By: John Hughes
Most of the products reviewed in thiscolumn over the past few months havecome from glucose meter and insulin pumpmanufacturers and independent softwarecompanies. This month, we will take a lookat an offering from one of the major insulinmanufacturers: DiabetesWatch, a Web-basedproduct from Aventis Pharmaceuticals.
The DiabetesWatch Web site is organizedaccording to several areas of interest:Wellness Tools, Self-Care Journal andResource Center.
Submit Questions, Share Information
“Wellness Tools” allows you to submitquestions to diabetes specialists, store yourfavorite DiabetesWatch articles in your ownlibrary and build your own cookbook. Inaddition, you can share information andpersonal stories with other members of theDiabetesWatch community through chatrooms, discussion groups and e-mail.
The “Resource Center” offers several areas pertaining to diabetes education andinformation. There are links to diabetesarticles on fitness, diet and nutrition andmany other topics. One area called All AboutDiabetes answers questions like “What isdiabetes?” and discusses managing bloodglucose, short- and long-term complications,taking sick days from work and livingwith diabetes. It also has a section withquestions to ask your healthcare providerand printable charts for keeping track ofdiabetes data. You can sign up for a monthlynewsletter and get recipes, too. For peopleon Medicare, there is a link to an area wherethey can sign up for a prescription drug card.
I particularly liked the link to “Myths andFacts” about diabetes. I’d like some of myknow-it-all family and friends to read thissection!
Personalized Journal Helps You KeepTrack of Data
I spent most of my time in the “Self-CareJournal” area. This is a personalized journalthat can help you keep track of your diabetesinformation. You can record your daily bloodglucose levels, A1C values and other detailssuch as healthcare appointments and exerciseroutines. You can even assess your daily dietwith the diet calculator. The journal keepstrack of the following data: A1C, blood glucose,blood pressure, body weight, diet, doctorvisits, exercise, insulin usage, ketones andmedications. It also includes a reminder feature.
When you first register to use DiabetesWatch,you have to fill out a form with informationabout yourself and your diabetes. DiabetesWatch lets you revise this information at anytime. You may change general settings, suchas what time zone you reside in, or you canchange your password or your personal profiledata in the “More Options” area.
If you prefer a program that runs locally onyour computer, you can download the DiabetesToolbox software free of charge. The DiabetesToolbox lets you choose the features you wantwhen you download it. You can select featuresthat track A1C, blood glucose and diet, andthere’s also a refill-reminder option.
We have covered only the highlights ofDiabetesWatch in this article. For more information, please visit www.diabeteswatch.com.
Will DiabetesWatch run on a Macintoshpersonal computer?
Yes; the program requires only a Webbrowser. I personally ran it on Windows andLinux.
Will DiabetesWatch download data frommy blood glucose meter?
Is there any help available?
Yes. There is an area called More Optionsthat gives you access to the help system.
If my computer crashes, will I loseall of my recorded information?
No. The information you have recordedwill not be lost. DiabetesWatch is aWeb-based program; your information isstored securely on an Internet server andnot locally on your computer.