Diabetes Self-Management Blog

For five days in June, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference was held in my beautiful city, Philadelphia. My parents were a part of the team working the Children with Diabetes table attached to Johnson & Johnson.

Because I wasn’t working the table this year, I didn’t have the name badge that would grant me passage into the exhibit hall. (Pretty serious stuff.) But on the last day of the conference, my mom wasn’t working the booth, so she passed her name tag along to me so I could check out the scene and hopefully gather some interesting stuff to write about.

First, let me start off by saying how much I love any diabetes-related exhibit hall. Whether it’s the ADA, AADE, or FFL conference, I can’t get enough of them. To be honest, I enjoy the fact that because I have Type 1, I instantly become a very important person, or so I like to think. I think some of the vendors at the AADE were unimpressed once they realized that I wasn’t any sort of health-care provider, but nonetheless, they’re marketing to people with Type 1 diabetes, of which I am one, so there was no reason to complain.

The first product that I saw and am really excited about is the iBGStar, by Sanofi. Basically, it’s a meter that looks kind of like a flash drive. It plugs directly into your iPhone or iPod touch and uploads and organizes all the information for you. You can monitor with it while it’s connected to your iPhone or iPod touch, allowing the information to upload immediately, or you can monitor with it while it’s disconnected and reconnect later, at which point it will upload the information.

Once the information is uploaded, you can view all of your readings as a scatter plot graph, as a logbook, or by range percentages. (Additionally, every reading is color-coded based on whether the number is high, low, or in range.) I really like that with each reading you can put in any note saying what was going on or why you may have been that number.

Another great feature is the share option. At the press of a button, the app (which you can download on your iPhone or iPod touch for free) compresses all of the data as the three aforementioned charts and puts it in an e-mail. All you have to do is type in the e-mail address of, say, your parents, and voila, they’ve got weeks or months worth of numbers!

Generally speaking, I’m very critical when it comes to new products. I’m pretty skeptical about whether or not I’ll maintain the use of a product on a regular basis. Because I’m an iPhone user and because the product is so user friendly, I could 100% see myself using the iBGStar and really loving it. Feel free to check out more at their Web site, www.ibgstar.us.

Another meter I checked out was the OneTouch Verio IQ, by LifeScan. The meter itself is pretty standard, aside from the fact that it has a feature built in to automatically track high and low patterns for you. (I think the design was actually meant to imitate the white iPhone, but I wasn’t wholly convinced.) Because I saw the iBGStar before the OneTouch Verio IQ, I have to be honest and say it kind of paled in comparison. I’m a huge fan of user-friendly touch screens and Apple apps, but not so much of generic meter analysis options. I can’t say I’ve ever used any special features on any of my individual meters.

However, if you don’t have an iPhone or iPod touch or simply aren’t a fan of combining your diabetes stuff with other apps, this could be a nice alternative. I do like that it’s white, the strips are gold, and when you check your glucose a light automatically comes on making for easy monitoring. (It’s the main reason I use my Freestyle Flash today).

This meter also comes with an aid booklet that has different tabs based on the time of day and possible reasons why you may be trending high or low, along with potential solutions. In reality, I would never use it — more likely than not I would lose it or throw it away. But perhaps someone newly diagnosed might get some use out of it.

The last product that I found really awesome is the new t:slim pump, by Tandem Diabetes Care. I didn’t get a lot of time to go through the features, but at first glance I could tell I was going to like it a lot. My mom actually showed me the pump online some weeks ago and I meant to look into it some more but totally forgot!

First off, it’s a very sleek-looking pump. Because the pump operates via touch screen, the outer appearance is completely black and shiny. (Clearly I like sleek and shiny things…) The appearance of the devices I use actually is quite important to me, and the t:slim definitely gets my approval.

As for features, I could tell the pump is extremely user friendly. Without any help or experience, I was able to bolus without hesitation. I decided to plug in that I was eating 560 grams of carbohydrate and that my blood glucose was 254. I wanted to see if the pump would implode on itself with such ridiculous numbers. It didn’t.

One feature that I instantly became a fan of was the complete lack of scrolling. I was prompted to plug in my carbohydrate intake and blood sugar with a keypad, making it easier to enter my numbers.

It’s too early to tell whether or not I’ll switch from Animas, who I’ve been using for 8 years as of last month, but the t:slim does hold a lot of promise. I actually came home and checked out their Web site and REALLY like what I see so far!

Until next time!

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Comments
  1. Hi Maryam! So fun to see you writing here!

    Aren’t those HUGE exhibit halls incredible?

    I haven’t had the pleasure of playing with the VerioIQ meter yet, but have tried the iBGStar. The thing that sold me on the iBGStar? That I could use it as a fully functional meter even when it’s not plugged into my iPhone! It is SO SMALL!

    It was great to see you and your family again at FFL, and I can’t wait for our paths to cross again! Be well, and thank you for all that you do!

    Posted by Scott K. Johnson |
  2. Haha — YEAH they are!!! SOOO huge! And so fun to see all the marketing and such that goes into it! (Though I’ve also learned through these exhibits that I will never get into pharmaceutical sales haha!) Thanks for the feedback! I’m actually really excited about getting the iBGstar! So good to see you and your beautiful family as well. Hope to see you soon! :)

    Posted by Maryam |

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