The future of blood glucose software will arrive in less than two weeks. I have seen the future and it works.
Until now, all the computer programs for logging our blood glucose numbers were incomplete. Still, for the past 15 years I have tried to include all those programs in my directory of Diabetes Management Software.
The biggest lack is their general inability to automatically upload the blood glucose readings from our meters. Except for a few proprietary and often expensive programs that work only with one meter, we have had to manually enter our numbers.
The future is Glooko, and it works with six of the leading meters from three of the four meter market leaders. It works with LifeScan’s OneTouch UltraMini, OneTouch Ultra2, and OneTouch UltraLink; with Bayer’s Contour; and with Abbott’s FreeStyle Freedom Lite and FreeStyle Lite.
Among the big four, only Roche’s Accu-Chek meters are missing. So far.
But Anita Mathew, a co-founder and the marketing vice president of Glooko Inc. in Palo Alto, California, says she expects that Glooko will support Accu-Chek meters soon. "Our hopes are to be meter agnostic in the future."
Glooko is an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch and a cable that connects to your meter. The app itself will be free on November 15. The cable will be $39.95 from Amazon.com. Glooko will notify you when the app and the cable are available when you sign up at http://www.glooko.com/purchase/logbook/
Ms. Mathew arranged for me to have a sneak preview by letting me download the app and sending me the cable. I have been testing it with my own blood and am delighted at how quickly and smoothly it works on my iPod Touch (I don’t have an iPhone). It also works flawlessly on my iPad, although the cable package says only that it’s made for the "iPod Touch (3rd and 4th generation)" and "iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS."
I love how easy it was to email my test results directly from the Glooko app as a comma-separated values (csv) file that Microsoft Excel and other programs can read, as a PDF, or as an eFax to my doctor. The file shows my blood glucose levels when I tested as well as note choices I can click on or write in. I could also have entered how many units of insulin I had used and whether it was fast-acting, combo, or long-acting.
Glooko couldn’t be simpler. It eliminates the need for pen and paper as well as the device drivers that computer programs generally require.
It is so simple, in fact, that so far it doesn’t include graphics that show trends in our blood glucose levels. The company is working on that, Ms. Mathew told me, but that will take the more lengthy FDA approval process called 510(k).
I asked Ms. Mathew what other plans the company has. "First, more meters," she replied. "Our goal to it work with all blood glucose meters." Then more platforms, including Android devices.
For me the future of blood glucose logging works now. The only problem I had was to learn how to spell its name. Not until I figured out that the company must have had in mind that Glooko combines "glucose" with "look" did I begin to spell it right.
David Mendosa is a journalist who learned in 1994 that he has type 2 diabetes, which he now writes about exclusively. He has written thousands of diabetes articles, two books about it, created one of the first diabetes websites, and publishes the monthly newsletter, “Diabetes Update.” His very low-carbohydrate diet, current A1C level of 5.3, and BMI of 19.8 keep his diabetes in remission without any drugs. He can be found on Twitter @davidmendosa and on Facebook at David Mendosa.