Diabetes-“I’m a P.C.”

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Back in 2006, Apple started the “I’m a Mac” campaign with Justin Long.  These ads continued into 2009.  Sometimes I think my diabetes care is stuck back in 2009 because my insulin pump hasn’t changed much in the 17 years I’ve been pumping (I know there are great advances over the last few years like the CGM and the bionic pancreas on the way, etc).  Lately, I’ve been thinking about this campaign because I’ve been running into issues with compatibility between my Mac and my options for diabetes care.  It seems that diabetes (and diabetes care) is really a P.C.

Photo from http://www.fastcodesign.com/3026521/evidence/apples-famous-ads-created-an-im-a-mac-effect

Photo from http://www.fastcodesign.com/3026521/evidence/apples-famous-ads-created-an-im-a-mac-effect

I used to be a P.C. person.  Until I met my husband 8 years ago and he was a Mac only person.  About two years into our dating, my P.C. laptop broke and he wouldn’t let me get anything else but a Mac.  I still used a P.C. at work so it wasn’t a big deal to me.  I slowly transitioned into a Mac only person as well, especially after I left my job using a P.C. three years ago.  For the past three years, I’ve only used a Mac.  Life with my Mac has been great.  I also have an iPhone and iPad so the compatibility with all three devices is so convenient.

One thing that isn’t convenient is how unfriendly diabetes with Macs. It wasn’t a huge deal to me back when I still worked with a PC, which was also before I got my CGM. Once I quit my old job and got a CGM, I really noticed the disconnect with diabetes and Macs.

Medtronic’s Carelink software, which is how I view my CGM data is not very Mac friendly. I have had my husband help me several times to get the software to work and I’ve shared my advice with others. I’ve even had a few people contact me directly to help them get theirs up and running. I’m not sure why this is such an issue but I have heard Medtronic give some comment about how it has to get FDA approval first or something. But considering it’s been an issue for YEARS, I’m not sure what the hold up is.

I thought the Mac issue was only related to Medtronic. The past few weeks, I’ve been considering a switch to Dexcom for various reasons. I thought my main hesitation was not wanting to carry around 2 devices (the pump and the CGM) but now my main concern is that I won’t be able to upload the data on my computer. Apparently Dexcom isn’t compatible with Macs either.

So basically if you want to review your CGM graphs online, you need a P.C., unless you do some fancy work-arounds to get Carelink to work on a Mac.  I haven’t investigated how many insulin pumps are compatible with Macs because I’m not planning a switch from Medtronic anytime soon but I’m guessing the scenario is similar to that of the CGM.  Is it just that there aren’t many of us diabetic Mac users out there, so the companies don’t have a need to work on it or do diabetic Mac users just accept it for what it is and use a P.C. at work or find some work-around? Or do people not upload their data/review their data and just rely on doctor visits to review their data?

I’m seriously thinking about making the switch to a Dexcom but I sure would miss looking at my graphs/data online.  When will diabetes become Mac friendly!?

One thought on “Diabetes-“I’m a P.C.”

  1. Although I bought a MacBook this winter, we still have a desktop PC and I haven’t had to deal with trying to download my Dexcom or Animas pump with a Mac. My solution (and not one that everyone can afford) would be to buy a cheap laptop at Walmart or Best Buy ($229). The problem with that is there are still Windows 7 vs Windows 8 compatibility problems and before long there will be Windows 9, 10, 11. Frustrating for sure.

    Today on Kerri’s blog, she provides info on making comments on the FDA docket about Medical Device Data Systems: http://sixuntilme.com/wp/2014/08/01/help-people-diabetes-access-care-data-medicare-cgm-coverage/

    I believe that ultimately the software reporting parts of our devices will be re-classified so FDA approval won’t be so burdensome and we will finally get access to our data without the current frustrations.

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