“COVID, while it’s hard and it’s been difficult, has really validated the importance of our technology,” says Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer. “What we’ve learned most interesting here is the effect of our device on telemedicine. Where patients can’t go to the clinic, because our device goes to the phone and into the cloud, they can have a session with their physician right at home because the doctor has the information right in front of them.”
The Quick and Dirty of Dexcom Technology
Here’s the quick and dirty on how our device works. It is a small sensor, a small wire about the width of a human hair is inserted just under your skin. That’s inserted with the needle and the needle’s retracted very quickly. It’s attached to a base and that base remains on your skin. Then a transmitter is placed in there. That transmitter takes an electrochemical signal from that sensor and turns it into an estimated glucose value and then sends that value directly to a phone. The thing that is so fascinating about this company and this technology is we have every engineer of every kind to develop this. This includes electrical engineers, software engineers, mechanical engineers, everywhere across the board to give this technology to patients.
Then what happens with that glucose value when it goes to the phone, a patient can look at their phone and see where their blood sugar levels are, how fast they’re trending up or how fast they’re trending down. They will get alerts or alarms. On top of that, they can connect with others who might be concerned about their condition and other people can follow them.
The current device is a little bigger than a quarter on your skin. It’s not very big. Our device has a 10 day life so you put it on one side for 10 days, you take it off and then put another one on 10 days after that so you don’t have it all the time. You can also bathe or shower with the device. There are amazing stories of athletes who have run marathons with it on. One athlete who spoke to our company did seven marathons on seven continents in seven days wearing his Dexcom. Things of that nature happen all the time.
COVID Has Really Validated Our Technology
Access through the insurance companies is very widespread now. We’re covered by almost every major plan. We have Medicare coverage for Medicare patients and we’re covered in most of the Medicaid environment as well. With respect to the COVID environment, there has been an increased uptake as you can see by our financial results. I think what we’ve learned most interesting here is the effect of our device on telemedicine. Where patients can’t go to the clinic, because our device goes to the phone and into the cloud, they can have a session with their physician right at home because the doctor has the information right in front of them.
Add to that, we got an emergency exemption from the FDA to where our product can be used in the hospitals. Diabetes and COVID are very much comorbidities. Patients in the hospitals that have used the technology have seen significant decreases on the health care professionals. The PPE time they have to spend with the patients, better glucose outcomes, and they get to leave the hospital much faster. So COVID, while it’s hard and it’s been difficult, has really validated the importance of our technology.