Dexcom G4 Platinum—first impressions, Part 1
Thank God my patient was a no-show. It gave me time to wipe the drool from my chin and rip into the FedEx Priority Overnight box. The one from Dexcom.
Inside: three boxes. One for the receiver, one for the transmitter, and one with a big green numeral 4 on it for the sensors. My Dex G4 Platinum had arrived.
I’d watched the video last night, so I knew the first thing I had to do before I could Hook-up and Head-out was to Plug-in. For five hours into a wall, or seven hours into a computer’s USB port. Don’t panic, that’s just first-time-out-of-the-box charging.
The wall is faster and I’m eager to get started. Plus, to charge on a computer you must first have the next-gen Dex software installed. As I’m at work, I can’t do that. It’s a big no-no to install anything on work computers without the blessings of the I.T. Overlords.
It’s too nice a day to get fired, so it’s plugged into the wall now—sitting on the little table my phone lives on. I’m studying it the way a Victorian scientist might make initial observations of a strange new bug—cautious observation with no touching.
Visually, the build quality shows. It looks expensive, well-made, strong, and high-tech. It’s a small, sleek, thin device. It kinda reminds me of the monolith in 2001 a Space Odyssey. Same proportions. Only smaller, of course.
What’s not to love so far?
I hated, hated, hated, hated the squashed-football look of the older generations of Dexcoms. They were big, ugly, and awkward. Plus, the old ones had a sense of cheapness to them. I can’t really put my finger on what it was. Let’s just say they didn’t scream quality.
But the platinum does scream quality. I got mine in black. I’m not man enough for a pink CGM, and while the blue was pretty, I thought it might be a shade of blue I’d get sick of too quickly. Besides, basic black matches everything in my wardrobe. Still, I’m glad there’s choice.
You’ll be happy to know the G4 doesn’t look like a medical device, either. It’s not pump-like or metereseque. G4 looks more like a consumer-lust electronic device. Something that the company with the fruit logo might make. Maybe a digital music player.
But this is a player for the opera of your glucose.
I set my old Dex next to the new one to compare. Mentally, the old style completely dwarfed the new one. But side-by-side, the old style isn’t really as big as I like to complain that it is. The footprint of the two machines is very close.
The bottom edges of the G4 are smooth and the corners are gently rounded. OK, OK, OK I confess, I’m fondling it now.
Speaking of rounded corners, the new G4 transmitter is more aerodynamic than the old one. Maybe I’ll snag fewer sweaters on it. The sensor and the dental tool from hell that inserts it look identical to the old ones, but be warned: None of the 7 Plus gear and supplies is compatible with G4. I’m told that down the road, we’ll have an easier, faster inserter. But truth be told, even though it looks intimidating, the sensor inserter is easy, is painless to use, and beats the pants off the one from the Other Guys.
I have no problems at all using it to put sensors in all kinds of non-FDA approved places, like on the bottom side of my upper arms.
Which I can’t wait to do. But first, this baby needs a full charge. And there are some setup things to do. The transmitter has to be linked to the receiver. Alarm thresholds need to be chosen. Apparently, I have some different alarm sounds to choose from as well.
Ah. Rats. I see my next patient has arrived. Time to go help someone else with their diabetes. I’ll get back to mine, and yours, tomorrow.