It took me more than two years, but I finally got my hands on a neat little device that lets you use a standard phone line to upload information from a blood glucose meter to a secure server. Then, your health care team can review the reports and graphs to use in helping you to manage your diabetes.
After first writing about this device for Diabetes Health magazine in May 2005 in an article about a meter called the GlucoLeader, just about everything changed. The company, then called HMD BioMedical in Titusville, Florida, is now Infopia USA in Orlando, Florida. The meter that it works with was the GlucoLeader and is now the Eclipse. They originally called the remote home monitoring device the Virtual Tracker; it’s now the Eocene Virtual Tracker.
Through all these changes, this device provides the easiest way I’ve ever tested to send your blood glucose data to people who need to see it. The Eocene Virtual Tracker includes a modem so you don’t need to use a computer. You just plug it into your phone line, slip the Eclipse meter into its cradle, and off your data goes.
Nothing could be simpler. It works even better than the LifeChart Reporter that I tested for an article that I wrote for the American Diabetes Association on telemedicine in 1999.
It’s better in several ways than that earlier device, which lacked charts and graphs. With the Eocene Virtual Tracker you can study your own reports, charts, and graphs online at a secure site, EoceneSystems.com. Besides, the LifeChart Reporter hasn’t been available for years.
The current meter that works with the Eocene Virtual Tracker has respectable stats – it take just 1 microliter of blood and returns a result in 5 seconds. It does require coding.
However, the company hopes to be able to offer an advanced meter in about three months, depending on Food and Drug Administration clearance, Infopia USA’s Rick Austin tells me. This forthcoming meter, which the company calls the Evolution, will have stats better than any I have ever seen.
It will require only 0.3 microliters of blood and return a result in 3 seconds. It will have auto-coding. And it will also have something I haven’t seen in a meter yet – a test strip ejection feature so we won’t have to touch a used strip.
You probably wonder, as I did, how much all of this costs. “There’s no retail price,” Rick Austin tells me. It’s available through health insurance companies.
“There’s no charge to the patient if they have the appropriate insurance,” he says. You can find out if your health insurance plan offers the system by calling Infopia USA’s customer service line. That number is 1 (877) 936-2363.
This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.