I’ve been procrastinating and putting off blogging for more than a month now, without any really good reason. To add some oomph with much-needed motivation to get me over the nonblogging hump, I checked out the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA) Blog Carnival prompt for July: (Thanks, Karen at Bitter~Sweet Diabetes, for the reminder! It WAS hot-but not melted!)
What improvements or adjustments would you make to current [diabetes] technology?”
Some context: I currently am privileged to be able to own and use an insulin pump with blood glucose meter/remote (Animas One Touch Ping), and a Dexcom 7plus CGM (continuous glucose monitor). I’ve been using those 3 major d-gadgets for about a year. Before that, I was a Minimed pumper since 1994, and a One Touch meter girl since waaaaay before then. I demo’d the Minimed Revel along with the Ping before deciding which systems to
purchase convince/beg my third-party administrator to approve for coverage last summer. I tote around a CalorieKing 2011 book even though I also have the CalorieKing website bookmarked on every web gadget I own.
After all that prelude, here’s my wish list for diabetes technology:
1. Artificial pancreas/closed-loop system. Yes, please! I understand, we’ve got a while more to wait for this one. In the meantime…
2. If they are separate gadgets, then insulin pumps, BG meters, and CGMs should be on speaking terms with each other, and they should all speak and understand the same language. They should work TOGETHER, since they are all part of the same system. The one I use to manage my d-life.
3. Excellent, easy-to-use, data management systems. The “systems” associated with all 3 of the devices I currently use are, to put it really bluntly, crappy. Three different kinds of crappy. How the companies manage to develop such yuck is beyond my comprehension. They’re not user-friendly. They don’t use the same standards. And of course, they don’t look the same once the 3 different data sources are downloaded. See next point for more on this craziness.
3.5 The absolutely separate and specific INANE requirements for downloading the data (“dongle,” anyone? really?!!). Claire’s hilarious and unfortunately accurate post covers the intricacies better than my exasperated eye rolls can hope to convey. All I have to say is: Wireless. Seriously.
4. In this time of All-Apps, All The Time, I wish for an app that would suck the data from the 1 insulin pump/BG meter/CGM system and display the most useful, most important data that I need to make my daily–sometimes moment-by-moment–life D-decisions. I wish that app could be accessed from any device, Apple, Android, whatever. And I wish that it wouldn’t just do a big ol’ data dump with a bunch of averages. Some data points are most useful and helpful, and I shouldn’t have to dredge and yank them out myself.
5. The BG meter/remote should be able to operate all of the insulin pump functions. For example: I should be able to track my history for boluses, total daily dose, basals, primes; review and edit my basal rates; and set temporary basal rates. It’s crazy to currently be able to see so many different functions on the meter/remote, but not the same functions I need to work the pump. Especially with the following problem I’ve experienced a lot lately:
5. With its reverse type (white on black background), the Ping pump screen is completely unreadable in the light of day. I went camping last weekend, and couldn’t see to give a bolus directly on the pump when outside (most of the day, when one is camping) or to set a temp basal (important for me when hiking, in hot sunlight, in the afternoon). Luckily, I had the meter/remote nearby, so I could at least do the bolus, but not the temp basal. Major drawback! No device screens should use reverse type.
6. The carb counting food list integrated into the system needs to include every product available at any Trader Joe’s.
7. Glitter. Rainbows. Unicorns. Cupcakes with sprinkles. Medtronic has a good start here, but that’s just a start. The possibilities…necessities really.
8. My top wish/priority for diabetes technology: Affordability. Availability. Access. Worldwide.
This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/july-dsma-blog-carnival/