Sunday, September 9, 2007

I'm Mad!! Minimed Carelink Software has a Gaping Hole

Just to put this up front--I'm MAD!

Minimed offers Carelink Personal Therapy Management Software, a Web-based system designed to help you take information from all of your diabetes management tools – your insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor, blood glucose meter(s), and logbook – and organize it into easy-to-read charts, graphs and tables. It offers a logbook as well, which is "intended to assist you in analyzing impacts to your glucose control based on delivered Bolus insulin and external events documented in the Logbook."

PROBLEM--The Logbook only offers five "external event" options for documenting what is happening with your diabetes care:

Carbs
Exercise
HbA1C
Infusion Set Change
Urine Ketones

There is no place in this "therapy management software" to make general comments about your health or wellness, like when I have the stomach flu, a major deadline at work and I am stressed to the point of exploding or a sinus infection. My menstrual cycles causes HAVOC on my blood sugars from the day I ovulate through PMS and to the end of my period.

These are not random notes; frivolous nuggets of information. This information is about MY LIFE and every move I make impacts my diabetes control. My doctor, when he reads the files I saved from Carelink, has to know the facts when making recommendations about bolus/basal changes. If he doesn't see what is going on, it looks like I am just randomly out of control.

The very thing that makes the CGM so miraculous is that we get hard numbers 24/7. Numbers are virtually meaningless if you don't know what is happening to my body causing the blood sugar changes.

My doctor will get two weeks worth of reading through the Carelink and the first five days are relatively stable; it shows some lows, but there are notes related to exercise, so that makes sense. There was one super high with a note about an infusion set change, so that makes sense.

Then, day six shows blood sugars hovering between 150 to 200. No notes (after all this isn't related to the five logbook entries provided). Two days later they are high--over 200 all the time. A temp basal is employed, but again no notes.

I'm 250 at bed time on Day 12 and then Day 13 shows a huge drop in sugars; now below 70 all morning and not much higher after lunch. Day 14 is stable again--80-140 most the day.

What is a doctor supposed to do with this if he doesn't know I'm sick or have my period or had a bad batch of insulin or had a tough work week. There is no treatment recommendation that would make sense.

So, my point--I'm mad that the medical companies spend so much energy developing technology that can serve us SO well, but they forget about who is using it or what we have to do to manage the disease they are helping us treat. Who would release software that doesn't allow a user to make general notes. It is absoutely ridiculous!

October 3, 2007 Update

I e-mailed Minimed the night I wrote this post and I have not received a follow up beyond the message that my comments were being forwarded to the Marketing Dept. I sent them another message this morning requesting a response.