Yes, it’s true. I don’t download data from my CGM, pump and meter. And yet, I always include the ability to download my data as one of the important features I want in my devices. So, what’s that all about?
According to a survey, presented to a joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrinology Society last summer, almost 70% of adults with Type 1 diabetes never use their blood glucose self-monitoring devices or insulin pumps to download historical data about their blood sugar levels and insulin doses. Indeed, only 12% of patients regularly review their past glucose and insulin pump data at home.
According to Jenise Wong, the principal investigator and adjunct professor of pediatrics at UCSF, “Future studies are needed to understand why people with Type 1 diabetes rarely look at past data from their blood-glucose monitoring devices.” She speculated that “patients might find it too technically complicated to download and review the data, or they might not find the data helpful or may not understand how to use the past data to help them manage their diabetes in the future. (http://tinyurl.com/ovnmk2n)
Well YES, it is complicated … figuring out the cable, the software, sometimes needing a IR port and a dongle (I learned that word!) and taking a long time as the data was transferred.
And then, I can look at only reports from one device at a time. To be truly useful, I need to see my CGM data but also the meter calibrations, my carb intake, my boluses, my basal rates and other events such as exercise or stress.
But all that is changing!
Glooko, an app that runs on Android and iOS mobile devices, allows you to sync data from your BG, CGM, insulin pumps and fitness trackers (from most devices) via Bluetooth, add your foods from a database of pre-loaded foods, display and share your data with your healthcare providers.
Looks like the most complete tool available these days … at a price: $59.95/year. BUT, all your data is there, at your convenience. (www.glooko.com)
Tidepool is developing another app called Blip, which is currently in development. As they describe it, “Meet Blip, the hub for your diabetes data, where everything shows up, where all of the insulin pumps, monitors, tests, meals, exercise, sleep start to make sense. It’s simple. It’s visual. It makes it easier to get data from your devices, even if they are from different manufacturers, and makes that data usable.”
Behind Blip, comes Nutshell, which “takes the guesswork out of diabetes by showing you exactly what happened last time. See how your body reacts to different foods and avoid making the same mistakes.” And finally, Tidepool is working on Sonar, a “decision support” tool that collects your data from any diabetes device and analyzes what’s working and what could use some adjustment. (www.tidepool.org)
Well Joanne, this blog is very timely for me as I sit here frustrated to the point of tears, tangled in my dongle and facing download error messages that don’t make sense! Yeah, my own fault for waiting until 7PM the night before an 8AM endo apt to download my pump data, but it shouldn’t be this hard! Murphy’s law – if I remember to download my data when no dr apt is coming up, it’s all fine and dandy, but when I try to do it last minute it never works. With everything else we T1D’s have to do in our lives, and just trying to live life in general, sitting down for an hour to download our info (or wait for tech support to respond) just doesn’t seem worth the hassle!