Dexcom gets FDA go-ahead to pair diabetes data with Garmin, Livongo and more through 3rd-party APIs

After working to make its continuous glucose monitoring systems compatible with the major players in the diabetes device industry, Dexcom is opening its doors much wider.

With an FDA blessing for Dexcom’s new web-based APIs, the company can invite digital health companies to feed its CGM data into their own health apps and devices—potentially expanding the different ways people with diabetes can share and use their blood sugar stats.

To start, Dexcom is already working to develop and test connections with the GPS- and wearable-maker Garmin—to pair up real-time glucose monitoring with runners, cyclists and others—and is exploring deeper integrations with the virtual diabetes clinic Livongo, which was acquired for $18.5 billion last year by Teladoc Health.

The APIs will also help programs consolidate all of a user’s diabetes data in one place while enabling additional opportunities for coaching and feedback, the company said.

RELATED: Teladoc to pilot CGMs in Type 2 diabetes as Dexcom eyes new growth market

Dexcom previously worked with Teladoc and Livongo to pilot-test its wearable CGM sensors in people with Type 2 diabetes—and provide them with the same data and trend-spotting offered to patients managing Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 amounts to a huge untapped market for Dexcom—including people who do and do not use intensive insulin therapy—and forms a major piece of the company’s growth strategy.

“Non-intensive Type 2 patients are a huge opportunity here in the U.S., with seven times more patients than there are in the intensive insulin space,” CEO Kevin Sayer said early this year during a presentation at the annual J.P. Morgan healthcare conference. “And if you add to that prediabetes and diabetes prevention, the number of opportunities to serve patients in this market just becomes massive.”

RELATED: Dexcom links with Welldoc to chart a digital path for its CGM into Type 2 diabetes

More recently, Dexcom said it has accelerated development of a new version of its mainstay G6 monitor—appropriately dubbed the G7—which promises to be 60% smaller and equipped with an all-in-one sensor applicator and transmitter, allowing it to connect with a range of devices.

The company said 99% of readings from the CGM device in clinical trials were accurate and safe for use in treatment decisions; they will help back Dexcom’s pursuit of approval in Europe, while setting the stage for a larger pivotal study in the U.S.

RELATED: Medtronic steps toward diabetes interoperability with Tidepool collaboration

CGM providers such as Abbott and Medtronic have also worked to make their sensors interoperable, but largely in the context of other diabetes management devices—like digitally connected insulin pumps—while pump makers themselves, such as Insulet and Tandem Diabetes Care, have aimed to make their hardware play nice with different monitors and app platforms. The ultimate goal is to allow patients to pick and choose the individual parts of an artificial pancreas system that work best for them.

RELATED: Abbott, Tandem finalize course to integrate diabetes tech

Meanwhile Dexcom—through its work with Garmin, for example—appears to be preparing to broaden the entire field of people who may want to log their blood sugar levels in real time. 

The company may even be joined one day by consumer electronics makers pitching glucose tracking as a feature—-potentially including Apple and its smartwatch, through noninvasive sensors that the tech giant has been considering for years.  

More recently, it emerged that Apple has been the top customer for wearable sensor maker Rockley Photonics, which recently unveiled a “clinic-on-the-wrist” currently in development. Using light-based detectors, the hardware aims to capture a person’s hydration, muscle lactate, blood alcohol and glucose levels.