By: John Hughes
This month, we take a look at the Medtronic CareLink Therapy Management System for Diabetes. This is an online diabetes management program fromthe folks who make the Medtronic MiniMedinsulin pumps.
To access the CareLink system, go to www.minimed.comand put your cursor over theselection called Products. When the list ofselections appears under Products, chooseTherapy Management Software.
The main screen in CareLink contains fourtabs that organize the available tasks. Thosetasks are Home, Upload, Logbook andReports. The Home tab will return you tothe main screen in CareLink.
CareLink has the ability to upload datafrom either your glucose meter or insulinpump. To start an upload, you need to clickon the tab called Upload. This will take youto an area that will allow you to choose todownload either your glucose meter orinsulin pump. To download data,you will need a Java Plug-in foryour Web browser. If needed,CareLink will install it for you. Youwill also need any data cables orinfrared ports for downloading yourmeter or insulin pump.
The Logbook tab takes you to an area thatlets you record data in your computerizedlogbook. You can record information aboutcarbohydrates, exercise, your A1C test andinfusion-set changes. CareLink will let youattach comments for each entry in thelogbook.
The Reports tab allows you to create andview several types of reports. The QuickView Summary shows graphical summariesfor glucose and insulin along with statisticalinformation and logbook data in tables fora two-week period. The Daily Summaryshows glucose readings, insulin deliveredby the pump, important pump changes andcarbohydrate and exercise entries recordedin the logbook for the day selected. TheTrends Summary shows summaries ofglucose, insulin and carbohydrates by one-,two-, four- or six-day averages. There arealso Modal reports, a report to show allcollected data, a logbook style report and apump settings report.
CareLink offers an impressive online helpsystem. If you click on Help, it takes you tothat area, which is divided into categoriesyou can choose from. Some screens alsocontain a question-mark icon; when youclick on the icon, a quick help window popsup. The help system also gives you access tothe comprehensive 109-page User Guide.
So how much does CareLink cost? That’sthe best part: It’s free! For additionalinformation, go to www.minimed.com, orcall Medtronic MiniMed at (800) 826-2099.
Q. Will CareLink work with insulin pumpsother than the MiniMed?
Q. Do I need a data cable to uploaddata from my glucose meter?
A. Yes. Check with your glucose metermanufacturer to find out how to obtain the cable.
Q. Will CareLink track food intake and provide afood database?
A. No. It allows tracking only of carbohydrates.