The Nightscout Project, developed by a group of engineers and hackers with T1 or are parents of kids with Type 1 Diabetes created a way to plug a smartphone into the Dexcom receiver and have it upload to the cloud.
Now I have a website that I can keep up on my desktop, iPad, or phone that virtually mirrors my child's Dexcom readings and will alarm if my daughter is low or high.
I also can upload the info to the Pebble smartwatch, which is what you see on the left.
Now, I don't want you to think this is out of the box easy. I spent a lot of time reading posts on their CGM in the Cloud Facebook page, watched the instruction videos multiple times and spent about a week researching phones, cables and storage containers to carry the "rig."
But, it was easier than I expected. Every time I had a question, I posted on the Facebook group and got an answer, even after midnight.
At first I thought this might be a bit over the top for a teen starting high school. PERFECT for a toddler! But would she want me lurking on her like this, but after talking to her about it, we realized this could be hugely helpful. She is still a growing kid with a brain that is firing at a million times a minute. She is starting high school, in marching band, on the swim team and hardly ever is at home. So this is a win. Plus, she can view her on readings on her phone, which never leaves her hand.
The thought is that I am back up. If I see her numbers climbing sharply around 1:00 pm, I can text her, "Bolus?" to make sure she got insulin for lunch. She can then take care of it before the freight train of highs plague her all afternoon. Forgetting is a big teen problem.
So, here is a screenshot of the website on my ipad.
I'm not going to go into set up, because that is all online at Nightscout and Facebook. But here are the elements of what's needed:
- Smartphone that can take an OTG cable
- Specific cables for data transfer
- Dexcom (extra receiver helpful)
- Data plan for smartphone (most of us use Ting.com for about $9/ month and share referral codes that give us $$ credit when someone uses it)
- Optional Pebble watch, but not necessary.
What amazes me is that an engineer and dad like John Costik, one of several founders of the Nightscout Project, made this happen for his own son. He loved the Dexcom, but not having his sons numbers available at a glance was inspiration enough to make what is becoming a very helpful tool for hundreds of T1s or parents of T1s. Six Until Me did a great interview on the process that led to us all having access to this amazing info at our fingertips.
The philosophy behind making it available to all is simply, #WeAreNotWaiting.