Dexcom CGM application - easy and painless continuous glucose monitor

Blog - Diabetes Management

Are Dexcom CGM Systems Easy and Painless?

Checking your blood sugar multiple times a day takes time and attention away from other important tasks like going after your goals at work, connecting with loved ones or enjoying your favourite hobbies. When you live with diabetes, your glucose levels are likely always on your mind, which can feel stressful. Real-time continuous glucose monitoring (rtCGM) systems can make keeping an eye on your glucose levels a little easier—and much more comfortable.
Are CGM systems easier to use and less painful than BGMs?
rtCGMs make it easier to keep an eye on your glucose levels throughout the day and even during the night. Dexcom rtCGM Systems are designed for optimal comfort and convenience. Unlike blood glucose meters (BGMs), rtCGM systems don’t require you to perform multiple, painful routine finger pricks* to get your glucose readings. That means you don’t need to stop what you’re doing, wash and sanitise your hands, and get out your BGM kit to check your glucose.
Dexcom rtCGM Systems are made up of a water-resistant, wearable device, sometimes called a diabetic patch, that includes a small glucose sensor inserted just below the skin and a discreet transmitter on top fixed with an adhesive to the skin. The device sends glucose data to a compatible smart device or receiver so you can view it in the palm of your hand.† You can wear the sensor up to 10 days —which is also the only time you may have to feel a poke in the process.
rtCGM systems also make glucose monitoring more effective,1 with much less effort. Blood glucose meters (BGMs) only provide a snapshot of your blood sugar the moment you take a reading. Dexcom rtCGM Systems take readings up to every five minutes, providing a holistic picture of where your glucose has been, where it’s at and where it’s headed so that you can take proactive action to control your glucose. rtCGM use has been shown to reduce HbA1C and increase time spent in your target glucose range when compared to BGM.2,3
“Sensor insertion is pretty straightforward and is like second nature now. There are also simple step-by-step instructions on the app, which I can always go back to if I have to. In terms of ‘ease of use’ and flexibility, I would sway towards Dexcom over competitor brands.”
- Shreya, Dexcom Warrior‡

Getting Started with Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6

Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6 rtCGM Systems have the same sensor and transmitter hardware. The process for applying the sensor and transmitter to the body is therefore the same for both systems.
Dexcom G6 sensor application

Are Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6 easy to use?

Getting started with Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6 is straightforward and takes just a few minutes. Most people were satisfied with Dexcom G6 and 73% found it very easy to use.4 You can wear the device on your lower abdomen, the back of your arms, or, if you are under 18, your upper buttocks. Once you’ve chosen where you want to place the device, thoroughly wash your hands and disinfect the area with an alcohol wipe.
To insert the sensor, all you have to do is hold the applicator evenly against the area you want to place the device and press the orange button. It takes only a moment to secure the sensor along with the holder for the transmitter, which you press into its holder separately.
You can complete the setup on your smart device using the appropriate Dexcom app, or on a Dexcom receiver. You can always find instructions for applying a new sensor in the app or on the receiver if you need a refresher at any time.

Are Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6 painful to insert?

The Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6 sensors have very tiny tube that is used to deliver the sensor fiber under the skin. It’s only a few millimetres long and is unlikely to go far enough into your skin to draw blood. You can choose which area on your body is the most comfortable for you to apply the sensor and transmitter. Refer to the user guide on how to best apply the Dexcom G6 or Dexcom ONE.
84% of people using Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6 report that the application is pain-free or mildly uncomfortable.5 You don’t need to worry about performing a finger prick* and getting a BGM reading to calibrate Dexcom rtCGM Systems. Simply input the code found on the sensor package into the app to start the connection.

Getting Started with Dexcom G7

The Dexcom G7 rtCGM System is smaller and comfortable to wear.§,6 The sensor and transmitter are combined in one streamlined wearable. The Dexcom G7 is extra compact, sitting closer to the skin than the Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6, so it’s more convenient than ever to wear your rtCGM wherever your day takes you.
Dexcom G7 sensor insertion

Is Dexcom G7 easy to use?

Like Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6, applying the Dexcom G7 device and setting up the app is simple and intuitive. You can wear Dexcom G7 on your lower abdomen or the back of your arms. Children between 2-6 years old can wear Dexcom G7 on their upper buttocks. Once you’ve chosen where you want to place the device, thoroughly wash your hands and disinfect the area with an alcohol wipe.
When you open the Dexcom G7 box, the applicator already has the sensor and transmitter device inside of it. As you would with Dexcom ONE or Dexcom G6, hold the applicator firmly against the area you want to attach the device to and press the white button on the side. You then finish setting up your sensor on the Dexcom G7 app or your Dexcom receiver using the sensor code or QR code on the top of the applicator. Like Dexcom ONE and Dexcom G6, you can always find instructions for applying the sensor and pairing it on your app or receiver.
What these videos to see how to insert the Dexcom G7 sensor on your upper arm or abdomen.

Is Dexcom G7 painful to insert?

Making sensor insertion as easy and comfortable as possible was one of the key goals of the development of Dexcom G7. Most people who have tried Dexcom G7 report that inserting the sensor was less painful than the CGM system they were previously using. In a survey, 95% said that the sensor insertion was pain-free or mildly uncomfortable.7 As long as you input the sensor code, you don’t have to perform a finger prick* to get a BGM reading to calibrate the Dexcom G7.
“Despite my sensitive skin and fear of needles, I’ve never had a problem with sensor insertion and placement with the Dexcom G7. I find it virtually painless. Also, no skin irritation or itchiness, which is great!”
- Shreya, Dexcom Warrior‡
Discover the Dexcom rtCGM System that’s Right for You
Dexcom ONE, Dexcom G6, and Dexcom G7 can help simplify your glucose monitoring routine and make it a little easier to take care of diabetes with real-time insight into your glucose levels. You may also be eligible to get Dexcom rtCGM on the NHS. Explore which Dexcom rtCGM system might be a fit for your unique needs.
  • Compare Dexcom CGM Systems
† Display devices sold separately. For a list of compatible smart devices, please visit
‡ Shreya is a paid spokesperson for Dexcom.
§ Patients reported 92% of Dexcom G7 sensors were comfortable to wear (mild, no discomfort).
¶ Dexcom, Data on File, 2020.
1 Maiorino MI, et al. Effects of Continuous Glucose Monitoring on Metrics of Glycemic Control in Diabetes: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Diabetes Care. 2020;43(5):1146-1156.
2 Beck RW, et al. Effect of continuous glucose monitoring on glycemic control in adults with type 1 diabetes using insulin injections: The DIAMOND randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2017;317(4):371-378. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.19975.
3 Welsh JB, et al. Accuracy, Utilization, and Effectiveness Comparisons of Different Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2019;21(3):128-132. doi: 10.1089/dia.2018.0374.
4 Gilbert TR, et al. Change in hemoglobin A1c and quality of life with real-time continuous glucose monitoring use by people with insulin-treated diabetes in the Landmark study. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2021;23(S1):S35-S39.
5 Shah V LL, Wadwa P, et al. Performance of a Factory-Calibrated Real-Time Continuous Glucose Monitoring System Utilizing an Automated Sensor Applicator. Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics. 2018;20(6).
6 Welsh JB,et al. Comparisons of Fifth-, Sixth-, and Seventh-Generation Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems]. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2022. doi:10.1177/19322968221099879.
7 Dexcom G7 User Guide.

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