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Tandem X2 with Dexcom G5 Update

[Please read my Tandem disclosure.  I was not asked to write this post.  But I need to disclose anyway, because it felt weird not to.]

Even though the update email came in a few days ago, I didn’t have a chance to update my Tandem X2 insulin pump until yesterday afternoon.  My original intentions were to sit down (preferably with a cup of tea and my reading glasses, so I could look the part of “focused” which would hopefully, in turn, become real focus) and update my pump in a relaxed environment, but that’s not a thing in my house anymore.  Every time I went to update the pump, the little Guy needed a snack or Birdzone wanted to play Spit (she kicks my butt regularly) or one of the neighborhood kids would roll through the house or the phone would ring or … the list of distractions remains long.

So I had to just sit down at the kitchen table and update the damn thing, house tornado be damned.

It was easy.  Thankfully, because I was only able to keep half an eyeball on the process as it unfolded.

The information I needed – my pump’s serial number and my “update ID number” – was in the email from Tandem Device Updater (if you’re looking for it in your inbox), so once I downloaded the device updater software to my computer, it took just a few minutes to update my pump.  I plugged my pump into the charger and then stuck the charger into the computer’s USB port, followed the prompts, and let my pump get pumpier.

The device updater

I knew the pump was ready to roll once this screen came up –
the update ID from the email went here.

Once the pump was plugged in, this screen popped up.

“Whoa, your pump updates like an iPhone?”  The 13 year old boy who lives down the street asked.

“It does,” I said, watching the blue progress line for the update move across my computer screen.

“That’s cool,” he said.

Truth.  My X2 now grabs Dexcom G5 results and shows them on the pump.  And I’m still learning the ropes with this new update.  In total, the update took about 15 minutes to work through.  I decided to wait until I was ready for a site change because in doing the update, I’d need to swap everything out anyway, and would also have my IOB set back to zero.

I have my iPhone running the G5 app in addition to the pump, and both appear to be working fine.  I was concerned about battery life after making the update, but since it’s been less than 24 hours since updating, I’ll have to come back to that at another time.


What was nice, though, is that my CGM was already up and running on my phone before I updated my pump, so when the update completed on my pump, the CGM results showed up immediately.  It didn’t seem like I had to independently calibrate my pump and my Dexcom phone app.  I’m rebooting my CGM sensor as I type this, so I’ll have a better sense of how this all works in a few hours.  In addition to CGM functionality and battery life, I’m really curious to see what the payment/update reimbursement structure will look like for future updates.  The G5 update was free.

The bottom line, for me, is that updates are available for my insulin pump that don’t require me to wait for a FedEx box to arrive before I can access them, and that’s damn convenient.  Having a pump that can be updated from my house while dinner is cooking (read: burning), kids are running amuck, and emails are dinging makes diabetes fit better into my life … in that I don’t have to organize my life around diabetes.

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tia Tucker #

    So this means I could see my CGM numbers on my Apple watch and pump at the same time? I really want to get a tSlim now! My Animas Vibe apparently won’t communicate with a G5, so I’m still stuck with a G4.

    09/6/17; 2:36 pm
  2. Sandy T #

    Oh tslim how I want you and a dexcom. Just a few more months, and you will be mine!
    This is just awesome. Updates! Wow updates. While I’ve had three pumps since diagnosis, the only upgrade is that the screen now shows how much battery and insulin I have. (I got one each new pump) Wooheee. And I guess I can connect the cgm as well. But this. This is a dream! So soon…dreaming of better.

    09/6/17; 8:30 pm
  3. Rochelle #

    So I updated mine on Saturday and two things I have noticed: I lose the signal on my pump all.the.time. So I can’t just turn off my iPhone dex and use the pump. Not cool. Also, my pump battery has been draining much much faster than before. Not the end of the world, but not my favorite. Otherwise, I really like having it on my pump. Hopefully you’ll love it!

    09/6/17; 8:56 pm
    • I haven’t had signal issues yet, but I had those a lot after switching from the G4 to the G5. I hope the issues with signals resolve ASAP because that would be so frustrating. (And re: battery charging, I charge mine two or three times a week as it is when I shower because I have whatever that fear is when you are afraid of charge running low … hang on, Googling … it’s called nomophobia! )

      09/7/17; 3:01 pm
    • Kendra #

      I have the X2 with dexcom as well and have been having alot of lossed signals- my phone app still works great but not happy with the update due to loss of signal and yes, the battery drains so fast.

      09/15/17; 10:40 am
      • Alfredo Pérez Grovas #

        I have been seeing a lot of signal loss issues as well on my end. What I have seen so far is that I have multiple “Out of Range” alerts on the pump a day (4-5 typically per day) that last somewhere between an hour and 5 hours. Interestingly enough, at the same time my pump is having signal loss issues both my phone (an Nexus 6P running xDrip+ in Android) and my tablet (an iPad running the Dexcom G5 app) continue receiving data reliably from the G5 transmitter. I contacted Tandem and they have actually replaced my pump for a new one and have replaced my G5 transmitter with a new one, but I continue seeing the same issue. I am still working with Tandem to try to get them to solve this. My advise to anyone seeing this issue (which I have read from a good number of other people online is being seen by others) is to contact Tandem, state that you are having this issue and ask them to fix it.

        10/18/17; 6:49 pm
  4. Fleeta #

    I agree with Rochelle about the signal loss issue. It seems to happen most consistently when my pump is on one side of my body and my sensor is on the other. My work-around is to keep my pump on the same side as my sensor, even if that means my infusion site is on the other side. That means that today the tubing from my infusion site to the pump is snaking from the left side of my abdomen to the right front pocket of my jeans, because my Dexcom sensor is in my upper right arm.
    Still worth it!

    09/7/17; 4:33 pm
    • Rochelle #

      Yes, Fleeta! I’ve had my pump on my right hip and my sensor in my left arm, so I was guessing that might be contributing to the issue. Good to know it seems to help to have them on the same side!

      09/8/17; 12:45 pm
    • Rich #

      I was having this issue when my transmitter battery was getting weak. Replaced with new transmitter and difficulty went away! My two transmitters lasted six months, so very happy with their longevity.

      11/7/17; 9:36 am
  5. Lisa #

    So far we are loving it! My 7yo daughter is thrilled that she no longer needs to carry the receiver around with her pump. We haven’t had any issues at all with signal loss (we’re a week into it). She wears the dex on the back of her arm and carries the pump in a pouch by her belly button.

    09/8/17; 12:38 pm
  6. Martha #

    I’m having a hard time with the new integration. Even after I shut down my receiver, as I’ve read most people are needing to do, after a brief period of connectivity the dexcom on the pump has been in lost signal mode for several days. That started the first night after I updated the pump, and it hasn’t come back yet. I’ve tried a bunch of things but no dice. I’m due to change the sensor soon and will see if that does the trick. Even if it does, I do wish Tandem had mentioned that you have to choose between the receiver and the X2. Sure, I love the iPhone app and even have the Apple Watch, which is great, but at night I like looking at the receiver because I’m a horrible sleeper and it’s not too bright. And I still feel like it’s the easiest way to study trends over a long stretch of time day or night.

    09/11/17; 5:43 pm
  7. Suman #

    Does anyone observed battery getting discharge quickly or we need to charge the pump more frequently after this integration ?

    Does rise rate and fall rate alarms available on the pump? If we go to advanced on the dexcom receiver we can set rise rate and fall rate alarms which are very helpful and are not available on the dexcom App.

    09/13/17; 11:11 am
    • Rich #

      Yes, rate rise / fall alerts are available with the integrated system. Love it.

      11/7/17; 9:39 am
  8. Nolan Kienitz #

    In light of J&J shutting down Animas do you think there might be a chance to get a Tandem pump? They have announced the defectors deal with MedT, but many of us don’t want anything to do with them.

    I’m also on Medicare so that is a whole different scenario.

    10/5/17; 10:11 pm
  9. Travis #

    I have had issues with my X2 reading my Dexcom as well. Tandem sent me a new transmitter which seemed to work for a very short time. Still having issues, they need to have a better bluetooth because for the cost of this pump it should work properly.

    10/18/17; 4:05 pm
  10. Tony #

    I too have had problems with X2 losing connectivity with my G5. Once, after over 8 hours I decided to restart the X2, which fixed the problem but required me to reload insulin etc.

    10/25/17; 9:33 pm

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