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By David Mendosa

Last Update: July 15, 2000

Mike McInerney is a 33-year-old software developer who has had diabetes since he was 15. In January he wrote me that he wanted to invent the "perfect" monitoring program for all people with diabetes who have meters that can download information and have an interest in analyzing their data.

The closest thing to the holy grail…

My reply was that the really perfect software would be Web-based and would permit downloads from all the major meters. It would have the ability to make separate graphs for what LifeScan calls event codes (for example, before breakfast or after dinner). While most meters don't have that capability, separate graphs by time of day would be close.

A few days ago he wrote me again. "We managed to get everything in that you suggested with the exception of being able to read from all available meters," his message said. He added that he was confident that they would soon get permission from other companies to do that.

Even now the program is unique. It is the first program that lets you automatically upload data from a meter. My On-line Diabetes Resources Part 16: Software page describes and links 16 other Web sites that have blood glucose tracking programs, but all of them require tedious manual entry of your blood glucose numbers. While that page also describes and links 59 other programs for blood glucose monitoring, you have to download them to your computer, which may not be convenient when you are traveling.

Mike's software is now online at DiabetEASE.Com. Registration is required, but the program is free. While not all features have been implemented yet, I have tested it and it works.

Currently, the program works with all five current LifeScan meters. They are the ONE TOUCH BASIC (with data port); ONE TOUCH II; ONE TOUCH Profile; ONE TOUCH FastTake (with FastTake Adapter; and the ONE TOUCH SureStep (with data port). Just connect the meter to one of your computer's serial ports through the LifeScan cable, click a couple of times, and your data is displayed in easy-to-read graphs. You can customize them to show your blood glucose levels according to day, week, month, and by events such as exercise or meals, if you have a ONE TOUCH Profile or ONE TOUCH II meter.

In the next release of the program, scheduled for the end of August, Mike is planning several enhancements. You will be able to print out your graphs, which will be bigger than the rather small graphs on your computer screen. You will also be able to view your data in tabular format and make whatever changes are necessary or manually add or delete data. You will also be able to graph your insulin dose and relate it to your blood glucose level at that time. For meters that don't let you store insulin values, you can add those amounts to the program manually.

Another current limitation is that the program only works with Microsoft Internet Explorer. The next release will also support data uploading with the Netscape browser.

The company that gives you this program is DiabetEASE Inc. in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The CEO is John Mehan, and Mike is the treasurer and "the product expert," he told me when I called him recently.

Since the program is free, where does the money come from? To answer that, Mike referred me to Ron Gagnier, who takes care of the business end of things for DiabetEASE.

First, they are looking for advertisers on the site, Ron replied. They are also looking to license the technology and make it available for use in doctor's offices.

Mike says that recently took his laptop computer to his doctor's office and showed him the program and his graphs. When the doctor looked at Mike's graphs, "he was blown away," Mike recalls. "Right off the bat he said, 'you are taking too much insulin."

Like Mike, you can keep your keep your blood glucose levels under control only through active monitoring. That means tracking your levels daily and watching the trend of those levels. DiabetEASE is a great new tool to help you do that. If it isn't yet the holy grail of blood glucose tracking software, it's the closest thing to it. 

The American Diabetes Association originally published this article on its Web site as one of my “About the Internet” columns.

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