making CGM more flexible than ever before for people with diabetes to manage their condition.”

Like the previous G4 version, users can also share their data with up to five followers, allowing husbands, wives, and parents to keep an eye on a loved one’s glucose readings even when they’re far away. The data can also be securely shared with healthcare providers via a system called Dexcom Clarity. The G5 Mobile app also connects to Apple HealthKit as an alternate way of sharing data.

Dexcom has been ahead of the curve in developing mobile CGM tools, but not always far enough ahead for some of its users. The company has been pushed along in its development of user-friendly mobile tools by the NightScout movement, wherein patient hackers began developing their own mobile tools for accessing CGM data back in 2014. People in the movement have since created AndroidWear tools to get CGM data.