May DSMA Blog Carnival

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This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival topic is device interoperability:

You may have heard of the #WeAreNotWaiting campaign, a D-Community push for diabetes innovation now.

This is a grassroots initiative calling for diabetes data and device interoperability — so that we PWDs have full access to our own data, can share it as we like, and can use on whatever apps or platforms we choose without being locked into some proprietary product from just one manufacturer. For the month of May, we’d like to know:

Why does open D-data & device interoperability matter to you?  How might your life improve if open data were the norm?

I had actually not heard about this movement before which is why I’m glad I participate in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  The Blog Carnival has exposed me to new topics and issues that I was not aware of before.  I’m so thankful that this was this month’s topic because I had no idea something was being done about device interoperability.  In case you don’t know about the campaign or didn’t bother clicking the link above, I’ll quickly summarize: basically the campaign is trying to correct the “innovation bottleneck” that’s happening or according to Diabetes Mine:

It’s the lack of standards and formats for health data that’s captured electronically to work seamlessly within the life of a patient with a chronic condition (many of which are life-threatening).

To answer the question asked in the prompt, why does open D-data and device interoperability matter to me?  Simple, I want the best technology and tools at my disposal to provide the best care for my chronic illness to prevent long term complications.

I feel like I have sort of “danced” around the topic on my blog before.  I’ve mentioned a lot of work-arounds to get my Carelink software to work on my Mac.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if it automatically synched without me having to do the work-arounds?  My post from Diabetes Blog Week on my Dream Device included the hope that one day my insulin pump and CGM could be synched to my iPhone like my FitBit.  I have sort of stayed away from diabetes apps because they seem like more work than they are worth.  If d-data could be open then apps could talk to my CGM and insulin pump and it would make my life a lot easier by having the tools at my fingertips.  I feel like in “today’s world” there is no reason why these shouldn’t already be things that are happening.

I love that my test kit talks to my insulin pump and my CGM talks to my insulin pump but I am limited by what products I can use.  Currently, I am not able to use Dexcom because they don’t work with a Mac.  They also don’t talk to my insulin pump (Medtronic) either.  Could you imagine if you were on the internet and had to have a certain software to view a picture?  You would either have to buy the software or you wouldn’t be able to view the photo.  Obviously this would be a “first world” problem but it would create a bad user experience and serves as an example at how closed data is not best for the consumer.

The first day of Diabetes Blog Week was “Change the World” Monday.  I couldn’t really think of an issue I was too passionate about (beside the ADA’s Stop Diabetes campaign rubbing me the wrong way since I can’t stop my diabetes) but I wish I had known about this topic because this actually does fire me up.  Everyday of my life with diabetes is difficult.  I have to change my CGM or infusion set, put more insulin in my insulin pump, carb count, pre-bolus, worry if I carb counted correctly or waited enough time before eating, worry about how exercise or that time of the month will affect me, worry about how stress or lack or sleep will affect my blood sugars, and so many other worries.  If all diabetes devices could talk to each other (not limiting my choices) or if my data could be available in more than one capacity, i.e. on my iPhone, my diabetes life could be somewhat easier.  Obviously all the issues I worry about listed above will still be present, but if I can have a better way to deal with those issues than what is currently available, life wouldn’t be as burdensome.

This post is my May entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2014/05/may-dsma-blog-carnival-4/.


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