Anubis revisited

Ever since I wrote about the Anubis project (twice in 2021) I keep getting people assuming that I’m responsible for it.
They send me requests for units, instructions as to how to make them themselves, etc.

Just to be clear: I was one of the people involved in early testing of the units, and I use them myself, but it’s not my project. Never has been.

What’s Anubis?

To recap: the standard Dexcom G6 and ONE transmitters have a 2-hour warmup, and expire each sensor session after 10 days. They also turn themselves off after 100 days, and can’t be turned on again.

Except by getting reincarnated as an Anubis (which is currently only done in Australia, but there’s a flow of recycled units all over the world). This involves a bunch of hardware (CNC and laser machines) and a software modification.

Afterwards, the reincarnated units can be put back into “Standard” mode (with 2-hour warmup and 10-day sessions) but in their Enhanced mode the warmup is 50 minutes before they start returning data, and up to 60 days (8 weeks) before the transmitter terminates the session. Most people don’t get that far (I rarely run my sensors past 16 days as Sensor Errors start popping up, but I do know people who manage 60 days of good performance).

When the transmitter’s day timer eventually runs out you can reset it to zero and start again. The battery is also user-replaceable, meaning each unit has an almost unlimited lifespan. All of this works with any software that already talks to Dexcom G6 units (although resetting and changing standard/enhanced mode requires an extra piece of software).

This design was made by people living with T1 diabetes, and is not making anyone rich. It’s run for people living with diabetes.

“Why would I use Anubis?”

There can be many reasons.

It was first developed before Australia had subsidised CGM access for people with T1D, and when you’re paying full price for your CGM it can make a big difference. Not only do we avoid the regular replacement of the transmitter, but we also need fewer sensors. How many fewer does vary by individual of course.

But I also know people with T2 diabetes who are using Anubis: they do not get any subsidy yet, and cost continues to make a huge difference. It can make access to CGM possible (which benefits everyone).

But even now with subsidised access, I continue to use them because of the flexibility they give me. I don’t need to restart a new sensor exactly every 10 days. If the sensor is still behaving, I can replace it at a time that’s convenient to me.

And because I don’t have to worry about the transmitter expiring, I can use two transmitters to overlap sensors so that I rarely have any downtime or untrustworthy data. It was interesting when G7 adopted a similar function (enabled through their use of a new transmitter with each sensor).

“So where do I find out more?”

Much of the community and support around Anubis is based in a Facebook group, and some people do complain that they need a way to get in touch without having to touch Facebook.

But in fact the contact form (which was mentioned in an update to one of my 2021 article) is via a Google form, and does not require Facebook. To quote from the announcement within the Facebook group:

Anubis request form
Join the list, you’ll receive an email once yours is ready.

Local contacts for delivery information. Must have completed the form first!
New Zealand
United States
United Kingdom

Please, you’ll get a faster response by contacting them directly rather than having me acting as a middleman forwarding queries.

5 thoughts on “Anubis revisited”

  1. We switched to Anubis after a pharmacy gave us a Dexcom transmitter that expired before we started using it (I didn’t check that it was about to expire). We love the 50 min warmup and the convenience of changing the sensor when we need. The main reason is the severe skin reaction that my daughter gets after we remove the sensor so doing it less frequently saves her skin. She also reacts to Omnipod adhesive so sometimes there just no place to put a device, every possible area is itchy and scratchy or is still healing. We went up to 25 days from a sensor with Anubis.

    1. David Burren

      I often find my skin reacts badly after a cannula or sensor removal if I’ve just had a shower. If I remove them when the skin and patch are properly dry (e.g. before the shower) there’s rarely an issue for me. Yet another variable to consider…

  2. Thanks for the update, David.
    I became an Anubis user after I had read about it here, and managed to do so even without access to Facebook.
    I’ve got only one transmitter, so the major gain is that I can run two sensors overlapping by a day or so, with the official Tx controlling the 2nd sensor (and talking to a second phone). Presoaking for a night often isn’t enough to get stable numbers…
    I’m still at my first battery, with good A and B values, so I won’t have to change that one very soon. I’m watching though what would happen to others who started earlier, and already did their battery replacement. What I’m reading sounds a bit discouraging – a few people report rashes at the location of the cell (almost as bad as some have with G6 glue), although that doesn’t have any skin contact. Whether it’s the replacement silicone or something that migrates from inside the plastic – this isn’t very clear yet.
    Are Germans the only ones affected by such after-effects of replacing the cell? Hard to believe, but I haven’t heard a single such report from anywhere else or Australia…
    Perhaps FB would be a better place to ask, but I don’t live there. Is there a non-FB place that would collect such reports?
    Greets from Germany, Steve

    1. Some people have allergic/etc reactions to the putty sealing up the battery. It doesn’t touch the skin, but it presses against the white “bandage”, and something seems to seep through.

      These days the Anubises from Australia are mostly using a skin-safe/food-grade silicone to seal them up. You can see it in the photo here. I’m not aware of anyone having reactions to that. Units shipped overseas might have been shipped without batteries and then done locally, so I don’t know what they’ve used.

      When I’ve re-batteried mine I just use Kintsuglue (Sugru) and personally I haven’t had a reaction to that. It’s also easy to have in my travel kit, unlike the 2-part silicone which we can only buy in 1 kg lots.

      1. Hi David
        Thanks for your time and efforts for keeping BionicWookie up to date with great information.
        I have 2 Anubis, one has the original white (Sugru ?) paste. For the older one, I used hot glue as I had contact problems with the battery. Using a hot glue pistol permitted to press down the battery while cooling it rapidly. Heat is not the best for batteries but cooling it rapidly seems to have worked.
        No skin reactions to either.

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