I don’t use software to log or track, just pen and paper. The stuff I’ve seen in the past required an expensive cable for my meter and didn’t seem to give me much more information than I get using my brain and a pencil. I use LifeForm to calculate the exact amount of carbs and calories in what i eat, when I’m trying to relate insulin to food. I haven’t seen any tracking software that looked like it would be much of an improvement on this approach.
So, if you use tracking software for bg/insulin/food, what do you like about it, and what don’t you like about it. Is it any better than a graphing spreadsheet? (Which is what I periodically come up with off my paper logs).
I’d love to find inexpensive software I could recommend, the way I recommend the LifeForm food logging software. The advantage there was an uncrippled demo, a great product and a very modest registration fee. ($35 when I bought it.)
I use CoPilot which was just released by Abbott. You do need a cable to use it with the Freestyle/Precision Xtra meters, though, and I’m not sure how expensive those are. It can also import readings from some software such as Cozmanager, the software that came with my pump (that has NO graphing or really useful features beyond being able to send settings to the pump).
I LOVE CoPilot. Before I was horrible at logging, having to either write everything down or type it into the computer was just too tedious when I test 10+ times a day and bolus on average 5-6 times a day. Since I got CoPilot I’ve started downloading my readings every few days to reveiw them and it’s made a difference in my control just doing that. I want a cable for my Freestyle meter so that I can download readings from it. It also allows you to store information online so that you can access/update from different computers, but I haven’t explored that yet. I think cables should come with meters nowadays with computers being so common and the software being free, but that probably won’t happen anytime soon.
If they aren’t going to supply cables, how about using standard USB cables, like the ones we use for cameras.
I’m using the Ultra because is is one of the two kinds of meters my insurance pays for at the $25 level rather than $35. The other is accuchek and my miserable experiences with them would be another whole discussion.
Right now I’m just using SugarStats. It has only one kind of graph to look at, but I really like it and I’m hoping that as it grows and it expands I will be able to do more with it. The basic service, which is actually really comprehensive, is free, but I have shelled out the extra $9.95 a month to use the food/activity tool just as an incentive to use the program to track my blood sugars, insulin and activity. Hopefully it will pay off with a lower A1C. I haven’t had it tested in awhile, but I’m sure it’s in the upper 7s, which after having it in the low 7s for 2 years is unacceptable! Wrong direction! LOL. I’m hoping to hit the upper 6s and have it stable there for a bit before trying to lower it again. I’m trying not to be too drastic with anything in the hopes that means it will stick more.
I think the problem is that the actual port on the meter has its own type of connection, so it needs it’s own special cable with USB at one end and whatever kind fits into the meter at the other end. Maybe you can buy similar cables at computer stores, I’m not sure. That would be great if it’s possible!
I’ve got glucofacts pro that downloads from my contour meter. It does some pretty good graphs, but you have to manually enter insulin etc manually. (Not that I take insulin, but if i did, that’d be a big pain). I’ve also figured out how to get the stats out of that and into excel so I can make my own charts.
However, it doesn’t help me personally too much, because there’s no information about what I’ve eaten.
I do keep an online journal where I post what I ate, and what my sugars were before and after. It doesn’t put everything in graph form, but it’s a fast way to keep track more or less of what I’m eating and what it did to my sugars. No measurements in that one, just ‘yogurt + raspberries today at snack, before was this, after was that, difference was xxx.’.
It’d be nice to combine the two, but that constant look up of how many carbs combined with weighing the food - bleh. Too much work for me, and I can never keep it up. Going to try again though, because just the straight meter stats aren’t useful enough - for example, my levels in the last two weeks are the same as the two weeks before. Great, according to the blood results, I’m stable. But they don’t show I’ve cut starches almost completly out of my diet in the last two weeks, so something is going on.
That’s the kind of information I want at my finger tips, but I hate losing more time and effort out of my day to diabetes to get it.
I use Sinovo’s SI Diary. There’s an unsupported version that’s free and they have a number of other versions that are modestly priced (including one that goes on a USB pen-drive for about €25).
The software is pretty easy to use and supports uploads from meters and direct entry. You can input the data directly onto your pc or onto a pda or smartphone and synchronise it.
It’s easy to use and has a helpful “trend of therapy” tab which gives you the trend of your post-prandial levels, estimated HbA1C and standard deviation over a number of time intervals (helpfully illustrated with smilies).