Dexcom G6 App now available in Spanish
On July 27, Dexcom announced the launch of the Dexcom G6 mobile app in Spanish, available for anyone with a smartphone. Dexcom CGM users whose first language is Spanish can now choose to view their diabetes information provided by their sensor in their preferred language.
Managing one’s diabetes is already a challenge, but imagine trying to read vital health information without fully understanding all the words. The Dexcom G6 app language update will enable Spanish-speaking people with diabetes to better understand their health status and make more informed decisions, without a language barrier.
“My patients have communicated to me how important it is, how different the care is, when you can communicate in their native language,” said Dr. Rocio Harbison, an endocrinologist in Houston, Texas, on what the updated Dexcom G6 app means for Spanish-speaking communities. “Patients will be able to learn how they respond to medications, food, exercise, activity, where they will get an alert that they understand and not have to interpret.”
Research has shown that language barriers in healthcare lead to poor communication between providers and patients and ultimately reduce the quality of care. Additionally, translation services don’t quite do the job as messages can get lost in translation, and translation increases the cost and length of doctor visits. And while reading an app is just one small part of healthcare communication, if someone does not understand the information, they are unable to thoroughly ask questions and talk to their doctor about what their CGM is telling them. This can lead to a cycle in which healthcare providers aren’t adequately addressing issues or concerns, and the person with diabetes is missing out on crucial advice.
The Spanish-enabled app is a step forward in increasing health literacy and therefore reducing health disparities that Hispanic communities in the US face. Spanish-speaking communities are disproportionately affected by diabetes compared to the general population – 11.8% of Hispanics in the US have been diagnosed with diabetes. Additionally, according to the CDC, Hispanic adults have more than a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes over their lifetimes.
People with diabetes can also share progress with loved ones, who can “follow” their updates and enable them to stay updated and help if needed. Read more about the original share feature here.
“Particularly for Hispanic and Latino communities, family is a big factor in their care,” said Harbison. “They can see what’s happening to their sugars, whether they're having lows or highs. This might decrease the pressure on the person with diabetes.”
While the app in Spanish will help families stay informed about the diabetes management of their child, parent, etc., removing a language barrier will also empower individuals to take more control of their own care.
“When you can’t communicate as effectively with your care provider, you don’t have the educational tools in your native language, you depend on someone else to guide you and help you,” said Harbison. The level of independence that it provides our patients to be able to take control on their own, they’re now going to be in the driver’s seat rather than being the passenger, where someone else is telling them what they need to be doing and when they should be checking their sugars, for example. When patients are more confident, they may open up more to their healthcare providers.”
Improving health literacy and access to diabetes technology for minority communities are ways that healthcare providers can continue to reduce disparities. “In my world of being a physician, we should provide more education for clinicians on how to be culturally aware, what kinds of terms to use to communicate with patients and provide the opportunity for diabetes technology,” said Harbison. “How can we do it in an unbiased way so we can provide the same information to everyone who shows up through the door.”
How to Access Dexcom G6 in Spanish
To access the Dexcom G6 mobile app in Spanish, users can just download the latest version of the app. The app will automatically view in Spanish when the phone language is set to Spanish.