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Diabetes Tracker

By Review by Gretchen Becker


Special Notice

I have reviewed a lot of diabetes management programs with an emphasis on my own personal needs. I am a type 2, managing with diet and exercise, and I often test new foods by doing postprandial curves and measuring the area under the curve. Thus I was looking primarily for a program that would (1) download my Profile and OneTouch II meters, (2) allow me to sort the downloaded results according to the 15 Profile Event Codes, (3) graph curves selected by Event Codes as well as by date, and (4) print the graphs. A convenient data dump for printout as a permanent record and a nutritional program were also of interest to me.

As a non--insulin user, I was not able to review the various programs' capabilities for handing insulin or pumps. Furthermore, I often rejected a program because the logbook won't handle more than 4 or 6 entries a day, because I need that feature. The programs I rejected I tended not to spend as much time with.

But insulin users, or people who want to measure their blood glucose at four predetermined times a day and then manipulate that data in various ways might find that a program that I hated is just what they want.

Or a person using a meter that doesn't download to a particular program might find that a program I loved doesn't work for them.

Keep this in mind as you read these reviews. They are very biased toward my own needs. As always, YMMV (your mileage may vary).


SUMMARY
When I tried it, Tracker was simply not a finished program. It was still full of bugs and kept crashing or locking up the system and couldn't be recommended for this reason.

If the bugs were worked out it might be an OK program, but there is nothing special about it. It has the basics but nothing new and only downloads a few meters.

PRO
It starts up fast and has a nice clean, look. It is reasonably intuitive.

CON
It downloaded the Profile OK, but not the OTII. Everything just froze up, even when I tried opening a new file just for the 1997 OTII data. When I tried doing other things like hitting escape key, the program crashed (FirstAid was disabled, so can't blame it on that.)

I kept getting "Out of Stack" messages when I tried to get a Modal Day view for one day only (a trick you can use to print out a Postprandial curve when the other graph puts all of each day's readings on the same place on the X axis, as this one did).

The Bar Graph said I'd had some readings between 0 and 20, which I certainly did not. I went back to the meter and checked.

The logbook doesn't show all the entries even if they've been downloaded. On one day I had 7 readings, and I know they were downloaded because they show on the Modal Day view. But the logbook shows only one. At first it seemed as if the logbook entries were simply random. Many were missing. I finally figured out that the logbook shows ONLY those entries that had mealtime-related event codes attached to them, not including the Fasting label. This is not my idea of a logbook!!! And I couldn't find anywhere a place to change this preference.

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