Skip to main content

American Diabetes Month 2015: Day 12 - Medical Technology Part 4

Day 12, continuing on the medical technology trend, feel free to read part 1part 2, and part 3 first as part 4 will build off of all of these.  

Part 3 talked about some of the software that's embedded in the medical devices.  Today, I would like to talk about the software that's either installed to interact with those devices.  Getting data off of a device is one of the most important things for me to do.  It's important, because I change my pump settings or dietary choices rather often based on the data that I can get.  In the end, the data that's available simply through my pump or CGM is limited to at most 1 day, and doesn't give much granularity or ability to average data in a consistent way.  The issue with this comes with the fact that as I mentioned on Monday (part 3) these devices usually don't have a standard port for data transfer, like a MicroUSB, MiniUSB, or even something like bluetooth to transfer data.  

My insulin pump uses IR (Infrared) transmission to transfer data from the pump to the computer and communicate a bit from the computer to the pump.  To let you know how archaic this medium seems, it's the same thing that turns your TV on and off, it's the same thing that revolutionized the TV watching experience for the littlest kid in the family as they didn't have to get up to change the channel via a knob.  In the long run, the issue for me was that with my previous insulin pump, the only way for me to get data off of it was to use an archaic system that ran only on Internet Explorer.  With  my new insulin pump, I have to use a software package that is installed on my local windows machine and talks to the API of a third-party company called diasend.  Diasend does a great job of improving the experience, but it still doesn't help to have to use an IR communication device to pull data off of my insulin pump.  The reason why this connection is so important is that there is quite a bit of specialized hardware to get data off of the insulin pump.

In the end, the only solution is to bake more technology into the technology, but there is then a lot of issues with HIPPA and specifically hacking concerns because if there's an open communication interface it's able to be hacked if not properly secured.  Both posts part 3 and today kind of tell you why that's not something that is as easily patched as it is on a cell phone which is always connected to the internet and receiving updated information, it's also not connected to the internet which means it's less likely to be hacked.  What does a hacked insulin pump look like?  I don't think we'll ever find out, because there is a solid reason that these kinds of things remain unconnected from the public internet.  Would I love to be able to get an e-mail to review trends in a semi-realtime stream?  Yes, but I also realize that there are other pieces that need to improve/update first.

Popular posts from this blog

Expect the Unexpected #dblogweek

Today marks the first day of dblogweek for 2017 and today's topic is "Diabetes and the Unexpected" which seems quite apt for this disease in general.
Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random.  What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens?  Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected? 

4,018 days

4,018 days ago, my life was changed forever by a visit to a clinic in order to get a yearly physical. When I went in, I had blood drawn and went back to my day. When I returned home that night, after supper, there was a call from the hospital (not uncommon, my Dad worked there) and I was sent to pack my belongings and go to the ER immediately. I had been diagnosed with diabetes, my blood sugar in the tests (and hence the alarm) was 860 mg/dL and with that, my life has been different every day since.

I've blogged about this in the past: http://blog.daviddellsperger.com/2015/07/9-years-ago.html and http://blog.daviddellsperger.com/2016/06/tinaluminum-diaversary.html. In the end, this year isn't much different, I'm celebrating by baking the Diabetic's worst enemy (Pizza) and going on with the day like normal.  It is especially strange this year, because 4,018 days ago was also a Monday, and I'm not sure, but I think this is the first time since my diagnosis that it ha…

Breaking Down the Cost of Diabetes #dblogweek

Today marks the second day of dblogweek for 2017 and today's topic is "The Cost of a Chronic Illness" which I feel like I've covered before, but it would appear it's only thinking of the cost that I've done, not writing about it.
Insulin and other diabetes medications and supplies can be costly.  Here in the US, insurance status and age (as in Medicare eligibility) can impact both the cost and coverage.  So today, let’s discuss how cost impacts our diabetes care.  Do you have advice to share?  For those outside the US, is cost a concern?  Are there other factors such as accessibility or education that cause barriers to your diabetes care?