Welcome to Nightscout⌁
Nightscout (also known as "CGM in the Cloud") is an open-source cloud application used by people with diabetes and parents of kids with diabetes to visualize, store and share the data from their Continuous Glucose Monitoring sensors in real-time. Once setup, Nightscout acts as a central repository of blood glucose and insulin dosing/treatment data for a single person, allowing you to view the CGM graph and treatment data anywhere using just a web browser connected to the internet.
There are several parts to this system. You need somewhere online to store/process/visualize this data (a Nightscout Site), something to upload CGM data to your Nightscout (an Uploader), and then optionally you can use other devices to access/view this data (one - or more - Follower):
The Nightscout cloud application can be installed by yourself using hosting services from various cloud service providers.
Although not necessary, you might prefer to use paid hosting services for your database (to avoid future maintenance tasks) or indeed pay to use a fully-managed Nightscout hosting service to avoid having to personally build and maintain your site yourself.
The CGM data is usually sent to Nightscout by an uploader device (often known as an "Uploader") such as a mobile/cellphone running an app such as xDrip+, Spike, xDrip4iOS or Medtronic Uploader. Alternatively, the CGM data can be pulled directly from your online Dexcom or Medtronic CareLink accounts. The application you'll need for uploading the data depends on which CGM device you're using and what type of mobile device you have. Once you've read this page (yes - all the way to the bottom!), you can find more information here about Uploaders.
In addition to viewing the data using a web browser, there are also applications available for mobile devices, smartwatches, electronic devices and other cloud-based services which allow you alternative ways to view and interact with the information stored within your Nightscout site (often known as "Followers").
Nightscout was developed by people with Type 1 Diabetes and parents of kids with T1D and has continued to be developed, maintained, and supported by volunteers, clinical use, and commercial sponsorship. The web portal known as Nightscout is made by the CGM Remote Monitor Contributors and the Nightscout community over years.
When first implemented, Nightscout was a solution specifically for remote monitoring of Dexcom G4 CGM data. Today, there are Nightscout solutions available for nearly all commercial CGM sensors. The goal of the project is to allow the remote monitoring, sharing and analysis of any T1D's glucose levels using existing monitoring devices.
What are the values of Nightscout⌁
We are compelled in the pursuit of humane and equitable application of technology to liberating people from the burden of diabetes. We are not waiting to deliver the benefits we've found in sharing all diabetes experiences. Nightscout is free to contribute, free to access, free to criticize, free to try, free to depend on, free to modify, and free to distribute. The Nightscout community demands respect and dignity for all community members. The reputation of the Nightscout community is affected by the quality of the source code, the quality of our relationships, the quality of our discussions, what we are known for doing: the way we treat each other. Users of Nightscout are impacted by reliability, security and confidentiality of Nightscout. Therefore, the developers and contributors of Nightscout strive to improve the quality of Nightscout while making these opportunities accessible to all.
Nightscout's longevity, the application, the ecosystem, and the culture demand we use all tools at our disposable to achieve the values in a sustainable way. We are not waiting to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of people affected by the inhumane demands of diabetes. Our active collaboration against the burden of diabetes creates the results we desire.
What Do I Need?⌁
You really don't need too much to get Nightscout up and running but let's start with the basics.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then let's begin.
You will need:
A CGM sensor: Dexcom, Medtronic, Libre (plus an additional transmitter) or Eversense
A way to upload your data, to be stored in Nightscout (this is generally an internet-connected mobile phone with a matching uploader app)
A few hours of "quiet" time (a
beernice cup of coffee is optional but highly recommended)
Basic computer skills and the ability to carefully follow the installation guides shown on this site
"Carefully" means that you will thoroughly read, follow and complete each step without skipping any and without giving up thinking that it is too difficult - it isn't, you just need to be patient.
Before using Nightscout, it is important to understand that this project:
- is an open-source, community-based project and is not supported by any company
- is not officially approved or regulated for diabetes therapy and/or treatment in any way
You must understand that you take full responsibility for building and running this system and you agree to do so at your own risk.
- This project requires a working internet connection and availability of third-party cloud services
- Do not rely only on Nightscout as the only way you have of knowing your blood glucose values and trends
- Make sure you're ready to cope with an unexpected failure and always have alternative ways to check your blood glucose levels
How Much Does It Cost?⌁
There's no simple answer to this. You basically have two options:
- DIY Use instructions on this website or your computing skills to create your own installation. Depending on your skill and choice of platform, this can take anywhere from minutes to tens of hours to accomplish. Additionally, you will need to maintain this installation yourself, further adding to the effort. Having said that, there are cloud providers that offer the needed hosting services for free, so your monthly hosting cost can be free - $0 with this option. Historically vast majority of Nightscout users have opted for this choice. Of note, with this option you are the person responsible for ensuring the service is up when you need it. The community aims to support people who choose this option, but this is entirely driven by a voluteer effort and support might not be available when you need it. Additionally, it's important to understand that if you're using a free tier of a hosting service to run Nightscout, your hosting costs are being paid by the hosting provider you're using.
- Use a service You can use a hosting provider that does all of this work for you in exchange for a small monthly fee set at a level that mostly just covers the cost of operations to provide this service. There are currently two options available for this (NS10BE and T1Pal), both of which are from active Nightscout community members. If you're a non-technical person, this is a great choice.
The Nightscout development community actively supports both of these choices.
Build your own Nightscout DIY site⌁
Interested in building a Nightscout DIY site? You'll find instructions here.
Note: DIY users of Nightscout has been historically using a service called Heroku to host their sites. Heroku is in process of removing their free hosting tier altogehter. At the time of writing, there are no easy to follow instructions available for non-technical users on how to host Nightscout for free. If you have the time to author instructions for this purpose, new documentation pull requests are extremely welcome at https://github.com/nightscout/nightscout.github.io.
Nightscout as a Service⌁
If you want to save time and avoid the need to maintain a DIY solution, you have two service providers of choice.
T1Pal directly supports the sustainability of the Nightscout Project. The monthly subscription for T1Pal is $11.99 USD/month.
The T1Pal hosting service has been developed by Ben West, a member of the original CGM in the Cloud team and an original lead core developer for the Nightscout Project. Database and server administration is automated and managed automatically as part of the service. Contact T1Pal support to request specific features or versions.
If you need help with T1Pal, please file a support ticket by emailing support at t1pal.com, or select "Get Support" from My Account.
ns.10BE.de was started in Nov 2017 and offers full managed Nightscout Services. You can create Nightscout with a few clicks and won't have to worry about maintenance, updates, database space and CPU limits. A backup of your database and settings is performed every 6-8 hours. You can import data from your old Nightscout instance or MongoDB database, also upload data (Freestyle, Dexcom, Omnipod, ...) via CSV files. The servers are located in different fail-safe data centers in Germany, Finland or France (can be selected) . They are monitored by uptimerobot and own Slackbot. When a server goes down, it restarts itself and sends a twitter message.
A Nightscout Instance at NS10BE costs €4.99/month, with discounts when increasing subscription duration.
To see more about NS10 features and costs, take a look at the features page. The registration is free.
Who Can Help Me?⌁
You will find many willing and open-hearted people in the Facebook groups.
The main group for all Nightscout support is the "CGM in the Cloud" Facebook group.
There are also many local Nightscout communities and you'll probably be able to find one in your own country and language if this helps.
This project is often considered "Do It Yourself" (DIY) and supported by volunteers. Whilst you will almost certainly always will find someone ready to help you for free, building your own Nightscout site doesn't entitle you to any form of support from anybody.
The open-source diabetes movement is founded on the idea of paying it forward and helping others to learn things that others took their time to help teach you about.
Ask nicely, and nice people will always do nice things and help you.
Nightscout developers are busy people and we'd like them to concentrate on maintaining and improving Nightscout, not only supporting users. (This means do not send them private messages or friend requests just to help fix something that is already clearly documented or for help that can be easily requested in the CGM in the Cloud group)
You'll find a lot of useful and friendly diabetes-oriented groups on Facebook and it's probably the best place to find online support. Some people express concerns about using Facebook: if you're worried about your privacy just remember Facebook will only share the information that you allow it to share.
How to Use These Docs⌁
Use the navigation menu at the top of the screen to find the section that you are looking for.
A Table of Contents for the current page is always displayed on the left side of the screen.
You can search the Nightscout Docs site by clicking the Search icon at the top of every page:
How Can I Help?⌁
You'll find the source repository for this documentation here. Please don't hesitate to improve or correct anything you see and create a pull request!
You're also welcome to contribute or report any error, unclear explanation, typo, broken link etc. by going to GitHub and opening an issue.
Finally, to help on the development of Nightscout itself, feel free to join in at our Discord Channel.