I wish my Pebble Smartwatch Integrated With my Dexcom

the pebble smartwatchI’m a new Pebble Smartwatch user.

If you’re not familiar, the Pebble is a wristwatch that you wear that wirelessly communicates with your iPhone or Android phone and all of your phone’s alerts will pop-up on the watch.  The project started from a Kickstarter campaign and is slowly seeping it’s way into the techier corners of our world.

I know that Diabetes Wonderwoman Cherise has one too.

There are a dozen reasons I love this thing.  And I don’t want to bore you with all of them here (the short list includes being able to see my text messages without taking out my iPhone in sketchy neighborhoods or on the train; I can control the music that’s playing on my iPhone while it’s in my pocket; and I can pay attention to everything that is in front of me without getting distracted by incoming messages that aren’t worth my time).  There is one diabetes-related thing that I wish the Pebble would do, but it’s more of an iPhone/Dexcom integration issue.

Dexcom patent smartphone integrationDexcom, the maker of continuous glucose monitors, announced last week that they had filed a patent for a system that would integrate my smartphone and my Dexcom device.  This is good news for people that don’t love carrying around their CGM receivers.  My friend Donna can’t seem to take a taxi cab without leaving her receiver in it, so this technology will benefit these types of people immensely.

One of the images that was used in the patent application (to the left) also includes notifications that seem a bit smarter than the normal CGM.  Things like “you’re starting to go high” or “it looks like you are going to go low in 10 minutes.”

This is an exciting idea.  I do know, however, that the FDA “roadblocks to new technology” or “regulations to keep the public safe” depending on which camp you’re in, are big and really difficult to clear.  I wouldn’t guess that this technology is super close to market.  But it’s an exciting prospect nonetheless.

The additional benefit, in my opinion, is that as my phone is becoming an invisible technology that sits in my pocket and is checked up on using a secondary screen (in my case my Pebble Smartwatch), I will be able to also see the alerts coming from an integrated continuous glucose system.

Pebble smartwatch integrated with dexcom continuous glucose monitor

This is just a mock-up version of a Dexcom alert that could possible be part of an integrated system. Someday.

Right now I’m loving how the Pebble is allowing me to avoid looking at my iPhone.  When I’m biking, I can see what text messages come in.  When I’m sitting in meetings I hate being rude and pulling out my phone and the Pebble allows me to avoid that.  And I’m even seeing an improvement in my normal workflow…sitting at my desk I can (without ever taking my fingers off of my keyboard) see what emails come in and decide if it’s worth clicking over to my inbox to deal with them at the moment.

The benefits this new technology has brought me will be only magnified when (if?) Dexcom clears the FDA and can start bringing me my CGM alerts directly to my phone.

As people with diabetes, we frequently dream about technology that would make our lives better.  For different reasons (regulations, cost, disinterest from industry) we conclude that these dreams are just that…dreams.  With the Dexcom patent application, however, I feel like this one desire could be close.

Calloused Fingers Crossed!

5 thoughts on “I wish my Pebble Smartwatch Integrated With my Dexcom

    • Jen…

      The “solution” here actually lies with Dexcom, not Pebble. You’re right that Pebble is open-sourced…but Dexcom is not. If they can get FDA clearance, I’m sure they would love to be the first iPhone integrated CGM.

  1. Hello Mike. Thanks for this information! Given the FDA history, I’m not optimistic that I’ll live long enough to see this happen. But, at least Dexcom is putting it on the table. @Werthecure

  2. I have type 2 diabetes, and my biggest issue is remembering to measure my sugar after a meal. I was thinking of making a watch face where I could press the top button to start a timer. When it expired, the watch would buzz every minute until I press the down button. The idea is, you press the up button when you start (or finish) your meal, and the amount of time it waits before alerting you can be configured via the configuration settings.

    If there is a way for third parties to access the data on the DexCom, then such a watch face wouldn’t be hard, and something I’d be more than willing to make. Most likely, the only way this would work is if the DexCom uploads it’s data to some sort of service that offers web based accessed (i.e. in the cloud).

    Without some means for 3rd party access to the DexCom data, the only way it could interface with the pebble is if DexCom built that functionality into its mobile app.

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