Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is growing, with an estimated 1.2 million users globally, and Dexcom has positioned itself as a leading provider.
This article looks at four of the best apps for Dexcom users that improve upon Dexcom’s app features.
- Top 11 tips and tricks for Dexcom G7 users using an iPhone and Apple Watch
- The Best Diabetes management apps for your iPhone and Apple Watch this year
- 3 Best Blood Pressure Monitors to Use With Apple’s Health App
- Where should you insert & attach the Dexcom CGM G7 or G6 Sensor on your body?
- Digital biomarkers for diabetes can now be identified using your SmartPhone and a little AI
- 5 Common Dexcom Errors and How to Fix Them
Dexcom continues to expand wearable tech for diabetes
Overall, Dexcom’s latest sensor, G7, improved a lot over the G6 & G5 by extending the sensor life to 10 days instead of 7 days, providing a slimmer on-body Bluetooth transmitter (60% size reduction between the G7 and G6), and improving the accuracy of the readings.
Dexcom’s G7 also offers a 30-minute warmup period vs. two hours on the G6 and G5 for glucose readings to begin. The G7 also offers a 12-hour grace period to replace any finished sensors for a seamless transition.
That being said, their app still needs work!
That’s why so many Dexcom users look elsewhere for diabetes companion apps to analyze their blood sugar data and take more meaningful actions to influence their lifestyle.
Some of the available features in these third-party apps are quite literally life-saving.
So, it’s worth checking them out.
Let us get right into it!
Sugarmate is one of the most popular Dexcom apps, if not the most popular, and for a good reason. Several good reasons, actually.
First of all, it’s available on multiple platforms, including:
- Apple Watch
- Amazon Alexa
- And Windows (Online only via the app)
Not to mention it also offers plenty of features and options.
One of the most important is undoubtedly the “Below Normal Call” as it notifies you with a phone call when your readings are below normal, and you are sleeping.
Then there’s also “Urgent Low SMS” that automatically notifies friends and family if the sugar levels drop too low while also sending your last-known location.
Last but not least, you have the option of setting up customized alerts when falling or climbing.
And that was only as far as the “crucial” features are concerned.
Additional features of Sugarmate
- Real-time stats with more than 30 customizable tiles
- An interactive graph with all the info you need (Look at the screenshot above)
- Automatic syncing with all of your connected devices
- Activity feed for tracking your nutrition intake, fitness, insulin, and medication
- Nutritional database with food library and barcode scanning
- Fully compatible with Apple Health so that you’ll be able to have all your info on one screen
- Exercise detection and tracking
- Voice dictation
- Excel reports for sending your stats to other people (Including health experts)
- Numerous themes to choose from
- Calendar widget on Apple Watch to get regular updates every 5 minutes
And more options that are coming soon – all for free.
So, it’s no surprise that Sugarmate is one of the best apps for Dexcom users.
- Available for most platforms
- Tons of features
- The Nutritional database is a welcome addition
- Nothing that we can think of
xDrip+ has two very interesting concepts:
- Predicting lows with accuracy
- Providing treatment simulations
One of the interesting things it can do is detect when you are about to experience lows a long time before it happens by using machine learning.
Nightscout calls it a “Predictive low forecasting feature” and, according to several other users, it’s pretty accurate.
Another great thing you can do is add cards and units in a simulation – which we assume plays a crucial part in the predictions that such an app can make.
And, of course, there is always the option of adding alarms.
One of its few downsides, however, is that you can only use it on Android devices.
This includes both smartphones and many wearOS smartwatches that can run APKs.
That being said, if you are an iPhone user, you can download the code from Github to start using the app from iOS.
When writing this article, we still don’t have any information on if and when it’ll become available for Apple devices or other platforms in general.
- Can predict lows and warn you ahead of time
- Voice input is a welcome addition
- Straightforward and easy to use
- Only works with Android devices, not available for Apple (iOS)
3: Nightscout and the Nightguard app
Nightscout offers an app and so much more! It calls itself a DIY project that helps users remotely monitor a family member’s Type 1 glucose level in real-time.
It’s an open-source cloud application, and you need to set up your own Nightscout account on the backend.
The Nightguard app communicates with Nightscout to display blood glucose values for you or your family members.
So it does take some time to set everything up with Nightscout and Nightguard.
If you are not willing to spend time, energy, and possibly even some extra money for more functionality, then we’d suggest you skip this one.
For those who are still here, Nightscout is made with one purpose in mind: to allow parents to monitor their children’s Dexcom CGM data from anywhere in the world.
Even though that was how it officially got created, you can also use it for your partner, a best friend, or any other case like that.
It’s currently available for Dexcom G4, Decom Share with Android, Dexcom Share/GT with iOS, and Medtronic.
We assume that it’ll also become available for more platforms soon. But that’s about it for now.
The good thing is that since it’s an online app, we assume that you can get access to it from pretty much any device that can access the internet – including smartwatches.
Keep in mind that this is a highly experimental project that is not approved for therapy. If you are still interested in setting it up, head to the official website for more information.
- Allows you to track another person’s data from pretty much anywhere there is internet access
- Works with any device that can get access to the internet
- Not as easy to setup
To learn more about Nightscout, check out this informational video:
4: Dexcom Follow
Dexcom Follow is basically the simplified version of Nightscout.
It’s an app that allows you to track other people’s data, such as children or parents – but it’s not a DIY solution. It’s a working app out of the box.
And it’s not just for one person.
You can add multiple people there and track their data in detail after permitting you to do so through Dexcom’s secure networking.
You can have up to five (5) people use the Dexcom Follow App to follow a person’s glucose information.
You also get glucose alerts and push notifications when the readings are outside the normal levels.
And thankfully, the app is available for both Android and iOS devices.
The only downside is some users experience times when the app is not working.
But it’s worth a try.
- Very easy to use
- Works on both Android and iOS
- Buggy at the moment of writing this article
These are some of the best companion apps for Dexcom users.
If you have any more recommendations to make or any more questions to ask, feel free to let us know about them in the comments section down below!
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I’m a little confused by the review for xDrip+. It states: “Only works with Android devices, not available for Apple (iOS)” yet the graphics clearly show an iPhone with the graphs.
This is further backed up by stating:
“At the moment of writing this article, we still don’t have any information on if and when it’ll become available for Apple devices or other platforms in general.”
This is really disappointing for an iPhone user being misled by the images shown. Perhaps the images could be replaced with the app running on an Android device.
Sugarmate seem to require the Dexcom app to get its information from Dexcom g6, I had deleted the Dexcom app and downloaded the Sugarmate app in my hope to avoid using Dexcom app but when I tried to connect my g6 transmitter to Sugarmate, it gave me an email link to use in Dexcom app to share its information😕
IMO, Sugarmate is worth having to have (and keep open in the background) both apps.
This is a great article. You missed an extremely important thing: right now every commercial vendor offers a hybrid closed loop, while openAPS just might b the first to claim a fully closed loop between the CGM sensor and the pump.
Imagine a day after the initial insertion that you don’t have to touch your sensor and pump ever until a site change AND having new fast-acting insulin that works better than human insulin.
We have been using the Dexcom follow app for 2.5 years on two separate devices and NEVER encountered any bugs or non-working situations.
Just wanted to counter the “buggy” argument for anyone reading this that’s looking into apps
I loved the Sugarmate app when I had it. It doesn’t have any comparable competitors. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been available outside of the US since mid-October 2021. We were promised “sometime in the New Year”, but I feel abandoned. It’s tough to criticize a free app, but I feel like they don’t care at all about their international users.
Is there an App that you can use without the Dexcom App?
The new iPhones and Samsungs are not compatible AT ALL with Dexcom!
I’m trying to figure something out so I don’t have to carry my new phone, my old phone, AND the receiver! REAL pain in the butt!
Thanks for this article! VERY informative! Aloha!
You do need the Dexcom app to communicate with your Dexcom device. Which phone are you currently using and what’s your new phone? You should be able to download and install the Dexcom app on any new phones (Apple and Android.)
Hi, I just started with Dexcom which I love! But, I have the same issue. Dexcom is not currently compatible with the newer versions of ios. So I have the dexcom on an old iphone. Hopefully there will be an ios update soon!
I have an iPhone 13 pro max and a ip12 mini using the G6 app, follow app and clarify app with no issues
I just got my dexcom sensor but my insurance didn’t cover the receiver and my phone is not compatible with the app
Is there any other suggestions I can do?
If your phone isn’t compatible with the app, then there isn’t much you can do other than purchase and use a supported phone or tablet. You don’t need to buy a new phone/tablet. Since Dexcom supports older products, you could purchase a preowned, refurbished, or renewed device to save some money.
Before you do that, make sure you review the list of compatible devices on Dexcom’s website. The newest G7 is much more limited than the older G6.