With your Dexcom G6 CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) app, you’ll learn how things like food, exercise, and adrenaline affect your body, and its alerts will let you know if your blood sugar is above or below your target range, enabling you to respond before your blood glucose gets too high or low. All with no fingersticks.
1. app setup
First, if you have an older version of a Dexcom app – like the G5 app, for example – uninstall it. Then download the G6 app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. If you’ve created an account with Dexcom in the past, log in using the same username and password. If you’re new to the Dexcom family, go ahead and create an account – and welcome!
The app will walk you through the setup process step by step. The first few screens provide information and videos: Make sure you read and watch them – don’t skip!
When you get to the screen to set your low glucose alert, select your number and tap Save, then follow the same process for your high alert, making sure to tap Save to set it. (Work with your healthcare provider to determine which low and high alert levels are right for you.)
The next few screens walk through connecting your transmitter to your smart device. They connect using Bluetooth®, and the phone app will automatically check to see whether your Bluetooth is on. Next, you’ll need to enter your transmitter serial number, which you’ll find on the back of the transmitter box. Then, enter the sensor code found on the sensor applicator. The G6 app is all set!
2. insert the sensor and attach the transmitter
Each sensor has a unique code: Be sure to insert the sensor that matches the code you just entered in the app.
Decide where on your body you want to insert the sensor – most commonly the abdomen, although if you are under 18, you have the option of placing it on your upper buttocks. Choose someplace that’s:
- Different from the sensor site you just used.
- At least 3 inches from your insulin pump infusion set or your insulin injection site.
- Not a bony area, such as ribs or hipbones.
- Free of scarring, tattoos, thick hair, or irritated skin.
Now, wash and dry your hands, and clean the skin at the insertion site with rubbing alcohol. Let it dry, and – being careful not to touch the adhesive – remove both labels from the sensor applicator, exposing the sticky surface. Place the sticky adhesive side of the applicator against your skin at the insertion site.
Fold and break off the safety guard on the applicator’s orange button, then press the button to insert the sensor. Remove the applicator – you’ve successfully inserted your Dexcom G6 sensor!
To attach the Dexcom G6 transmitter to the sensor:
- Clean the transmitter by wiping it with alcohol and letting it dry.
- Insert the transmitter tab into the slot on your sensor and snap it firmly into place.
- Rub a finger around the edge of the sensor patch three times to make sure the sensor is secure against your skin.
You’ve successfully attached your transmitter!
You’ll reuse this transmitter for three months. Once it’s attached, you can swim, bathe, and shower like normal.
3. pair your transmitter and start the sensor warmup
The app will display a Bluetooth pairing request. Tap Pair and wait for the transmitter to pair, then tap the Start Sensor button to begin your sensor warmup. This will take two hours to complete, and you will not receive readings or alerts during this time.
After the warmup, you’ll get your first Dexcom G6 sensor glucose reading: It’s the number in the large circle on the app screen. It updates every 5 minutes and over time, your graph at the bottom of the screen fills in.
If the number is in a gray circle, you’re in your target glucose range. When you go below your low alert setting, the app alerts you and the circle turns red. When you go above your high alert setting, you get an alert and the circle turns yellow.
The mobile app’s trend arrow on the right side of the circle is important because your glucose is always changing. The trend arrow on the app shows where your blood sugar is heading, and how rapidly.
The Urgent Low Soon alert will alert you when your glucose is falling fast, and you will be at 55 in less than 20 minutes. This gives you time to take action to prevent a low blood sugar event. You cannot change, turn off, or silence this alarm.