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My Diabetes App Wishlist.

After a long day of diabetes rule-following and making an attempt to log all of my actions [insert laugh track here], I started drumming up another diabetes application wishlist.  Because I’m beyond tired of having five different devices that speak entirely different languages/require different charging cords/can’t work on the operating system I use/hate the idea of integration.

I’m in wicked curmudgeon mode today.  But stay on my lawn for a few more minutes, because I have a list, a la Veruca Salt.

I want a diabetes application:

    • … that auto-magically siphons the results from my glucose meter and logs them in a lovely, color-coded graph and logbook on my phone and on my computer.
    • Yes, I want my data on my phone and my computer, because while my phone is with me constantly and is good for everyday spot-checking, I like having the bulk of my data stored on my computer so I can see a week at a glance, a month at a glance, and a clue as to what my A1C might be at a glance.
    • I want to be able to email all of this data as a PDF (because Excel and I have a less than harmonious relationship) to my healthcare professional and whoever else I choose.  Or I can print it and put it into a blood sugar binder that I do not currently have but would have if my logbooks were this easy to compile.
    • And then, the data from my pump should just as easily be pulled off and graphed neatly alongside the data of my glucose meter.  Insulin doses plotted alongside blood sugar checks, with the option to add a smiley face when I fucking well feel like it because some days deserve a big, fat smiley face.
    • (Frowny faces and other emoticons would be a nice bonus, to add in accordance with my whims, as emoticons are sometimes the only recourse I have against a day that’s been truly and mind-bogglingly ridiculous in those ways only diabetes can be.)
    • It should go without saying, but I’ll say it:  the data from my Dexcom should follow the same sharing and integration platform, living in logbook and pie chart harmony with my glucose meter and insulin pump.  And all of that data should be visible on all operating systems EVEN A MAC HOW ‘BOUT THAT?!
    • I want to be able to look at this data in several different ways: at-a-glance, where I can see how my day is going (similar to the One Touch Reveal app); how a week looks, where I can see data broken into high-level pie charts, detailed logbooks, and a bunch of in-between options; and what I’d call an A1C level-glance, which would give me data (detailed and high-level) about how all of my numbers have tracked over the course of three months.
    • All of this data should move from my devices to the application without needing to cobble together proprietary cables.  Bluetooth is fine.  Cloud is fine.  Bluetooth cloud with a side of hazelnut iced coffee would be ideal.
    • Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if the application also synced up with my FitBit (or Shine or whatever other fitness tracker is the thing in use these days) so that I could see how exercise plots against blood sugar checks or insulin doses?  Yes, yes it would.
    • Another excellent detail would be if the application, upon access the diabetes devices, would confirm that each device is synced up with the right time zone.  So when I travel and the clock on my phone is updated, so are my devices.
    • And lastly, NO DONGLES.  I can’t handle that word. It’s too silly.

I know this kind of application isn’t flashy enough, and doesn’t benefit each respective company enough to actually work together and create something cohesive and workable, with an easy data flow and an even easier user interface, but whatever.  A girl can dream, right?

29 Comments Post a comment
  1. Speaking as an app developer…

    What is the utility, to you, of having BOTH meter and dexcom results in the same place? From a technical place it’s doable. But I suspect the number of Dexcom data points would DWARF the number of meter data points. I could see a report that measures overall Dex accuracy. But what would you imagine?

    03/25/14; 10:18 am
    • I like seeing that my meter results are in line with my CGM readings, and vice versa. Gives me confidence in the integrity of the sensor. That, and my endo wants to see meter results, so when I send her the (fictional, once-this-app-exists) data, she has a global view including the data most important to her.

      03/25/14; 10:42 am
  2. Katie S. #

    Although it’s not an app that integrates with your phone, Minimed’s Carelink software does the majority of what you’re asking for here. Meter, pump, and CGM data all in one place that can be viewed in various time chunks and formats, emailed as a PDF, etc. Also, no cords–just the USB Key that pulls it all to your computer.

    I know you’re a former Minimed user and are probably familiar with their system. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely helpful!

    03/25/14; 11:05 am
    • I’ve heard excellent things about Carelink, but I have absolutely no intention of giving up my Dexcom, so I’m left with wishing there was an application that was brand agnostic. 🙂

      03/25/14; 11:08 am
      • Yes since tho sis a fantasy the app should deb non aligned, agnostic. You Diabetes May Vary and so You Devices May Vary and a app should, at a minimum, adapt to that aspect of real life.

        03/25/14; 11:22 am
      • The problem with Carelink right now, also, is that you need a five year old computer to use it. It hasn’t been approved by the FDA for usage with a modern OS and browser.

        (OK, maybe “five” is an exaggeration, but if you’re on the latest Safari browser and OS X Maverick, you’re out of luck.)

        03/25/14; 11:32 am
  3. Yes, Please. All of that.
    And some intelligence, artificial or otherwise.

    I wanted to call this mythical app a Diabetes User Interface.
    Apparently however DUI was taken.

    My 2¢ on the topic here: http://www.ydmv.net/2012/01/of-fantasy-diabetes-devices-sheldon.html

    03/25/14; 11:15 am
  4. Can I also ask that my data (including drugs & doses, emergency contacts, age, etc.) be stored on an open platform, accessible by me via a password (’cause it’s MY data), and shareable with any medical professional when it’s needed? And able to integrate with their system(s) when needed? And able to be accessed by my phone, when needed in an emergency?

    These are simple things. Whoever solves them all first will win. Please, somebody win.

    03/25/14; 1:07 pm
  5. Karen P #

    I’ve been thrilled with the way my Tandem integrates with several BG meters that are on the market so all the results end up on one page that I can save and email to my doc. No more manually recording results. Everything syncs into the tconnect app. My endo looks at the Dexcom reports separately. Not perfect but progress after years of writing things down or putting them in Excel.

    03/25/14; 1:27 pm
  6. Angie #

    Yes please!

    However, I wanted to add that I think Diasend can do some of this – with the Animas Vibe pump and Dexcom sensors I can see pump, meter and CGM data all together, can print off pdfs to send, and works on both mac and windows. Hopefully it’ll be available in the US sometime soon!

    (though I still want something I can see on my phone and computer – and I want something I can add notes to!)

    03/25/14; 5:42 pm
    • I can’t see my CGM screen on Diasend. And I wait (impatiently) for the Vibe.

      03/25/14; 6:57 pm
      • Laura #

        I was just going to suggest Diasend as well. I started on the Vibe less than a week ago, and tried uploading all the data on the weekend — meter, pump, CGM — and (to my happy surprise) it worked! That’s strange that Diasend will upload the Dexcom data from the Vibe, but not from your separate Dexcom receiver. I would have assumed it would be the same. (Fingers crossed for the Vibe coming to the U.S. soon.)

        Having said all that, my one issue with Diasend is that it highlights ALL results over 10mmol/L in RED (aka: Warning! Warning! High!), even if it’s a post-meal reading and I think a 10.1 is a pretty decent result. I wish there was some way to change this.

        03/25/14; 10:35 pm
  7. Our endo can now download our Dexcom data at her office. The other sources of data (pump, dongle/meter, too few data points/papers, messy) have been left in the dust. If not *every* important data bit can be in one place (as in your dream app), whichever source has the prettiest/easiest to download/upload display (currently Dexcom, at our Endo’s office anyway) (we use Macs and are in the dark) will be the *only* thing the people of the (near) future will bother with. Right? We *totally* need the Kerri app.

    I also can’t wait for the vibe.
    <3,
    Beevis

    03/26/14; 12:13 am
  8. I love your fantasy app! I can’t believe it’s taking this long, for something that could make such HUGE improvements in our long and short-term health – our physical, emotional and mental well being!

    The Kerri App – please!

    Lucia

    03/26/14; 2:04 am
  9. Thank you so much Kerri! Like gasoline on a flame hehe

    Oh and we’re working on it 🙂

    03/26/14; 4:00 am
  10. Dalton #

    Technology is changing the world of diabetes. What the pump companies are coming up with is truly amazing. I am currently doing a artificial pancreas study with UVA. The study is using a Medtronic pump with a new enlite 2 sensor ( not on the market ) and a cell phone that works like a computer. Your glucose reading from your sensor is transmitted to this cell phone which is the computer and that determines how much insulin you need and that message is sent to the pump. So if he eat your glucose goes up and the messages is sent to the pump and gives you more insulin. When your glucose levels drop so does the amount of insulin you receive. The only time you fingerstick is to calibrate your sensor. This technology is really going to change the life of diabetics.

    03/26/14; 10:36 am
  11. Dan #

    Hi Kerri,
    I so agree with how you have expressed this matter. I realize that Excel may not be your favorite, however, it does have some powerful functions to deal with the volume of data and information. What I am suggesting and have written the FDA members who attended the 2013 DiabetesMine Summit at Stanford is this: 1. The data contained within each and every piece of diabetic equipment is “our data”. The ability must be a criteria to download the equipment information to a program, such as Excel. Meaning, download my bg meter to excel, my pump data to excel, and my cgm data to excel. When data come together, the ability exists to begin to do data mining for certain factors.
    My point is start with the equipment and require the ability to get our data! Thanks and as always have a great day. PS I have a link to a youtube, just drop me a line.
    Dan

    03/26/14; 10:54 am
    • As someone who has struggled with making Excel do what I want it to in the past, but recognizes it’s value… I would love to be able to use Excel with my health information but even a little “cheat sheet” of instructions on how to do some of the basics with your data in Excel might be helpful!

      03/26/14; 2:32 pm
  12. Scott #

    Hi Kerri,

    I agree and also would like it to go way beyond what you imagine. I want my exercise data to be apart of this as well. I want my heart rate monitor, distance, speed, effort, food intake everything to work together. As a former captain with Insulindependence I am sure there are a lot of diabetics out there that would love this kind of information while exercising and training for marathons, ultras, ironman’s, etc. Let’s not stop with what we have in terms of diabetic electronic devices (I use dexcom and tslim) but really capture all variables in our daily lives. It would be awesome to some day go for a run or bike ride with a computer and heart rate monitor and have an app that is receiving this info plus your cgm reading and have your pump info as well. Just a thought:)

    03/26/14; 2:21 pm
  13. I totally agree on all points, including the fitness tracker integration. If my teeny tiny fitbit can chat with my phone via bluetooth and figure out when I’m awake at night my d-devices should be able to as well! I feel like the technology and programming know-how is definitely out there. Overcoming the roadblocks is the problem.

    Also, I love this: “because some days deserve a big, fat smiley face.”

    03/26/14; 2:21 pm
  14. Andy #

    AMEN!!!!! Completely agree!

    03/26/14; 3:34 pm
  15. Mike #

    Totally agree — we need an app like this.

    Two points — 1) isn’t Tidepool already working on this?
    2) If you need Windows programs/apps in Mac, you can use a program like Wine (winehq.org) to run those programs, or VirtualBox to run Windows for you.

    Great post, and hope we get something like this soon!

    03/28/14; 3:10 pm
  16. I’d settle for my CGM data back in Diasend!!!!

    ARGH!!!!

    03/30/14; 10:51 pm
  17. Great wish list, Kerri. Thanks for putting this out there!

    03/31/14; 2:16 am
  18. Ken Rogers #

    Hi Kerri,
    Linux user here. I feel your pain.
    I am switching back to a Medtronics CGM from the Dexcomm G7. I upgraded to a Minimed 530 with Enlite.
    I never got the Dexcomm software to work in Linux or even in a VM. I had to borrow my girlfriends computer to upload, which means I almost never uploaded. I would only see reports when visiting my endo.
    The Dexcomm was very accurate and I have been happy with it. The reason I switched back to Medtronics was the improved accuracy of the Enlite and reports that I can generate to a website, not a software app.
    I use a Virtualbox VM and run a copy of Windows as guest. The Carelink device is a pain to set up, but works fine.

    09/21/15; 9:58 am
  19. Ryan #

    Love the concept and found the page searching for the same thing. Glooko has an app that will communicate with several meter brands and fitness trackers then puts it all together to useful data that can be shared. I haven’t jump on board to try it, but it looks like the magical mystery app we are both dreaming of.

    02/23/16; 4:56 pm

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