Illustration credit: A.E. Kieren
When we last checked in with continuous glucose monitoring system maker Dexcom, the company had just made an atypical decision, at least for a entity in the staid and super-regulated devices space: It listened to its customers.
For months, a group of so-called Diabetes Dads had hacked Dexcom's devices so that children's glucose readings could be transmitted to their parents' Internet-enabled devices (as opposed to the official Dexcom receiver). Recognizing an opportunity, the company revamped its connectivity protocols; its fifth-generation system, with built-in Bluetooth, was approved by the FDA in August (to be fair, Dexcom had been working on the connectivity issue for some time).
“The device community in general is not geared toward consumers,” Sayer says. “I used to work for a company that did stents for cardiology, and we never did anything for patients. Hopefully, what we've done with [the new system] can serve as a model for others. ‘Patient-centricity' shouldn't just be something we talk about in interviews with people like you.”