11 Responses

  1. Joe
    Joe December 6, 2013 at 4:56 am | | Reply

    In my opinion Glooko is way ahead of the game compared to the Meter manufacturers themselves. Most software that Meters will download to only run on old versions of Windows OS. Meter manufacturers refuse to update their hardware and software, choosing on staying in the early 20th century.

    CGM’s aren’t much better either.

  2. David
    David December 6, 2013 at 8:50 am | | Reply

    I use my cell phone Notes for a constantly updated list of specific bolus regimens for different meals. Using Nutshell to go back and see my last trial & error effort (bolus amount and resulting post-meal bg) for a meal would be very useful.

  3. John Fitzpatrick
    John Fitzpatrick December 6, 2013 at 10:44 am | | Reply

    There’s so much inaccurate information about ShugaTrak here that I think it’s best to start this comment with a quick description of what ShugaTrak actually is.

    ShugaTrak is a new mobile app for people with diabetes. When someone with diabetes checks blood glucose, ShugaTrak gets the reading from the meter and sends it in text messages and emails to people who care.

    Since Mike’s main point seems to be that ShugaTrak is a hassle, let me explain what you have to do to use to use ShugaTrak. Step 1—take a blood glucose reading. Step 2—there is no step 2. All you have to do is take a blood glucose reading.

    (To be painfully accurate and complete, in some cases there is a minor step 2. It depends on which meter you use. With FreeStyle meters, you push a button on the adaptor. With some but not all Bayer meters, you push a button on the meter. Mike used a OneTouch meter, as you can see in the photo. With OneTouch meters, there is not step 2.)

    So why does Mike think ShugaTrak is a hassle? As best I can tell, it’s because the very first version of ShugaTrak doesn’t support his phone and meter. Is it reasonable to expect that the initial version of a diabetes technology product be compatible with all meters and phones? Of course not. Or, put another way, should we have waited to release ShugaTrak until it was compatible with all phones and meters, especially when so many parents of T1D kids have told us how much they need something like this? Again, of course not.

    Mike doesn’t seem to grasp what ShugaTrak does, especially when he writes, “Then there was the whole notion that once everything did connect, it took 30 to 60 seconds or more after the blood sugar displayed to see that number sent to the ShugaTrak app.” The display of the reading on the app is not the point of ShugaTrak. Not at all. In fact, it’s the very opposite of the point of ShugaTrak. The point of ShugaTrak is that you don’t have to look at the app in order to use it. You don’t have to touch your phone at all. It just stays in your pocket or purse or wherever. You take your ordinary BG measurement and ShugaTrak does everything else. This is EXACTLY the sort of effortless diabetes technology that Mike is screaming for.

    And yes, ShugaTrak does require the use of an additional piece of equipment. It’s a Bluetooth adaptor that gets the reading from the meter and transmits it to the ShugaTrak app. The first time you use ShugaTrak, you have to plug the adaptor into the meter and pair it with the phone. And that’s it. You don’t have to touch it again until it’s time for new batteries. You do NOT have to plug it in and unplug it for every BG check. You just set it up and forget about it. It fits in the meter pouch. Hassle? Hardly.

    Then there are the factual errors in the post:

    1. “John created ShugaTrak allowing users to grab the past 25 hours of readings from a meter and send them to a phone.” Not true. ShugaTrak retrieves every reading in the meter’s memory that it has not already retrieved, no matter how old. So where did the 25 hours come from? If a reading was taken more than 25 hours earlier, ShugaTrak will not send it in a text message or email. This prevents people from being barraged with text messages and emails for every single one of the hundreds of older BG readings in the meter’s memory the first time ShugaTrak is used.

    2. BG readings are “sent to the ShugaTrak app via text message.” Not true. The adaptor sends the reading to the app via Bluetooth. The app then sends the reading to the ShugaTrak servers via cellular network or wi-fi, and our servers then send out text message and email notifications to loved ones of the person with diabetes.

    3. “ShugaTrak was created by John Fitzpatrick.” Only partially true. ShugaTrak was created by Applivate, a company I co-founded. ShugaTrak would not exist without the work of others.

    Finally, let me address the criticism that we’re “creating another silo of information.” Guilty as charged. Silos of diabetes data are a huge problem, but it’s not the one that we set out to fix. We’re a tiny startup—only two people, and my co-founder is part-time. Neither of us takes a salary. We’ve built an app that gives parents of kids with diabetes some peace of mind when they’re away from their kids by sending their kids’ BG readings to them in text messages and emails. We’d love to contribute to solving the larger problem of aggregating and integrating diabetes data, and we think that ShugaTrak’s instant, effortless blood glucose logging can help. We’d love to be able to send the BG readings that ShugaTrak logs to a repository that also contains insulin doses, carb counts, and information on exercise, weight, illness, and stress. That’s why we’re very, very excited about what Tidepool is doing. We’ve spoken with them, and our philosophy is right in line with theirs. It’s fantastic that they’re open source, and we’re eager for them to get their license in place so we can have a look at their API. If the Tidepool platform is as good as it sounds, we’re going to be able to build some crazy awesome stuff on top of it.

  4. Heather Kitts
    Heather Kitts December 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm | | Reply

    I am a PWD, and also the mother of a child with T1. We use ShugaTrak for our daughter ( she’s 5). I stand behind everything John said. This is not a hassle. This is peace of mind. We’re lucky that we have an awesome school nurse, not everyone is that lucky. We get a text message every time my daughter checks her blood sugar. The nurse still calls if there is a problem, but doesn’t have to when our daughter is in range. We’ve looked at some other programs, but I find it a hassle to have to enter the blood sugar into a separate program. And if you’re asking the person that’s caring for your type 1 child to do this, you do not want hassle.
    There is no hassle with ShugaTrak.

  5. Bunny Kasper
    Bunny Kasper December 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm | | Reply

    I have used ShugaTrak as have several Mom’s in the Support groups I run. I feel you may have misunderstood both the use and the reason for this product. Parents who have been afraid to allow their children to go to overnights or school trips are now allowing such activity due to ShugaTrak’s texting of BGs. Parent’s with T1D teenagers no longer have to even have a conversation with their kids, never mind nag them. And most importantly the kids do not have to do anything but test their blood. The app takes care of the rest.
    This product is efficient, reliable and easy to use.
    It gives parent’s peace of mind and kids a fuller life.
    What more could we ask?

  6. Belinda Enamorado
    Belinda Enamorado December 7, 2013 at 10:40 am | | Reply

    I too agree with John. I have a 13 year old daughter with Type 1. Other than initial setup, which takes minutes, there is really nothing to do. ShugaTrak is not a hassle but a blessing. I do not have to constantly ask her what her blood sugar is anymore. I just look at my ShugaTrak text message thread. It has literally taken away a huge portion of the arguments with my daughter. ShugaTrak is already awesome and I can’t wait to see what additional features are on the way.

  7. Charlie
    Charlie December 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm | | Reply

    I completely disagree with the author about the ease of use, usefulness and value of Shugatrak. First of all, Shugatrak is designed for other family members and supporters to be aware of glucose levels, not the diabetic person themselves. Shugatrak is an easy to use, valuable app that decreases stress and anxiety, and enables parents to let their kids with T1 live fuller, more independent lives. Two, the author was misleading about only certain smart phones being able to be used. The Shugatrak app sends messages to any smartphone, so parents can have any phone they want and be able to receive instant updates on their kids glucose levels. Also, I have personally seen the value and importance of being able to easily share my glucose levels with supporters when I am on long endurance bike rides, and have seen the incredible impact Shugatrak has had for parents of kids with T1 being able to know what their kids glucose levels are at all times thanks to Shugatrak

    1. John Fitzpatrick
      John Fitzpatrick December 9, 2013 at 6:51 am | | Reply

      Charlie makes a good point about the type of phone you need in order to use ShugaTrak. First, there’s the person with diabetes. She needs to install the ShugaTrak app on her phone, and this initial version of the ShugaTrak app is for Android phones only, but an iPhone version is in the works. ShugaTrak has been tested on many Android phones but not all of them, because there are just too many. If it turns out that the ShugaTrak app doesn’t work on your phone, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

      Then there’s the person who receives text messages with the BG readings of the person with diabetes. That person can have any type of mobile phone at all–Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows. It doesn’t even have to be a smartphone. It can just be an ordinary mobile phone. It just needs to be able to receive text messages.

  8. Lorraine Stiehl
    Lorraine Stiehl December 9, 2013 at 8:01 am | | Reply

    I love diabetes startups, especially because they are often formed to meet a pressing need that we all are experiencing.

    I, too, have a spouse with type 1 diabetes — my husband has been living with this disease for 54 years. Since I travel a great deal, I constantly worry about my husband.

    When I met John Fitzpatrick at the JDRF Southern AZ (Tucson) Walk, I was thrilled that he and his partner were creating this new tool. In his demo, I was impressed with the ease of setup — and the rapid delivery of the data to my cell phone.

    My husband and I are very excited about this new technology and can’t wait for future product refinements.

    Kudos to ShugaTrak for your new innovation and for helping to meet the needs of our diabetes community!

  9. Jennifer R
    Jennifer R December 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm | | Reply

    I completely agree with the comments above. ShugaTrak is a product that meets an unmet need for people with diabetes AND their loved ones by keeping you informed about your loved one’s blood sugars.

    Before ShugaTrak I would worry about my husbands blood sugars while on business trips or while out with friends. He has good control and takes the necessary precautions to prevent serious issues, yet I’d still wonder how he was doing and what his sugars were. The best part about ShugaTrak is that once it’s set up, he simply tests his blood and, effortlessly, I get the reading on my phone as a text message. I love that I now no longer have to be “diabetes police” & ask him to ‘report’ in. Plus since he knows I can see his readings, I think he’s more conscious of the way he manages his T1D on a daily basis.

    And.. like the other comments above mentioned, the benefits for parents with a child with Type 1 is even more impressive. Overnight stays, school hours, sports practices are all difficult for parents. With ShugaTrak your child can simply test and parents receive a text in real time. This way, you only have to call the school nurse/coach if you see a number that worries you.

    In summary, ShugaTrak fills a gap in the world of diabetes care – the role of informing loved ones who care for and live with people with T1D. We worry often, but can never complain since we don’t carry the burden of having the disease. Staying informed, educated and connected no matter where they are is a HUGE blessing. Plus it does so in a way that doesn’t require much extra hassle from our loved ones managing this disease.

    Thanks to John and the Applivate team for all their hard work.

  10. Why Tidepool is Open and Non-profit
    Why Tidepool is Open and Non-profit January 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm |

    [...] Hodge at “Wanted in a Nutshell: Hassle-Free Diabetes Tech,” . Dec 6, [...]

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