Dexcom G6, a blood sugar monitor that allows people with diabetes to track their levels, crashed on Friday, leaving thousands of parents in the lurch for days.
The monitors consist of a sensor that slides under the skin, covered by a patch, which is linked to a phone app, tracking their levels and alerting patients and/or their loved-ones when they dip below a worrying threshold.
But those regular updates stopped for many Dexcom G6 users over the holiday weekend due to a bug that affected the phone app feature until Monday.
The outage sparked outrage among users, who use the $350 device over others due to its remote monitoring option and reliable, steady tracking.
One Connecticut mother affected by the crash told the New York Times she did not realize her 10-year-old diabetic son’s levels had dipped dangerously low until she heard his cries from his bedroom on Friday night, forcing them to wake him up with apple juice and candy.
People with type 1 diabetes use the $350 device over others due to its remote monitoring option and reliable, steady tracking (file image)
‘We rely on this technology,’ said Dr Virginia Coleman-Prisco, an assistant professor at New York’s Mercy College, told the Times.
‘We didn’t get any alerts, and that’s really dangerous. Our son could have died in his sleep.’
What’s more, users were not informed there was a glitch for almost two days.
Carrie Diulus, a surgeon with type 1 diabetes, told CNBC she found out 40 hours after the fact.
‘They have access to all of our cell phones,’ Diulus told the site.
‘I get that tech fails happen, but they need a better system to manage this.’
While the monitors can be used by anyone to track their blood sugar levels, the majority of users have type 1 diabetes, an incurable condition that limits the body’s production of insulin, a hormone essential for controlling blood sugar levels.
Users took to social media to vent their anger.
One Twitter user with type 1 diabetes said: ‘These guys are like “you should always have a back up plan” but like of course people do? That doesn’t mean dex should be allowed to fail them and say NOTHING for 24hrs? It’s too expensive and important not to be mad about. people are crazy.’
Another said: ‘Thank God I did one last check before I closed my eyes tonight, otherwise I could have missed an overnight low, expecting my alerts to wake me. T1D parents depend on you. You need to get your act together.’
In a statement, Dexcom said: ‘We are still investigating official root cause.
‘We did not release any updates or changes to cause this issue, further complicating our investigation.
‘However, we have determined that a server overload occurred due to an unexpected system issue that generated a massive backlog, which our system was unable to sufficiently handle.’