My Life-Changing Trial of the Eversense CGM

With type 1 diabetes and an insulin pump for over twenty years, I’ve always felt like a bionic superhero. I used to picture myself as somewhat of a robotic Wonder Woman, fighting diabetes and powered by electronics. Don’t judge me, I was just a kid…although, I’ll admit, some of my fantasies were reborn recently when I was implanted with the Eversense continuous glucose monitor. This time, however, I was given the power of blood glucose insight; highly predictive and accurate, which for many type 1’s, may as well be a superpower.

Eversense by Senseonics is the first implantable continuous glucose monitor…yes, it’s very SciFi.

Not only is it accurate, but it is discrete and convenient, two words I’d rarely use to describe anything diabetes. The sensor is powered by a sleek rechargeable transmitter worn on top of the skin and this transmitter can be removed and reattached via silicone tape, a reusable two-sided tape. This has changed my world.

My history with real-time glucose management started a few years ago when I trialed my first CGM while attending Physician Assistant school in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Suddenly, my blood sugars were telling me a story. No longer a mystery, I was finally able to achieve the glucose control that I always wanted. This did not come without a price, however. Although I had always worn an insulin pump, adding another external device to my body was intimidating, especially because I basically lived in a bathing suit at the time. I can see how the ability to remove and reattach a CGM, which can now be done for the first time with Eversense, could increase adherence, especially in younger populations.

I also struggled with catching my CGM on my pants or swimsuit, and especially on my sports bra. All you ladies out there know what I mean. I’ll never forget the first time I got my Eversense caught on my shirt and it fell off. I had a short freak-out until I realized that all I needed to do was stick it back on. It was so easy!

One of my biggest challenges initially was finding the right transmitter placement, necessary to keep a consistent and reliable connection between the devices. Luckily, the Eversense app comes with a “placement guide” which shows the strength of the transmitter-sensor connection while searching for placement. After a few weeks, accurately placing the transmitter became easy and I now usually get it on the first try.

The insertion of my Eversense was fairly painless and done in a short 15 minute in-office procedure. After I chose where on my upper-arm I wanted the sensor implanted, my doctor injected a local anesthetic. Ironically, this was the most painful part of the procedure, but only lasted a couple of seconds. He made a small 5mm or ¼ inch incision and inserted the sensor with a custom Eversense inserter. He then applied steri-strips and voila. It was over. To see the video of my insertion, check out https://www.diabetespa.net/blog/eversense. The sensors do need to be replaced every 90 days. In Europe current models last 180 days and studies are being done now to get them approved in the U.S.

Once implanted, there is a 24-hour warm up phase after which four calibrations are required two hours apart. Once this initialization phase is completed, a calibration is required every 12 hours, but will be accepted 10-14 hours apart. I’ve set my calibration times at 8am and 6pm. In theory, two calibrations a day is doable, but I often find myself kicked back into the initialization phase for missing my second calibration…oops. The trick is in finding a good balance between the more rigid calibration schedule and the freedom of transmitter removal. I’ll get it eventually!

An Apple or Android mobile device is your receiver, and the Eversense mobile app displays data in easy-to-read charts and graphs.

My fiancé has enjoyed watching my trends with the Eversense app “my circle” feature. I can see this being a great tool for parents with young type 1 kids, but unfortunately for us, the app does not allow me to set different alerts for my fiancé than I have for myself. Cue the diabetes police. He is alerted of all my rises, falls, transmitter disconnections, threshold, target, and calibration alerts. On top of the alarm burnout he has now developed, I have developed text message fatigue from all his “eat something” and “did you take insulin?!” texts. We eventually both concluded that the only person who needs to know everything about my blood sugars is me, and resolved our issue by turning his alerts off during the day and on at night for safety. I believe they are working to customize the “my circle’ alerts, but for now…this technique works for us.

My favorite feature of Eversense is the on-body vibe alerts. I consider myself a very active person and I’ve always been a water girl. The light, low-profile transmitter sits over the sensor on the upper arm and can be submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

A simple vibration can now tell me when I have hit a high or low threshold without me having to leave the ocean. I’m sure Eversense will be a game changer during water activities on my next trip home to Hawaii. The third week that I was implanted with Eversense I went on a snowboarding trip to Steamboat and loved being alerted of my trends without even having to remove my gloves!

Lastly, and possibly most important, let’s talk about accuracy. Although it was a bit iffy during the first 2 weeks of healing, the accuracy is now fantastic, and it is possibly the most accurate CGM I’ve ever worn! Not only this, but it picks up my highs and lows much quicker than other CGMs, leading to quicker corrections and more time in range…yes, I’ve experimented.

As a clinician and a type 1 myself I strongly encourage a CGM for all people with diabetes. Although the insertion process may not be for everyone, this CGM is great for those who want the benefit of a CGM, but also want the freedom of removal. Although Eversense does not currently pair with an insulin pump, hybrid and closed loop pairing are on the horizon along with longer sensor wear and less calibrations. I, personally, can’t wait.

23 Comments
    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-4999">

    Great article. I really learned a lot.

      class="comment odd alt depth-2" id="li-comment-10022">

      My doctor put me on the Freestyle and I am having to go off of it because the sensor would read 49 then checking my blood would be 78. I am interested in this, but hesitant about the numbers being off as well. I work in an emergency room and the CGM would work best for my job

    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-5019">
    Avatar

    U have come so far from that little scared 8yr old. I am very proud & happy u r part of the future of diabetes.

    class="comment odd alt thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-5024">
    Avatar

    As always, your telling of your life as a type 1 diabetic is so interesting and educating. I’ve learned so much! Great job Nalani!

    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-5190">
    Avatar

    Wow, that’s amazing. I can see how this will progress to a pairing with a pump, bringing a real sense of freedom and confidence to a lot of people. Nice job on the article, I learned stuff!

    class="comment odd alt thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-5248">
    Avatar

    I’m keeping an eye on Eversense. Unfortunately it’s not ready for me. I am one of many who have a severe needle phobia that turns into dangerous levels of depression. Because of this, we can’t deal with finger sticking, and we struggle to even inject ourselves with life saving medication. Once Eversense stops requiring fingersticks, there are quite a few of us ready to get on board. Until then, most of us are stuck with Dexcom.

    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-6385">
    Avatar

    It was fun to read your story. My son (13) and I got to try it for the full 180 days in a clinical trial in Toronto. I loved that we both were totally connected for most of the full 180 days! With no skin irritations.
    Hope to get a chance to do it again! Although Dexcom is nice and comfortable and totally painless. Eversense still has some big advantages and I liked the app

      class="comment odd alt depth-2" id="li-comment-6418">
      Avatar

      Hi Dr. Riddell! Thanks for reading. It’s an honor. I love your work and have found Excarbs to be especially helpful :). Thank you for all you do in diabetes!

    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-7820">
    Avatar

    Hi there – I enjoyed your article greatly as I just started with the accuracy trial for the 6 month version. I also spend alof time in Steamboat over the winter snowboarding both on the resort and several outings with Powdercats. One thing with Dexcom is that it was highly effected by the higher altitude. Did you think that the Eversense’s accuracy was impacted by the altitude? I also surf, so I am looking forward to trying it out on the water. One thing I am struggling with is the adhesive. During sweat inducing things like tennis, spin class and running, the adhesive literally slides right off. Have you you had similar issues? Thanks in advance for any additional info. Monica

      class="comment odd alt depth-2" id="li-comment-7858">

      Hi Monica!

      These are excellent questions. In my experience, Eversense has worked very well in the higher altitudes, though it hasn’t actually been tested in altitude >10,000ft. I personally have not had an issue, nor have I heard of one being reported. Please let me know if you find out otherwise!

      I love wearing my Eversense with water sports! The best part about it is that I don’t need to have my phone near me to have the on body vibe alerts. I feel way more comfortable staying out away from my phone for long periods of time because I know I will be alerted via vibe if I hit my low threshold.

      Have you tried both types of adhesives? I find that the clear one sticks to me better when I’m sweating, but some people say the same about the cloth adhesive. Make sure you try both! If neither works, GrifGrips makes an awesome adhesive specific for Eversense that will really make a difference. Heres the website: https://www.grifgrips.com/collections/eversense.

      Good luck and thanks for the questions!

    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-8369">
    Avatar

    I just found out that I qualified for a clinical trial for the Eversense except that one of the two weeks that I’m traveling in the next six months is the same week as one of the required visit days, which, unfortunately, cannot be rescheduled. I’m disappointed, but the trip has already been planned and partially paid for.

    class="comment odd alt thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-8453">
    Avatar

    I am a Type 1 for 37 yrs now and just started on the Dexcom G6 couple months ago and I seem to have gotten quite a few bad sensors so its not my fav at the moment. I work for an Endocrinologist who is also a Type 1 and she wants to get certified to place them! I just learned today our insurance covers it so I am super excited to get this started!! Thanks for the great article!!

      class="comment byuser comment-author-lynne even depth-2" id="li-comment-8464">
      Avatar

      That’s great Shauna! Hope it works well for you!

      class="comment odd alt depth-2" id="li-comment-9376">
      Avatar

      That’s why I stopped using Dexcom.

    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-9041">
    Avatar

    Insertion happened today. Im so excited. 33 years T1. I felt all the things you wrote about. I had and rarely used rhe other cgms because i didnt want another “thing” inserted.

      class="comment byuser comment-author-lynne odd alt depth-2" id="li-comment-9121">
      Avatar

      Hope it works well for you, Pascale!

      class="comment even depth-2" id="li-comment-9377">
      Avatar

      Hi Pascale,

      I was wondering how you are doing with the Eversense. My doctor mentioned to me about this new product and she was receiving good feedback. The 90 days has me interested. Looking to see how accurate it is.

      Thank you so much

    class="comment odd alt thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-9703">
    Avatar

    This is exactly what I’ve been hoping for! I’ve been a T1D for 17 years and I’m now out of college and living on my own. Managment has been really tricky since losing my routine. But I HATED the Medtronic CGM and refuse to try the Dexcom as it is so bulky.

    I would joke with my endo about getting a CGM if it were like a birth control implant, AND LO AND BEHOLD this has happened.

    I am THRILLED to try this out.

    HOWEVER I do have a question. Must the transmitter be worn at all times, or can it be placed in a pocket or in PJs at night? It seems rather large, but it is detachable, yes?

    class="comment even thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="li-comment-13785">
    Avatar

    Thanks for the article! I am so excited to try the Eversense; I get mine inserted on Monday.
    I’ve been a Type A T1D for 12 years, and a huge frustration to me has always been that I cannot wear a pump or traditional CGM due to severe adhesive allergies. However, for whatever reason, the clear goo stuff is ok, so we’re going to give it a try! I’m excited to see how much my control improves with it.

    I am also a huge water baby, so I actually found your article when searching to see if the Eversense is waterproof. 30 minutes is not a super long time, so I suppose I’d have to take it off for a long pool workout, but it’s nice to know I can wear it for shorter swims!

    Thanks for all the info!

      class="comment byuser comment-author-lynne odd alt depth-2" id="li-comment-13914">
      Avatar

      Hope it works well for you Ashley!

    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="li-comment-16316">
    Avatar

    Great article! I’m a fellow T1D and looking for feedback: I currently am on the Dexcom G6 and seriously considering the Eversense. Are there any online Eversense user groups to get feedback and advice?

    Is the Eversense compatible with Apple iOS 13.1.3? And IPhone 11 Pro Max?

Leave a Reply