Nightscout Near You: UK

28 Sep


Nightscout UK Users (November 2014)

We know that the majority of Nightscout users are based in the US and for that reason the website is currently focused on dealing with those users. You will see reference to US specific suppliers and operators and blood units (mg/dl rather than mmol).


The above map shows NIGHTSCOUT users that are currently up and running in the UK (as at end October 2014- please add yourself when you join!). An example UK rig is pictured below.

UK dexcom and pebble

Once you have your dexcom, mobile phone and cables the basic set up options and troubleshooting solutions apply globally. To help you get started here is some UK specific information. In the page below there are links to UK options for items that should meet the requirements for Nightscout.

Items used to run Nighscout are:


Dexcom G4 Receiver


First off to get started you need a Dexcom G4. There are 2 versions of the G4 both work with Nightscout. Unfortunately the NHS does not fund Dexcom’s routinely. In fact , NHS funding is rare. However, if you want to pursue NHS funding you need to speak to your Specialist in the first instance.

Advanced Therapeutics have the exclusive contract for providing Dexcom G4’s in the UK.  A starter pack cost £650 (exc  VAT). The Starter Pack includes a Dexcom receiver, manual, mains charger, download cable, tutorial DVD, leather case and a set of travel adapters.  Advanced Therapeautics will also sell a dexcom reciever on its own at a cost of this is £575 excluding VAT. However they may not sell a reciever on its own to new customers.

Prices are provided excluding VAT as UK Type 1  diabetics can obtain this VAT free provided they fill a VAT Exemption form detailing they have diabetes. This is a very simple form to complete and Advanced Therapeutics will provide you with one.

G4 Sensors.


You can obtain these from advanced therapeutics at a cost of  £250 (exc VAT + £7.50 delivery). Like the receiver you can also get this VAT fee. However, unlike the receiver you can also obtain these from Animas provided you have an Animas pump. Animas are slightly cheaper than Advanced Therapeutics for sensors (£186 per box). Animas require a letter from your hospital specialist before they will sell sensors to a new customer. Sensors are designed to last 7 days but many users find that they can extend sensor life by restarting them. Some users report that they can achieve 3+ weeks on occasions.

G4 Transmitter.


Supplied by Advanced Therapeutics  or Animas (provided you are an animas pump user). This has a 6 month warranty and costs £325 + delivery.

Android Device.


This device must be running android version 4.X or above with On The Go (OTG) capability. The Moto G is the most common nightscout phone in use and it is available in the UK as well as the US. Prices vary considerably in the UK but the Moto G is commonly available for under £110 (and can sometimes be obtained for £69.99). If you select a network provider and find that you need to use a different network you can obtain unlock codes from ebay for a few pounds and is very easy to do.

It does not need to be a phone if  you only intend to use wifi. Other devices currently used in the UK are Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy 3. A wifi only option in the UK is the Tesco Hudl tablet.

Mobile Data

Nightscout can run purely on wifi but if you want to experience the full benefits of Nightscout you may want to purchase a mobile phone with mobile data.

Nightscout does not use a significant amount of mobile data and user experience suggests that 200-300mb will cover a full month of mobile use 24 hours a day. You would use less if you use a mix of mobile data and wifi. There are a number of mobile providers that are available to you the best value in the UK for nightscout would be a Three 3-2-1 pay as you go contract. However it is strongly recommended that you check your mobile coverage in the key areas that you intend to use nightscout before you commit to a mobile contract. You can check theoretical mobile coverage here. Once you have found a network that will work for you (and do not rely solely on coverage maps) you can select a contract that suits you best. provide a good summary of mobile options.

OTG cable.

This is the cable that connects in to the Android device.  You can buy this from Maplin’s. Alternatively you can buy it (much cheaper) online from ebay or amazon. If you use ebay and amazon, note that they have a number of very cheap imports from Hong Kong / China. These are exceptional value but quality control can sometimes be lacking and you may wait a few extra days for delivery.

There are specialist cable manufacturers that can produce a combine cable that is both a USB OTG host and a micro USB cable. At the moment we are not aware of any UK producers of this type of cable and it would need to be imported. A popular combined cable  (that is used in the combined MotoG / Dexcom case) is available to purchase from the States with shipping to the UK an option. This is not a cheap  option ( eg £57 for three). You can also buy a combined cable from ebay.

Data Cable.

A micro USB data cable. If you have the Dexcom starter pack you can use the cable that came with that.  Alternatively this type of cable is widely available (you probably already have one in the house for your mobile phones).  Many nightscout users use a shorter version of the standard cable or a retractable cable.



otterbox setup

The case you carry your nightscout rig in is very important as the dexcom G4 usb slot is VERY fragile. Options range from a Otterbox Pursuit 40 as pictured above (around £25 from Amazon and protects against water, dust , drop and crush but not the smallest or lightest) to a Nintendo DS case (varies from a few pounds) to a custom 3D printed custom case (depending on type of case selected and your local 3D printer costs but can be from £20 to more than £100 ).  Reports of the Dexcom G4 USB being very fragile are not exaggerated so whatever you choose you should protect your usb connection. Many minimise this risk by never disconnecting and using the uploader device to charge the G4. Note that this may have long term implications on battery charge.

Pebble Watch.

Pebble Watches

This is entirely optional but allows you to view the readings on your watch. You do not need a pebble – you can simply use any device with a web browser (computer, mobile phone, tablet). However, many users find that having the data on their wrist increases awareness of current levels and allows them to act quicker. You can use a normal pebble or a pebble steel. The pebble steel is smaller but heavier. Generally the pebbles are more of a male size watch than female size but you can get multiples colours and skins to reduce its masculinity. Pebble recently started selling direct to UK users. You can purchase a standard pebble for £99 or a Pebble Steel for £179.  It may appear as though you can purchase a pebble cheaper by importing it from USA but note that such purchases would be subject to import and handling charges.

Any items purchased from non EU countries when obtaining nightscout supplies may be subject to taxes. Royal mail also charge £8 as a handling fee for dealing with such transactions.

 Mongo DB

In order to operate nightscout you need will need a MongoDB. Nightscout usage is free (unless you sign up for a paid account to reduce the potential of outages).


azure screengrab mmol

In order to run Nightscout you also need to sign up for an Azure account. More information on managing this account to ensure you do not pay any charges is available here.


2 thoughts on “Nightscout Near You: UK

  1. I’m in the UK my eight year old son is T1. Could you give me a rough idea of the initial cost of purchasing Nightscout please? Also if there is any monthly cost,
    It sounds a wonderful devise that would really make things a lot easier here. I’m disabled and have mobility problems. I check my sons bloods 3 times throughout the night which can be a challenge but I’d never not check “just in case”.
    My son is on a metronic pump which is working out great but he hates pricking his fingers. We test at least 13 times on average in 24hours so his fingers are sore. The Nightscout would allow him a full unbroken nights sleep as I wouldn’t be waking him by pricking his fingers.

    I’m excited to read the reply to this comment.

    Many thanks

    Kirsty Mckinnon

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