Backing up just a little to somewhat more traditional diabetes technology, I’m overdue in introducing two new products showcased at this summer’s AADE conference:
* The OneTouch UltraMini, a variation on LifeScan’s compact-sized Horizon meter (pitcured here), which is available only overseas. It’s cute, ay? The motto on the new UltraMini model is “no bells, no whistles, no complicated screens… testing made small and simple.” Its memory saves only your last 50 glucose readings (hence the super-compact size, I suppose). Looks like a great option if you’re looking for less: weight and features to fuss with.
(Oh, and the Mini model thankfully uses the standard OneTouch line test strips, so switching should be painless for existing LifeScan customers. Hooray for companies that “get it” about test strip compatibility!)
* The Virtual Tracker from HMD BioMedical, on the other hand, is for those looking for more — a lot more. It’s a complete system including a glucose meter (GlucoLab brand) and a “cradle” port for loading the stored readings and sending them over the Internet to a database that can be viewed by you, and your doctor/educator or anyone with authorization from anywhere in the world. The goal naturally being that your doctor, educator, etc. can analyze the data to help you optimize your glucose control.
Sounds like a nifty way to make sure that all those glucose readings we take actually make it to our healthcare team. But (big “BUT”) this hails back to the reimbursement issue discussed here recently with regards to CGM: will insurers pay for professionals’ time in poring over all this data? Plus, we all know that “glucose readings alone are only part of the picture.”
Me personally, I’m a more-data kinda patient, as you know from my championing of emerging continuous monitoring technology. But here’s some food for thought: the local university diabetes center that helped put me on the CGM had a “policy” against “external software” that prohibited them from loading any DexCom software on their computers. Now how the heck is the CGM data supposed to help me if my endo’s not even allowed to look at my data? Analyze that…