Author Topic: Dexcom vs Libre  (Read 2891 times)

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Offline Lucy

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Dexcom vs Libre
« on: 10 July 2016, 01:21:25 AM »
I'll soon have a chance to try the dexcom, and have been currently using the libre. Hopefully someone may find the comparison of different systems interesting, though i appreciate most don't have the chance to use either, you might still be interested!


I've been using the libre fairly frequently for a year or so now, and due to a few factors had half started considering whether i might  try a dexcom. (Dexcom started distributing direct in uk bringing their prices down. There have been a few times where i've been low a while before testing it. Find myself doing more "just in case" checks because of that, etc).


I've currently got a libre sensor on but i will soon be trying out the dexcom G4 for one sensor, which is hopefully 2 to 3 weeks. They are licenced for 7 days but most people can extend them. I will hopefully have an overlap period so i can compare the two systems for a couple of days. I purchased a sensor from dexcom (they sell them in 1s at £51.25 or in boxes of 4 at £205- no difference in cost, and shipping is free) and the transmitter and receiver i'll be borrowing from a diabetic. This will give me chance to find out whether the adhesive is okay, if it stays stuck well, if it drives me mad with the size or with the alarms, if i can restart and get a second week out of it, etc.


Features
Dexcom has alarms and libre doesnt which is the main difference. Libre also stores your readings in the sensor, so you dont need the reader with you to get the whole 24 hrs of data, so long as you scan every 8 hrs you will get all the data. I understand that with Dexcom you only get the data when the receiving device is within range of the transmitter. So eg if you go swimming and leave receiver in the locker you will have a gap in readings for the swimming session, whereas libre will store them all there for you to see when you get out and scan. Dexcom having alarms is a bit of a pro and a con to me, i can see it being both useful and annoying. Libre has a blood testing port built in which i find useful also, i use it for that which saves carrying another thing. It does have a bolus calculator and logging options for insulin and carbs but i find these unusable. The dexcom doesnt do blood sugar tests and i dont yet know about the logging options.


Pricing
I've attached the dexcom price list. The sensors for libre and dexcom are a similar price, at £101.52 for two libre sensors posted, or £102.50 for two dexcom sensors posted. The difference is libre sensors are sold as lasting two weeks whilst the dexcom are only guaranteed for 1 week, though many do restart and get 2 or 3 weeks out of them this isn't a given.


The big difference is the other bits you need to make it work. For the libre thats just a reader or an android phone. The reader being just shy of £50. But for the dexcom you need a transmitter and receiver. G4 transmitter lasts 6 months, but people often seem to get 12 from it. G5 transmitter lasts 3 months + 3 weeks and cannot be extended. G5 you dont need a receiver if you have an iphone which i do, but the G4 you either need a receiver or build a homemade device to use an android phone as the receiver. Until we added all those costs on, the comparison of libre vs dexcom was looking not too different so its annoying these other costs add up, even if it is lots cheaper than it was before dexcom sold direct.


Customer Service
This is the only other part i can comment on so far. Libre customer service is okay, you can buy online without speaking to anyone which is a plus to me, they do replace faulty sensors, though they dont reply to emails and can be hard to understand on the phone. They are hot on chasing you if you dont get a faulty sensor returned to them though it is easy to return them - pop in envelopes they supply, stick on a label they supply, and stick in a postbox.


Dexcom customer service, they have replied to every email i have sent within less than 24 hours. The technical support is apparently available 24/7. I called following an email and the guy knew what i'd said in the email etc and was really easy to understand, i think he was in america. My sensor arrived with a plastic bit broken off ad it being my first one i wasnt sure if it was supposed to be like that or not so i emailed a photo. A few hours later i got a call saying they will replace it. Unfortunately due to the time difference it was gone midnight by then but i guess it was office hours for them! The replacement was delivered a few days later plus additional sensors, and they dont have the problem the first had so must have just been an odd one.


Thats all i have in comparison so far. I'll update on insertion and accuracy once i've inserted it and done some tests to compare.
Type: Lucy. A1C 44 / 6.0% Jan17.
Lantus, Victoza and Apidra. Metformin XR, Bisoprolol (for SVT). Dexcom G4 with xdrip and nightscout.

Offline himtoo

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #1 on: 10 July 2016, 08:40:26 AM »
WOW !!
Lucy what an impressive and helpful post and topic

A+++ from me for your efforts on this one
T1 Dia Aug 1972 -pumping omnipod since 29/09/15  Losartan 100mg , simvastatin 40mg,Furosemide 40mg, Omeprazole 80mg , Doxazosin 8mg
Hba1c - 06/2013 6.1 02/2014 43(6.1) 07/14 42(6.0) 08/14 40( 5.8 ) 12/14 39 (5.7) 08/15 41 ( 5.9) 10/15 44 ( 6.2 ) 03/16 49 (6.6)
cholesterol --nov 2011 4.3 june 2012 4.4 June 2013 4.1 Feb 2014 4.1 dec 14 4.5 oct 15 4.4
Dafne grad. necrobiosis lipoidica on legs
laser treatment on both eyes 2002 and 2012, injections left eye 3 , wearing Noctura mask since oct 2014

Offline Pattidevans

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #2 on: 10 July 2016, 09:11:02 AM »
This looks to be an interesting experiment coming up.  Well done Lucy.  Can I just clarify?


If you get the G4 you need both a transmitter and a reader which works out at £610 and lasts 6 months but 12 if you are lucky.


If you get the G5 and don't have an iPhone, you need transmitter and receiver which works out at £475 and lasts 3 months + 3 weeks. 


When you say that Dexcom replaced your first sensor "plus some sensors" do you mean they sent some extra sensors free?  How many?

Patti


Type 1.  Mis-diagnosed T2 May 2003, finally had CPeptide test 15/7/11 and proper diagnosis 1/9/11.  Now pumping Apidra with Roche Spirit Combo pump. Hba1c 6.1 April 2016.


© 2015 Patti Evans

Offline Chas C

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #3 on: 10 July 2016, 09:35:52 AM »
Great post from Lucy - as a G4 user here are my observations.

The G4 transmitter life varies and is more than the guaranteed 6 months, mine have lasted me between 11 and 16 months, current one is still in use from August 2015 (so about 11 months so far).

As far as I'm aware the G5 transmitters are 3 months (plus maybe 2 weeks) only. The Receiver needs to be either an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac) or a Dexcom. The Follow App from an Apple Device works in the UK with Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S6, Sony Xperia Z3, HTC One M8 & Nexus 6.

The sensors for both G4 and G5 are the same. I get 4+ weeks from mine but is varies by user, most report getting anywhere from 1-3 wks, a few much longer and I have two friends who tried it and could not get more than 4-5 days so returned them.

For me the life cost of the G4 is quite close to the life cost of the Libre, the main factor for me using the G4 is alarms and no need to swipe. The down sides of the G4 not being able to store data in the transmitter is as shown in previous post, but I've not had any issues with this.

The service and support has moved to Dexcom themselves in last few months and the improvement is significant, pricing has dropped and having contacted them for an issue on my receiver which was over 3 yrs old they sent me a free replacement and a new sensor.
Type 1 since 1970.
Pumping since Jan 12, using Accu-Check Insight with Novorapid since Jan 16.
CGM since Nov 12, using Dexcom G4 (self funded)
Hba1c: Jan 12 8.4, Apr 12 7.6, Jul 12 7.8, Oct 12 7.8, Dec 12 7.5, Sep 13 7.0, Feb 15 7.0, June 16 6.1

Offline Lucy

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #4 on: 10 July 2016, 10:54:37 AM »
They sent me two boxes of four sensors. I'm guessing it was a mix of a goodwill gesture and a mistake. They probably meant to send two boxes of one sensor - one to replace mine and one extra as a goodwill gesture. I called and explained and the man said oh just keep them. So I will either buy a G4 or a G5 after I've tried it out, or if I hate it then neither. Which one I buy probably depends on how sure I am I want to use it. If I'm not sure if it's worth the cost of I think the ongoing cost would be too high then I'll probably get a G5 use for three months then stop. If I'm sure about using it longer term then I'd be better getting the G4 as that's cheaper longer term.
Type: Lucy. A1C 44 / 6.0% Jan17.
Lantus, Victoza and Apidra. Metformin XR, Bisoprolol (for SVT). Dexcom G4 with xdrip and nightscout.

Offline Lucy

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #5 on: 10 July 2016, 11:03:16 AM »
This looks to be an interesting experiment coming up.  Well done Lucy.  Can I just clarify?


If you get the G4 you need both a transmitter and a reader which works out at £610 and lasts 6 months but 12 if you are lucky.


If you get the G5 and don't have an iPhone, you need transmitter and receiver which works out at £475 and lasts 3 months + 3 weeks. 


When you say that Dexcom replaced your first sensor "plus some sensors" do you mean they sent some extra sensors free?  How many?



Yes if you don't have an iPhone and are using the transmitters for length stated then
G4 need 1 receiver at £350 and 2 transmitters at £260x2
G5 need 1 receiver and 3-4 transmitters.

If you have an iPhone and are willing to use that as receiver then G5 you need 3 or 4 transmitters per year as they can't be extended. Whereas the G4 may last 6 months but may last 12.  So in the first year costs would be similar for me, but assuming I got 12 months from a G4 transmitter, but looking at longer than one year the G4 becomes cheaper. Of course you don't know how long they will make these things for or when the prices will change...
Type: Lucy. A1C 44 / 6.0% Jan17.
Lantus, Victoza and Apidra. Metformin XR, Bisoprolol (for SVT). Dexcom G4 with xdrip and nightscout.

Offline Lucy

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #6 on: 16 July 2016, 06:27:52 PM »
I inserted the dexcom today, my libre runs out tomorrow i think so i've got a day of overlap to compare.


Insertion
Definitely easier with the libre which has the automatic device. First dexcom insertion was a bit tricky and a bit scary. Theres a few steps and its less automatic than the libre, which means its slower and i felt it more. I'm sure it would be easier after a few times of doing it though.


Screens
The libre and dexcom both do the annoying thing of having a set range for the maximum value shown on the graph, so that the graph shows the whole range of values it can read, up to 21/22. This really annoys me, i rarely go above abut 12-15. I would prefer a customisable axis range, or an option to have it automatically scale. The range it has means on both devices my blood sugars are squished into a sliver of screen just half a cm wide. I find this very annoying, the libre now has the librelink which is a phone app you can scan with instead. It still doesnt have a customisable range but the graph will be bigger due to bigger screen size. The dexcom if you view on a phone will have the same improvement i imagine, though havent tried this.


For those of you who wear reading glasses the libre shows the current blood sugar and arrow in huge font and you could probably read it without specs on. The dexcom has tiny font for the current bg and i'm sure this would be very annoying for some people - if you're walking about and it beeps at you then some people would have to fumble around hunting for their reading glasses to be able to see what it says. Which possibly adds yet another thing to carry around. It doesnt make any difference for me as i dont need glasses and can see the numbers fine. The font in the menu options is much bigger.





Type: Lucy. A1C 44 / 6.0% Jan17.
Lantus, Victoza and Apidra. Metformin XR, Bisoprolol (for SVT). Dexcom G4 with xdrip and nightscout.

Offline Liam

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #7 on: 16 July 2016, 07:28:29 PM »
Interesting stuff. I just had a look at the CGM stuff on my pump (I can look at the empty graph) and I see what you mean about the 0-22 and how it would be hard to read. I've only ever looked at it by mistake (if you hit the button on the side it brings it up on the vibe)
DX Type I 1994.    Novorapid Animas Vibe pump
HbA1c 3/10 10.2%, 7/10 8.1%, 12/10 7.5%.
2/11 7.8%, 8/11 8.6% 9/11 8.3%.
3/12 62 (7.8%). 10/12 67 (8.3%)
4/13 63 (7.9%) 6/13 59 (7.5%)
1/14 71 (8.6%) 7/14 59 (7.5%) 11/14 (6.7%)
3/15 56 (7.3%) 12/15 49 (6.6%)
Ramipril: 10mg Quetiapine: 550mg Metformin: 2000mg

Offline Lucy

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #8 on: 17 July 2016, 10:43:10 PM »
Here's how i've found the low alerts in the last 24 hrs. Its currently set to vibrate under 4.5 every 15 minutes.


1. Walking the dog, didnt notice it go off. By the time i did feel odd there was an alert sat waiting on the screen, a few low dots, dexcom said 3.x and dropping and i tested 3.2. Probably need volume on for that.


2. At home late evening. Wasnt in my pocket was just on the table next to me so the vibrate seemed quite loud. It said 4.5 and dropping slowly. I tested 3.9. Had orange juice and 15 mins later was 4.5, sorted without feeling ill. :D


3. At church. Felt it vibrate in pocket, but wasnt too loud through case and pocket. It said 4.4 and dropping slowly but i knew i'd had breakfast not long before and it should be kicking in so i didnt test or eat. 15 minutes later it went off again. 4.1 and stable. Breakfast then kicked in because it didnt go off for a low alert again. If you are sitting stable at 4.4 or whatever i can see this could be very annoying having it going off every 15 minutes. I tend not to see 4s except on the way to and from lows to be honest though.


4. At a concert i played in today. I changed the low alert to vibrate under 5.0 to balance catching dropping bg early enough to stop it before it goes low enough to affect playing, with it also not going off all the time. It cut out all the just in case checks i usually do as the couple of times it went off i felt it and just had some lucozade sport in my next bars rest / change between pieces. It was the first concert in at least a year where i've been 4-8 all the way through


There are a few things i dislike about it so far but i'll save those for later as i want to research into alternatives.
Type: Lucy. A1C 44 / 6.0% Jan17.
Lantus, Victoza and Apidra. Metformin XR, Bisoprolol (for SVT). Dexcom G4 with xdrip and nightscout.

Offline Pattidevans

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #9 on: 19 July 2016, 10:02:26 AM »
Really interesting reading Lucy.  I look forward to your next report.
Patti


Type 1.  Mis-diagnosed T2 May 2003, finally had CPeptide test 15/7/11 and proper diagnosis 1/9/11.  Now pumping Apidra with Roche Spirit Combo pump. Hba1c 6.1 April 2016.


© 2015 Patti Evans

Offline Lucy

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #10 on: 19 July 2016, 03:24:24 PM »
The alarm went off last night whilst I was asleep. The case was open and it was on my desk so the vibration on the desk combined with the light from the screen woke me up. Unfortunately it was wrong. Maybe my blood sugar wasn't stable enough when I calibrated it.

The calibration is a pain. It sounds simple enough just enter a bg every 12 hours. But it needs to be when your blood sugar is stable. Finding two slots when my bg is stable 12 hours apart seems impossible. Okay I could do it before bed at 10-11pm but then I would need to do it mid morning at work. That is post breakfast so my bg isn't that stable. I've no idea when to calibrate it that would mean not having to calibrate it before work in the morning though. I think the accuracy struggles when I calibrate it then as it was way more accurate at the weekend. Maybe I just have to give in and calibrate mid morning but then that's an extra bg test when I wouldn't normally do one and diabetes getting in the way at work. My only other time would be half 12 when I test and bolus for lunch, but then the 12 hr later test needs to be half midnight. I'm usually awake then but don't want to have to stay awake to calibrate. Just can't work out when it fits in best.
Type: Lucy. A1C 44 / 6.0% Jan17.
Lantus, Victoza and Apidra. Metformin XR, Bisoprolol (for SVT). Dexcom G4 with xdrip and nightscout.

Offline Pattidevans

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #11 on: 19 July 2016, 05:44:46 PM »
Sounds like rather a problem.  How does one decide when BGs are stable!
Patti


Type 1.  Mis-diagnosed T2 May 2003, finally had CPeptide test 15/7/11 and proper diagnosis 1/9/11.  Now pumping Apidra with Roche Spirit Combo pump. Hba1c 6.1 April 2016.


© 2015 Patti Evans

Offline Lucy

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #12 on: 19 July 2016, 06:57:30 PM »
You look at the directional arrow on the receiver I think.

3 days in and before shower I noticed quite a bit of the sensor tape hanging off. I had used skintac before applying it even! Hoping this is because of today's heat not a normal thing. I've taped it down but it makes it a bit more uncomfortable. If they all come unstuck so quickly under normal heat conditions I'd probably be put off. Didn't have this problem with the libre. The adhesive patch for the dexcom is much bigger and a different material, so either not as sticky, or the heat, or because it's on my stomach which is a different site to the libre.
Type: Lucy. A1C 44 / 6.0% Jan17.
Lantus, Victoza and Apidra. Metformin XR, Bisoprolol (for SVT). Dexcom G4 with xdrip and nightscout.

Offline sedge

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #13 on: 19 July 2016, 10:04:13 PM »
It surely doesn't need to be EXACTLY 12 hours, does it?
Jenny

T1 DX 1972, pumping Novorapid 24/05/11

HbA1c - 7/07 8.7, 1/08 7.8, 9/08 8.4, 3/09 7.3, 7/09 7.2, 12/09 7.3, 11/10 8.1, 2/11 8.6, 9/11 6.5 2/12 6.4  5/12 50/6.7  11/12 52/6.9  01/13 46/6.4  06/16 46/6.4  12/16 45/6.4

Offline Pattidevans

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Re: Dexcom vs Libre
« Reply #14 on: 19 July 2016, 10:45:02 PM »
Opsite is a wonderful substance to cover sensors with!  Cut in a circle it doesn't peel easily!
Patti


Type 1.  Mis-diagnosed T2 May 2003, finally had CPeptide test 15/7/11 and proper diagnosis 1/9/11.  Now pumping Apidra with Roche Spirit Combo pump. Hba1c 6.1 April 2016.


© 2015 Patti Evans