Dexcom’s Stelo is a continuous glucose monitor for diabetics

While CES is often awash in futuristic health gadgets of questionable practicality, Dexcom brought something refreshingly tangible to this year’s show: the Stelo, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) specifically designed for Type 2 diabetics who don’t use insulin.

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Unlike most CGMs, which focus on life-saving alerts for insulin-dependent users, the Stelo is about empowerment and understanding. Instead of constant alarms, it offers insights into real-time blood sugar levels, helping users learn their personal rhythms and make informed dietary choices.

Roughly 90% of diabetics have Type 2, and while many control their glucose through oral medication, they’re largely left out of the CGM world, often due to limited insurance coverage. Dexcom wants to change that.

“There’s this large portion of about 25 million people who don’t have insurance coverage for CGMs,” says Dexcom COO Jake Leach. “The Stelo is designed for them.”

This 15-day sensor isn’t a life-saving device, but a powerful tool for self-discovery. Through the Stelo app, users can understand how their bodies react to different foods, activities, and sleep patterns. Imagine learning that white rice with chicken keeps your glucose lower than rice alone, or that dinner timing affects your response. This empowered knowledge, Leach believes, can lead to smarter daily choices between doctor visits.

Dexcom’s experience with medical devices and the FDA, combined with their focus on user feedback and software updates, bodes well for Stelo’s success. Their plan to integrate Stelo with existing digital apps further adds value.

Most importantly, Dexcom is prioritizing accessibility. While a final price tag awaits, Leach assures that Stelo will be more competitive for out-of-pocket payers than typical CGMs. With Medicare already covering Dexcom devices for some, the hope is for wider insurance coverage in the future.

Stelo isn’t just another futuristic gadget; it’s a tangible way to improve the lives of millions. And while its long-term impact remains to be seen, the potential to empower Type 2 diabetics with knowledge and control is a refreshing sight, a stark contrast to the often-directionless health tech at CES.

Dexcom Stelo, with its clear mission and focus on real-world needs, is the kind of innovation we should celebrate. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most impactful technology isn’t about the flashiest features, but about empowering people to take control of their own health.