Woman with Omnipod and Dexcom

How Omnipod 5 works with Dexcom G6

By Christina Varvatsis, PharmD, BCPS Sep 23, 2022 • 7 min

There's a lot to manage when it comes to controlling your type 1 diabetes. Checking your blood glucose, adjusting your insulin, counting carbs—the list goes on. Fortunately, an automated insulin delivery system (AID) can help simplify your day to day. Find out how the Omnipod 5 system and the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device use innovative technology to help control your diabetes with more freedom and flexibility.

What is Omnipod 5?

Omnipod 5 is a wearable, tubeless, automated insulin delivery system for people with type 1 diabetes who are age 6 or older. Using blood sugar information from your Dexcom G6 (a continuous glucose monitoring device), Omnipod 5 automatically adjusts your basal insulin delivery to help control blood sugar throughout the day and night.  

The Omnipod 5 AID system consists of three parts:

  • The Pod: a wearable, waterproof, tubeless insulin pump with SmartAdjust technology that automatically adjusts insulin delivery for up to three days
  • Dexcom G6: a continuous glucose monitoring system that sends information to the Pod
  • The Omnipod 5 App or the Controller: a convenient device that lets you monitor blood sugar levels and insulin doses, give yourself mealtime boluses and more 

How does Omnipod 5 stand out?

Dexcom G6 is a wearable CGM device that tracks glucose levels using a small sensor inserted right beneath your skin. Every 5 minutes, Dexcom G6 sends your blood glucose reading to the Omnipod 5 Pod. Using SmartAdjust technology, the Pod will either increase, decrease or pause your insulin delivery. Dexcom G6 then monitors how your blood glucose levels respond and reports back to the Pod. This constant communication loop helps keep your blood sugar in range and helps protect against highs and lows.

Is there anything I will need to do manually?

Because Omnipod 5 and Dexcom G6 are in constant communication, most of the work will be done for you. But you’ll still need to count carbs, administer mealtime boluses and let the system know when you plan to exercise.

Omnipod 5 is controlled through the Omnipod 5 App on compatible smartphones or with the free Controller included with your first prescription. When you’re ready to eat, you’ll need to calculate the number of carbohydrates in your meal, snack or drink, and enter this information into the app. Using the SmartBolus calculator, Omnipod 5 will calculate and administer your bolus dose. The SmartBolus calculator considers the number of carbs, your current blood glucose reading, and your recent trends to calculate the best dose for you.  

Omnipod 5 is also equipped with the activity feature, which can help prevent low blood sugar during times you may need less insulin, such as while exercising. By enabling the activity setting, Omnipod 5 will decrease your automated insulin delivery and change your target glucose goal to 150 mg/dL. The activity feature can be set for one to 24 hours and will automatically turn off after that time has passed. You can also cancel the activity feature setting at any time.

Who is Omnipod 5 appropriate for?

The FDA has approved Omnipod 5 for people with type 1 diabetes, age 6 and older. Usage of the Omnipod 5 system is not appropriate if you:

  • Cannot monitor your blood sugar as recommended by your healthcare provider
  • Cannot maintain contact with your healthcare provider
  • Cannot follow the Omnipod 5 system instructions
  • Have a hearing or vision impairment that prevents you from recognizing all functions of the Omnipod 5 system, including the alerts, alarms or reminders
  • Take hydroxyurea, since it can cause falsely high blood sugar readings, leading Omnipod 5 to deliver too much insulin and cause severe hypoglycemia

If you’re interested in learning more about the Omnipod 5 system, talk with your healthcare provider to see if it’s an option for you. You can also visit the Omnipod website to check your insurance coverage and estimate any out-of-pocket costs.

Published in September 2022.

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