Dexcom Open ChoiceMy local Dexcom rep kindly arranged to give me a loaner of the new Dexcom Open Choice system. The main difference with this system is how it's calibrated - you can use any meter and enter the blood glucose values by hand.
I carried around both Dexcom receivers, the Dexcom 7 and the Dexcom Open Choice, for over a week. In this test I set them both to read from the same transmitter, so I could directly compare the results. Here's a short video that shows how to calibrate with the new system.
Below I've also got some details comments on the pros and cons of the changes.
I think this small change is a major improvement to the Dexcom system. It gives you the freedom to use your favorite blood glucose meter, so you don't have to worry about getting insurance coverage for two sets of test strips. The WaveSense Keynote meter that I used is extremely accurate, so I hope to benefit with better control and tighter A1Cs.
Dexcom updated their software so that the modal view is available once again. You can now see the reading graphs for up to nine days of readings. I've used this to see problems that happen at specific times each day. It was the only thing I missed from the first version of the Dexcom software.
I have two minor issues with the new features.
First when inputting the glucose value you use the up/down arrows to change the existing value shown by the Dexcom. The scroll speed for those arrows is much too fast. Most of the time the current value is going to be close to the reading from your meter. So you need to change the value only a little. The scrolling is so fast that it's only useful if the difference is over 100 mg/dL. Dexcom please reduce the speed here.
The other issue is even less important, it's to do with the location of the calibration screen. After you've removed and replaced a sensor the first thing you need to do is tell the receiver. You use the sensor insert screen that only appears when the receiver isn't already connected to a transmitter. Dexcom placed this screen after the calibration screen. It should be placed before the calibration screen. Most users will not be calibrating without a sensor in place.
The Dexcom Open Choice is being shipped to all new customers. Existing customers can pay an upgrade (about $200 currently). Dexcom is waiting for FDA approval to provide a download capability for software upgrades. The hope to get this approval by July and will then provide the upgrade for free to existing customers.
Update: I received the software upgrade from Dexcom so I could give them feedback on how it worked. Read more on my post about the Dexcom Open Choice upgrade. They will start shipping the upgrade to all Dexcom Seven users soon.
Note: I currently own shares in Dexcom, I try not to let this ownership influence what I say about the company or its products.