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Diabetes Blog über mein Leben mit Typ 1 Diabetes

Trying out the Eversense XL - a detailed review


Roche Diabetes Care gave me the chance to try out the Eversense XL System.
My Diabuddy James wrote about his experience using the Eversense in the US here.
I will share his definition of this extraordinary CGM system with you right here too (there was no way I could explain it better than him):

The Eversense is a new continuous glucose monitor (CGM) product which has been available in several countries in Europe since 2016. It recently received FDA approval and they are now in the process of launching in the United States. The Eversense system is comprised of a tiny sensor which is implanted just below the skin by a physician, and a transmitter which is worn on the outside of the skin. An app on your phone displays your blood sugar readout, but the transmitter on your skin continues to read the sensor and provide on-body vibration alerts even when the phone is out of range.
The transmitter can quickly and easily be removed and placed back in position at any time. In the US the Eversense sensor needs to be replaced every 3 months: in Europe the Eversense XL is available which has a sensor that lasts for 6 months (180 Days).
Cost per year in the US is comparable to the Dexcom G6. The sensor and transmitter are cheaper, but you also have to factor in test strips for calibration and doctor visits for insertion and removal.
Insertion Surgery Time!

Last November it was time for me to get the sensor inserted.
Before the insertion took place I got educated about the Eversense in a short training. I was a little bit excited about the insertion but it was no big deal. It took about 10 minutes max!
At first I could choose the position where the sensor would get inserted. Then this spot got anaesthesised, which didn’t hurt but left a short-lived tingly feeling. 15 minutes later the sensor was already inserted — without any pain! It does look pretty dramatic in the recording of the surgery (that you can find on my instagram and facebook profile), but I assure you it didn’t hurt at all.

The little cut got closed with butterfly bandages and a patch that would protect the wound from any wetness caused by showering et cetera. The butterfly bandages didn’t stay on my stubborn skin for long, but the cut nevertheless healed well and fast. Two weeks after the procedure only a dark spot was left. I could feel the sensor underneath my skin when touching it. For some of you a special surgery sounds rather annoying but I could live with that every 6 months.

Ain't it so pretty?

THE APP

The Eversense App gives me all the data I need and more. I had to get used to the graphical display of my blood glucose levels at first, mainly because it looks different to what I was used to. The graphs appear in green, yellow and red depending on the glucose levels. I learned to like this colorful overview. In the App you are also able to set your blood sugar target and preferred alarms.

THE ALARMS & ALERT OPTIONS

Besides the typical alarms (high or low blood sugar warnings) there is an alarm setting for predicted lows or highs. In addition there is an alert option when the blood glucose is dropping too fast or spikes too high.
I will only get alarmed when I have my phone’s volume turned on. I usually have my cell phone in silent mode so this was a little inconvenient.
I didn’t like the alarms sounds which are basically well-known ring tones and in my opinion far too long to be decent alarm sounds.

Another unique alert is a small LED Light on the transmitter, which lights up in case of an alarm. I don’t get the purpose of that light because I can’t see it myself. At night it’s rather annoying too. The LED lights’ other function is to show you the progress while charging. A green light indicates that the transmitter is fully charged.

ON-BODY-ALERTS

The Sensor vibrates to alert you right on your body. It uses different vibration patterns for different alert situations. I like the idea and it’s really convenient in some situations (e.g. doing sports or social activities), but it was too much for me, leaving me kinda irritated. Luckily I could set a temporary profile in the App that shuts off those vibrating alerts.

This is how the App looks like. I think the in-range pie chart is pretty neat.

SMART PHONE CONNECTION

The transmitter sends the data from the sensor to the smart phone via bluetooth. Unfortunately in my case it disconnected a lot of times and I had to close and re-open the App again to see my blood glucose. The connection radius is not as broad as what I’m used to wearing other CGMs.

SMART WATCH

There is an Eversense App for the Smart watch and I really like it! Unfortunately there is no complication yet.

CALIBRATION & CHARGING

I have to calibrate the Eversense every 12 hours. I’m able to set the calibration range to a time that fits my schedule. For example my calibration time in the mornings is between 8 and 10 AM, while the time at night is between 8 and 11 PM. I’m calibrating before breakfast and after going to bed.
Every 24 to 36 hours the transmitter needs to get charged. I usually do this while I’m showering in the mornings. It takes less than 15mins to fully charge the transmitter. A period which fits in every daily routine.

I like that I can always remove the transmitter from its patch. On the other hand I HAVE to remove the patch every day to charge the transmitter. But it’s still a lot less waste compared to other CGM systems. When I’m on the go I also only need new patches and the charger and I’m all set!

Sorry, it's all in German. Those are the displays when the sensor got locked & when it said that my calibration was off (which it wasn't). 

THE ACCURACY


As I mentioned on social media before I had severe issues with the accuracy of the sensor. I talked to the custom service about it and my data got send to Senseonics but they couldn’t solve my problem. Nearly every second to third calibration was far off. I had to re-calibrate an hour later again, which was a little annoying and I soon developed trust issues, checking more than necessary. When there were too many ‚wrong‘ calibrations the sensor blocked itself and I had to do a re-initialisation 6 hours later. The customer service from Roche tried their best to help me with those struggles.

As a final solution I got a new transmitter with improved accuracy, which was working great for the rest of my testing time.

I like the Smartwatch App. But it needs a complication!

DESIGN

I love the design of the transmitter. Its rounded down edges and the black color are different from typical boring white medical devices. There are transparent patches and pretty stickers for the transmitter from various artists too.