And in this corner… (battle of the CGMs)

As my 90-day trial passes the halfway mark, I know I’ll need to make a decision soon as to what I’ll use going forward.  Not using a CGM is not an option. Using a SofSensor is a painful choice. Making a multi-year commitment to any one product is never easy.

Enlite v Dexcom? Dexcom v Enlite? So much to consider.  I figured that putting my thoughts in words might help me sort things out a bit.

Insertion

Enlite: Relatively painless, somewhat awkward

G4: Intuitive, relatively painless. My CDE says that most patients can do it well without training

Edge: Slight Dexcom

 

Removal

Enlite: Like unwrapping a compact disc jewelbox from it’s cello wrapping

G4: Like removing a 9-volt battery from its retail packaging.

Edge: Dexcom

 

Graph

Enlite: Low-res and somewhat hard to read. Shows tick-marks at each bolus to help explain patterns; allows scrolling back in time. Two levels of trend-up arrows and two levels of trend-down arrows.

G4: High-res, easy to read. Not a fan of using “red” for high, as the color incites rage on top of the inherent high-BG frustration. Three levels of trend-up arrows and three levels of trend-down arrows.

Edge: Enlite

 

Transmitter mechanics

Enlite: Small with smooth curves. Floppy due to side-connector. Difficult to secure comfortably in place. Pressure on transmitter may cause sensor to lift out of skin.

G4: Big and boxy, snaps securely into place. Visually hides sensor.

Edge: Slight Dexcom

 

Transmitter electronics

Enlite: 40-minute memory will backfill data if it goes out of range of receiver/pump. Rechargeable.

G4: Long-range transmission to receiver. Must be replaced when battery dies – often without adequate warning.

Edge: Enlite

 

Receiver

Enlite: Built into pump; no additional receiver needed. Shows “behind-the-scenes” data such as ISIG.

G4: Extra device to carry around — carefully, or the buttons fall off.

Edge: Enlite

 

Alarms

Enlite: Predictive; highly customizable – can program different thresholds with time of day. May be hard to hear at night.

G4: Only one high- and one low-threshold. No predictive alerts. Dex-in-a-glass workaround.

Edge: Enlite

 

Tape/adhesive

Image by user “jules/stonesoup” via Wikimedia Commons. Used under Creative Commons license.

Enlite: Three. Carefully and delicately layered. Like a lasagne.

G4: One. Maybe two towards the end of the week.

Edge: Dexcom (maybe Enlite is more suited towards professional gift-wrappers?)

 

Where can I buy supplies?

Enlite: Directly from Medtronic

G4: Edgepark

Edge: Strong Enlite (your insurance may vary)

 

Data reporting

Enlite: Carelink and Carelink Pro

G4: Not Carelink

Edge: Enlite

 

Landfill contribution factor

Enlite: Large

G4: Larger

Edge: Slight Enlite (has anyone considered making this junk recyclable?)

 

Accuracy

Enlite: When it is good, it is very, very good. When it is bad, it is horrid.

G4: Never used it myself, but anecdotes and MARD statistics (whatever that is) say it’s better.

Edge: Dexcom

 

Trustworthiness

Enlite: Wavers. Each sensor needs about 2 days to earn my trust.

G4: The fact that Insulet, Animas, and Tandem have (at one time, at least) considered integrating the sensor is a good sign.

Edge: Dexcom

 

Threshold Suspend

Enlite: Annoying as hell, but when it saves my life, it will all be worth it

G4: n/a

Edge: Enlite

 

Testimonials

Enlite: Some reviews are warm, many reviews are fuzzy. None give me that warm-and-fuzzy feeling.

G4: It got 4 1/2 stars on Yelp

Edge: Dexcom

 

Company logo

Enlite: Resembles some sort of Medieval Torture Wheel, or perhaps a stunt on Super-Sloppy Double-Dare.

G4: Invokes thoughts of Under Armor sportswear and Cingular Wireless.

Edge: Dexcom – but who cares?

 

Would I be comfortable if it powered my closed-loop artificial pancreas system?

Enlite: No.

G4: Yes.

Edge: Dexcom (but I’m not using closed-loop)

* * *

Executive summary: There is none, because I have no freakin’ idea.  But one of my goals in this trial was to see if the Enlite sensor was a good enough improvement over Sofsensor for me, and my confidence in that is, at this time, inconclusive.

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Posted on May 29, 2014, in Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. this is great no matter what!!!
    I’m far away from any device and probably forever. I’ve only used Medtronic and thought it was pretty abysmal mostly to do with the physical system of it. It never stayed on. It was always precarious and required the most insane skill to keep it on my body. It was absolutely useless for the active types like me.
    now we have dexcom in Canada (it only took a decade) and we even have insurance companies now covering it. I’m tempted but not enough. devices still traumatize me.

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  2. This is fun and funny AND helpful. For me, having to unwrap something from CD-style wrapping each week would be enough to keep me away from Medtronic–and that’s not a detail many users would think to mention!

    I wish Dexcom could scroll to show more than 24 hours.

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    • The unwrapping is to recover the transmitter after peeling the layers of tape off of the tender-yet-irritated flesh. I was amazed at what a chore it was, the first time around (my trainer had me use two pieces of overtape, just to be sure. That stuff is like epoxy!). The actual packaging of Enlite is quite nice – much better than the Sofsensor plastic bag. (Though some triangular recycling symbols would be nice)

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  3. I do this same thing too when it comes to picking my technology. My only thing I wanted to throw out there to you is that with the battery, it is nice (in my opinion) to be able to wear the transmitter, and when it’s time to insert a new sensor, just to be able to transfer it over and clip it in to the new sensor without having to wait 20 minutes on a recharge. I like a smooth process that takes less time to complete and with less steps. When my battery gave the “low battery” warning, I had a month of life left in it, so it can be iffy on that part. And the receivers seem to be hit-and-miss as well. I’ve personally not had an issue with mine falling apart.. and with my kid, it goes through a LOT. BUT, the all-in-one factor of the Enlite is very nice.

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  4. Great recap! I’m honestly considering switching from Medtronic to Dexcom so this really helped give me some things to think about. How do you do a 90-day trial? Is that something that is common that I don’t know about!? If so, I definitely want a 90 day Dexcom trial! :)

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    • From my observation, they offered a trial to some of the people who attended the Diabetes Advocates Forum in January (there may be other ways, and I don’t know which of the attendees were offered a trial). At the time, many of us expressed reluctance to commit to the new system based on experiences with the old, so perhaps this was their way of letting us try in the hopes we buy.

      I have heard, anecdotally, that those who chose to give back the product within the 30-day return policy were offered another 30 days to give it another chance — and then another 30, but I can’t confirm this and I don’t know who gets offered this extension.

      As of a couple of weeks ago, Dexcom did not offer a trial (I asked), nor did my endo. But a few days after they told me this, the “G4 Professional” (basically the same thing as the G4 Platinum but for multi-patient use, owned by doctors offices and given to patients for a week or so at a time) was FDA approved, so that may change things in the near future.

      Like

  1. Pingback: A weighty decision | Rolling in the D

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