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Mom Says 'Just a Phone Call Away', Just Not Good Enough

In desperate move she creates an online tool to help in the management of her child's illness, now offers free to others

Mar 13, 2010

I cannot even express the peace of mind I have. At school, or when she sleeps over at a friend’s house, or even goes away on a class trip, I now can instantaneously know what is going on.

Allen, Texas - When Pam Henry's daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2003, she never even thought she would be part of something that could revolutionize health care. "When Sarah was diagnosed, my only goal was to do all I could to keep her as healthy as possible.  What I created was something just to help keep her that way." 

What she created was MyCareConnect.com, an online tool that keeps Pam connected to Sarah and all of Sarah's caregivers as they strive to control her blood glucose level by checking her constantly with a blood glucose test kit and when necessary, monitoring when Sarah needs to administer insulin. "No one understands the everyday frustration of trying to find out via faxes and missed calls to school nurses how your child is doing like those parents who live with a child who has diabetes.  My anxiety level used to go through the roof. It was not the school's fault; they had a school to run, but like most parents my concern was about my daughter."

When Sarah checks her glucose level at school, either she or the nurse logs on to MyCareConnect.com, enters Sarah's information included with any notes pertaining to food, care, and any action taken and instantaneously Pam as well as Sarah's medical team all have access to see, in real time, exactly what is happening with Sarah's diabetes.

Should anything ever need to be discussed, there's no running around or going back and forth trying to ascertain vital information; it is all right on Sarah's personal page which sometimes Sarah enters right from her cell phone in the classroom.   Henry states, "I cannot even express the peace of mind I have. At school, or when she sleeps over at a friend's house, or even goes away on a class trip, I now can instantaneously know what is going on.  When I started, I didn't even know if it would work."

Well work it did. In fact it worked so well that the system now automatically notifies via email or text messaging everything needed when away from a child with diabetes.  And now over 700 people use the free service and it is gaining huge praise of both parents and medical professionals such as Julie Munson, an RN and school nurse in Allen, Texas who states, "I'm now more equipped to take care of my diabetic students.  Our school finally has a tool that allows me to instantly see how all my diabetic students are doing throughout the day."

Henry concludes, "My goal is to now keep offering the program for free because it's too important for parents, just like me, to have access to this life saving information. Now MyCareConnect has gone mobile with its new iPhone application called BlueLoop. And coming this summer is support additional tools for Type 2 diabetes.  We build everything with the consumer in mind, never over-engineered. Our rule of thumb is "Everything we design has to be easy enough for a 6 year old to use".

Parents, schools and those diagnosed with diabetes continually sign on and that is so important but this entire endeavor has been far bigger than anything I could have ever imagined. I did this for the love of my daughter.  I understand the pain, the frustration, and the hurt. If just one other family can be spared having to go through what we did before I created MyCareConnect, the entire endeavor would be worth it."


Categories: Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Community, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Kids & Teens, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues



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Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 16 March 2010

Love it

Posted by shosty on 17 March 2010

Does this allow the parent, nurse or other caregiver a way to communicate back to the child, with insulin doses or other instructions?

My daughter was in elementary school before cell phones were common: I couldn't leave the house for fear the nurse would call!

The biggest problem we had, in all her school years, was that the school nurse could not adjust insulin doses. Our daughter was variable and hard to manage, and a rigid formula, or even a range of insulin doses for certain blood sugars, was not always effective or safe.

We ended up arranging it so that the school provided a cell phone to our daughter, and I gave insulin dosing instructions over the phone.

In earlier years, the nurse visited her in the classroom every hour, then called me.

I think this system could reduce the embarrassment of a nurse in the classroom, and would make parent-child interaction easier not only in a practical sense, but also in an emotional sense: the child would feel more empowered.

I do feel concerned when a parent says she understands that the school "has a school to run." The schools need to have adequate personnel, whether nurses or aides, so that a parent can expect the safest, most effective, blood sugar control at school. Good blood sugars are essential for learning!

Posted by bjkiah on 17 March 2010

Wonderful idea! I'm sure it will give parents some comfort.

Posted by Bermuden on 18 March 2010

I just tried to load the app BlueLoop on my iphone but was unable to. Is this the actual name of the app and is it available now?


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