Giving Yourself a Hand

Latest Handheld Technology Helps Monitor and Document Glucose Levels

| Oct 1, 2001

Eight years ago, Apple Computer Corporation introduced the Apple Newton MessagePad 100, thus launching the hand-held computer revolution. As technology has facilitated the way we use these types of computers, many electronics manufacturers have jumped on board in the development and marketing of their own handheld devices.

For people with diabetes, these new technological advances can make the day-to-day monitoring of glucose levels, diet and nutrition a much easier task. Let's face it, anything that eliminates the daily log-books we've all used would be worth it. Using a hand-held computer can be a convenient way of keeping track of your diabetes.

Just a Couple of Pen Strokes

Over the past year, I have been using a software product designed for the PalmPilot sold by Healthetech ( called GlucoPilot. I purchased the software for $29 over the Internet, downloaded and installed it on my PalmPilot in a matter of minutes. With the software, I am able to easily enter my blood-sugar levels by entering the mg/dl level with a couple of pen strokes. The date and time of the reading are automatically entered into the software and I can then review my glucose-level history with a simple tap on the screen.

Options for Viewing Data

There are, by the way, several options on how you can view the data you have entered.

First, there is a pie chart showing the percentage of glucose levels within the ranges you have specified.

Second, you can view your glucose levels over a specific period of time, which is entirely adjustable by the user, by selecting the line chart. This is particularly helpful to get a visual idea of how your levels have been over a week, month or several months.

Third, when reviewing a month or more of your glucose levels the line chart automatically changes to that of a scatter chart.

Notes can also be entered into the software for each glucose reading. Here you can enter things like what you had for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can also include comments on how you were feeling at the time of the reading so that you can determine trends as related to your glucose level, diet and moods. This is very helpful in pinpointing where adjustments might need to be made in diet, exercise, etc.

A Real Steal

For $29, the GlucoPilot software is a steal. I haven't seen anything as easy to use, nor anything as robust as GlucoPilot. Unfortunately, a similar software product for the increasingly popular Pocket PC is not available—at least I haven't found it yet.

If you're looking for a convenient way to monitor and track your glucose levels, then the GlucoPilot for the PalmPilot is the way to go.

Send your technology questions and suggestions via e-mail through our Web site.

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Pens, Software

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