SugarPixel Makes Blood Sugar Readings Fun
SugarPixel is a device by Custom Type One that connects with the Dexcom G6 app or Nightscout app on your smartphone to display your real-time blood sugar readings. I recently had the opportunity to try SugarPixel. After testing it out for a couple of months, I found some fun benefits.
Once you’ve set it up, it looks like an alarm clock and your favorite arcade game had a baby destined for people with diabetes. Eighties and nineties babies living with diabetes are sure to love the appearance alone, but the functionality is equally valuable for continuous glucose monitor (CGM) users!
Through the Nightscout app, you can connect your SugarPixel with Eversense, Medtronic, or Freestyle Libre CGM sensor data. I connected my SugarPixel to my Dexcom G6 app.
SugarPixel and Dexcom work in harmony
You can look at SugarPixel anytime to see your blood sugar reading and to determine if your blood sugar levels are trending up or down or are stable. (In my case, SugarPixel uses Dexcom’s sensor data, which retrieves new readings as frequently as every five minutes.) You can also see the rate at which your blood sugar levels are trending. For example, you may see +2 to indicate that your blood sugar levels have risen by 2 mg/dL in the past five minutes.
I can also determine how many minutes are left until I see a new reading by looking at the bars under the blood sugar reading on my SugarPixel. If I see two bars, I know that two minutes have passed since my last blood sugar reading, and I will get an updated one in three minutes.
You can customize your SugarPixel settings in the app. SugarPixel offers display options in mg/dL and mmol/L format. If you connect through the Dexcom G6 app like me, you must enable sharing with at least one other person to link SugarPixel with your sensor data properly.
I’ve just described the standard display option; however, if more than one person in your household uses a CGM, you can enable the two-user display option.
Custom alerts are a bonus when you have CGM alarm fatigue
SugarPixel also allows you to enable custom alerts. When I had SugarPixel in my office, I kept the alarms silent to avoid extra background noise during my Zoom calls. However, when I moved SugarPixel to my bedroom, I turned these alerts on high volume! Though a small change, this move offered an impactful reset to my bedtime routine.
SugarPixel alerts are yet another way to ensure I’m waking up if I go high or low during my sleep. For me, this feature has always been one of the most valuable parts of using a CGM like Dexcom. SugarPixel adds to that value!
The “Audio and Vibration” setting is especially helpful for heavy sleepers. You can enable a randomized audio setting in the SugarPixel app to ensure you don’t suffer from CGM alarm fatigue, which can happen when you use any CGM for an extended period.
Setting up SugarPixel + using new app features
SugarPixel comes with user-friendly instructions that will help you get started quickly.
Although I initially had some problems setting up the app, the root of my issue boiled down to not having the latest software update installed on my iPhone. So if you also have an Apple device and experience some glitches when you download the app, be sure to check your settings.
If that doesn’t work, try restarting your phone. (Sometimes, that’s all it takes!) Once I figured out my settings were causing the issue, I had SugarPixel up and running in under ten minutes.
The December 2022 app update offered some pretty sweet upgrades! Now, you can enable an emoji screen and adjust the color ranges by playing with your display options (shown right).
SugarPixel can make a great holiday gift
At the time of this article’s publication, SugarPixel is available in the U.S. for $99. It is also available in the United Kingdom and Europe. According to the manufacturer, supply chain issues may slow shipping, so check the website for the latest delivery information. Don’t wait too long to order SugarPixel if you want to gift it to someone special this holiday season.
SugarPixel makes a unique holiday gift for any Dexcom G6 app or Nightscout app users who need a blood sugar alarm reset or want a more dynamic way to see their blood sugar readings.