What do you expect from your Diabetes Software

I am a recently diagnosed type I diabetic and a software engineer by profession. When it came to recording your blood sugar values and keeping a maintainable logbook, I started looking for some good Diabetes Management Software. After spending some time on that, I couldn’t find a really easy to use system. So, I decided to write a piece of software tailored to my custom needs. While I was at it, I started wondering what all a diabetes management system should do. I thought, the best way to figure that out is to ask people who have been using these systems for longer than me. So, I would like to ask you guys a few questions. Here they are:

  1. What software do you use?
  2. What do you think is missing from the sofware? What more would you want your software to do?
  3. What is the most annoying thing that your software does and how would you like it to be?

I wrote about some of my dreams for software here:

http://ydmv.blogspot.com/2007/08/and-i-would-like-side-order-of-hol…

That and I would really like to see an industry standard data set. Our data needs to be our data. Our pumps, meteres and CGM need to speak one language so we can make heads and tails out of our data so we can make choices for our health. Our toys need to play nice. Fat chance.

I would like to be able to put a flag in that database that says. Oh crap something went wrong don’t use the data around this point in time. Say a set failed, you ran a marathon or an evil giant pizza attacked. You would want to exclude that data set from say those you use to define new basal rates. Seems like a simple idea. Haven’t seen it yet.

  1. I have used Carelink (Medtronic Minimed’s software) and now am playing with CoPilot (Abbott’s) as I’m considering getting a Cozmo.
  2. Carelink is nice because it’s web-based and therefore universally accessible, but its features are not as good as CoPilot’s.
  3. The graphs are good (pie graphs, bar graphs, and line graphs are all a must), but the input methods are what I see as the problem. Many of the pumps and meters are pretty proprietary, so any great software is still going to rely on manual input. Anything that would make manual input go faster (such as automatically moving to the next field after an input) would be really helpful.

I use two pieces of software:
Omnipod Path finder software for my pump it is terrible and has the worst UI ever
data is limited to how much it can download at a time 4 days worth of data.
it is a locked excel spreadsheet very remedial stuff. can’t see any trends with such a short period of time to analyze.

I also use the dexcom 7 CGM software. I love the software.
I wish that I could save the data to my HD in some form other that TXT or Tab delineated format .
other than that it is what software should be.

Hi Ashish -

What I have been searching for (I’ve started a separate discussion in the Recipes and Eating Forum) is a piece of software in which I can enter my recipes, do meal planning (including snacks), and generate a shopping list based on the meal plans.

This would be especially helpful in gathering all my low carb recipes (collected from many different sources) in one place.

Let me know if you run across something like this - or if you want to work on this.

Cheri

Hi Ashish,
I found an open-source software called GGC - GNU Gluco Control. Haven’t used it much but they are looking for suggestion and such. Might want to check out.

Glad you’re looking into this! I’m sorry to say I will never succeed at consistent manual logging but I do want to keep track of my data. Creating a piece of software with simple, reasonable display graphs that could download from any and all available meters and work on both Windows and Mac would be a great blessing. SweetSpot has been great, simple to use and Mac-friendly, though not everyone can afford a monthly user fee.

  1. I use EZ Manager Max that came with my Animas Pump.

  2. I want my software to be able to fine tune my pump settings for me. With my pump, I enter the carbs I eat, and it calculates my insulin does based off of my insulin sensitivity factor, my carb ratio, and my correction factor. Then I take a reading two hours later to see how it did. Assuming my carb counting is accurate, and given enough data it should be able to recommend changes to the above calculations. The use of a continuous blood glucose monitoring system would be ideal, as you would have more data to base the calculations on. More data=More accuracy I planned on creating a database to do just that in Microsoft Access, but I can’t get the data out of my meter or pump in a format that is easy to work with. Manual entry in the long run is not an option.

  3. The most annoying thing about EZ Manager Max is that you can’t export data in a usable format as I discussed above.

Software needs to upload data that is already stored on my devices, whether a meter, a pump or a CGM. Any software that requires me to re-enter information that’s already input somewhere else is useless to me.

Software must allow me to easily share my data with my doctor electronically. Preferably web-based so it can be accessed anywhere.

Software should be scaleable so that it runs well with little input from me (see first item) but, if I choose, can accept additional data if I choose, such as types of insulin, volumes of food, types and degree of exercise.

Software should be portable - either web based or able to synchronize with a hand held device.

I use Carelink (web based program) for most of my reporting and the Dexcom software for my CGM data.

Terry

I am the founder and developer of Glucosurfer.org and of course I love to use it. The software has its own advantages and characteristics. It does not aim to fullfill all possible needs. I think this is really important for software: to have a very unique approach. This way people have more choice in the field of diabetes management software. The competition between the different approaches will lead to better solutions.

Ashish:
You raise an excellent question. I am profoundly impressed with Dexcom Seven Plus new software package. My experience is that only with a GCM system is it possible to get enough data to make meaningful analyses. With some 280-plus measurements each day the inaccuracies of CGM systems are minimized for statistical purposes, and the new software package makes it easy to analyze key success metrics, glucose trends, examine the modal day, check glucose distribution and monitor daily statstics, including lows, highs, averages, the standard deviation and the relatinship between the SD and average glucose values on a given day. There is also a facility for entering events, such as exercise, carb intake, and insulin dosages to further help manage the disease. CGM systems are still about only as accurate as glucometers, but the frequency of measurements is a mitigating factor. I now use my glucomter only to calibrate the CGM system and to check if CGM gives me a reading that is suspicious.
My fervent hope is that CGM systems soon will become so accurate that the plus-minus 20% error rate of glucomteres will force their manufacturers to do something about accuracy.

Portability and data ownership are very important.

Portable means I can move the data to what ever software tool works for our needs. Diabetes varies and so as a result will our responses. Our tools should allow us to move. This is the exact opposite of what the business model of a strip manufacturer is. They wnat us to use the same old stuff so they can drive down production cost and enlarge margins. Soft ware to them is a sideline at best. To us it is potentially a significant tool for our health.

Ownership means it is ours. We can take it when and if we choose. If it is in a cloud application that is run by XYZ large Parma we can take it out easily.

To be portable allows for the use of ownership. To do that we need standards. One possible source of those standards maybe the Continua Health Alliance. I wrote about it here: http://www.ydmv.net/2009/06/continua-health-alliance.html

I don’t see a means for us as patients / users to have a voice in those standards and that worries me. Diabetes care is more than the management of the numbers produced by any one gadget. What we eat, when we work out, stress and sometimes even the weather seems impact diabetes. Our tools should help us with all that not just unrelated pieces of it.

I agree with Olaf that CGM is the next step to better management. That only CGM creates enough data to make statistical sense out of what is going on. So CGM data needs to be part of any platform.

What do they charge? I looked them up and there is no pricing unless you sign up for one month trial - that always drives me crazy.

Cheri: There is a pretty good software package called Living Cookbook by Radium Technologies. It has taken some getting used to, but I like it a lot. It lets you create shopping lists. It also calculates the nutritional values of every recipe you enter, and presents them formatted exactly like the standard nutritional table on commercial food packages. (It has a link to the USDA data base where the nutritional value of ingredients are stored.) I have used it for several years and am now in the process of completing the third edition of my “Favorite Things” collection of recipes I like. I don’t remember but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a trial offer available from Radium. Don’t get frustrated – as I said it takes some getting used to, but I have found it valuable. I haven’t done this before but I am going to try to attach a file to this response so you can see what the recipes look like.
8535-Gazpacho.docx (13.1 KB)

try diabetes logbook x. it is a mac only program, and i think it gives an awful lot of info. it is the only one i have used, so i have no comparisons, and its free

i use the omnipod, and i have a power pc mac. the software is out for me. the pdm can not talk to a mac, and from what i have heard about it, i am not missing anything. i think that a package that works on osx, linux & windows (and i would not discount what ever this new google os i s going to be) is a necessity. it blew my mind when omnipod had a contest a while back, the prize was a mac book… ah well. i see things about the proprietary nature of all of these different pumps meters and cgms… are they not allowing access to the codes? i use vlc for video, and that thing will play almost any codec i come across, is there no way to do that in this sort of application?

I Met these guys at CWD’s FFL and am going to set up one of the kids to see if it will help with the school nurse seeing and sharing info

https://www.mycareconnect.com/default.aspx

I am an iPhone user and I use two different apps to track everything as I don’t always have my laptop with me and I always have my phone with me. I use an app to determine the carb count of the food I eat and to log it, then I go into my diabetes app and put in the carbs and log my bs and my insulin. It’s a pain to have it in two separate programs but thus far it’s working. It would be nice to have a single program that allows me to put in what I ate, my ratio, and my bs and then spits out what I need to take. Any other iphone users out there that know if a better app?

Elizabeth

Let me know how it goes. Don’t forget to set up your e-mail and/or text address so that when any data is entered you get notified as well. Also, if there is a computer in the classroom, be sure to set up mycareconnect.com as a favorite, set up the school teacher to have access and your kid can just log the info in the classroom (not have to go down to the nurse everytime).
If you have any questions or your nurse needs assistance call us at (302) 4OURKIDS (new number).