By: John Hughes
If you are like me, you test your blood glucose at least four times per day, and you have been noting your blood glucose readings in a logbook. While this certainly helps to keep track of blood glucose data, I normally look only at how to manage the current reading.
For example, do I need to take extra insulin because I have a high blood glucose? Sometimes I look at an entire day to figure out whether I have managed my diabetes well for that day. However, when I try to look at an entire week or longer, I am quickly overwhelmed and give up.
Software Makes It Easier
But there’s a better way to track and analyze this large amount of data using your personal computer.
Most manufacturers of glucose meters offer data cables that connect the computer to the glucose meter. This allows you to download data from the meter to your computer.
Most companies also offer software to help track and analyze the data you download from your meter. Many let you enter information about your meals, exercise, medications, lab results and more. Most software programs offer many different reports or graphs to help you understand the trends or patterns in your blood glucose. You can often view your data as a logbook, as a trend chart or as a combination of glucose, insulin and other data. These reports and graphs can be viewed on the computer screen, printed, e-mailed and faxed. So sending data to your doctor is now a simple task.
Meter and Pump Companies Are Teaming Up
In an attempt to get as much data as possible, many glucose meter companies are teaming up with insulin pump manufacturers so that the software can also use the data. This increases the amount of data to be analyzed, but with the help of the software, it becomes a more manageable task.
These reports help you and your doctor identify problem areas or trends in the data you have recorded. These trends will help your doctor determine where to make changes in your diabetes regimen to obtain better control.
According to Sara Palladino, a marketing manager at LifeScan, “Using diabetes management software enables the consumer to take a proactive role in their self-care. It allows patients to easily identify glucose patterns and trends to help them better manage their diabetes. Some healthcare professionals do not use diabetes management software; in these cases, the consumer can provide printable reports to their healthcare professionals so that sharing glucose results is easy.”
In short, diabetes management software is a tool that will help you track and analyze your diabetes related data so that you can make changes as needed to try to achieve optimal control over your diabetes. At least that’s how I am using diabetes management software!
See our Software Reference Guide.