Some clever technologists have discovered how to restart a Dexcom sensor to extend its life beyond ten days. The process works by exploiting a bug in the sensor pairing process.
Katie DiSimone walked us through the process. Katie is involved in the community of people who are building homemade automated insulin delivery systems using current insulin pumps and continuous glucose meters. Since the original article was written, Katie has joined the Tidepool organization which is dedicated to making diabetes data more accessible, actionable, and meaningful for people with diabetes, their caretakers and for researchers as well.
Since our last update, new transmitters have been released. These newer models are more stubborn and are more challenging to “hack”. The specific transmitter ID will dictate which restart sensor method you should use.
Please see Katie’s instructions to determine which is the preferred method for your transmitter ID.
The method that seems to be working amongst the diabetes online community (and myself; I currently have the transmitter starting with “8G”) is the “pop-out method.” This means you need to physically pop out the transmitter, which can be a little tricky but doable. Here is a video on how to do it, I have had luck with an old credit card.
For this method you will need to:
- Stop session (it does not matter if the sensor expires on its own first or not)
- Pop out the transmitter (Some people cover the site during the 30 min period or even insert an old transmitter to prevent stuff from getting in there/ also the wire moving, as the transmitter holds it in place)
- Set a timer for 30 minutes (I’ve heard that 15-20 minutes works, but have not tried this)
- Pop the transmitter back in
- Restart the sensor (make sure to save the previously used code; I snap a picture of it so this way you will not have to calibrate)
There are instructions on how to restart the sensor using the receiver so that you continue to receive current glucose values throughout the 2-hour wait. Here are the instructions on how to do so.
The Dexcom G6 has not been tested or approved by the FDA for restarting sensors. There is no guarantee of sensor accuracy. Extend the sensor life only at your own risk.
A previous version of this post has been updated.
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Read more about devices, Dexcom, Dexcom G6, insulin, insulin pumps, Intensive management, Tidepool, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).