Tuesday, December 29, 2015

When to test a new pump?

I was originally supposed to start with the Medtronic pump just before Christmas. Christmas is a challenging time for people with type 1 diabetes, with plenty of food we only encounter once a year and therefore don't necessarily know how it affects our glucose levels. And more sitting and lying around than usual. With more than just one occasional treat. So it would have been a good time to challenge the new pump, see what it can do under those circumstances. And, I would have had plenty of free time to play around with it.

However, Medtronic Finland did not get the pump on time. There had been a software update to the pump, causing something in the product code to be changed, which caused some hiccups to the delivery.

Medtronic kindly asked whether I'd like to get a demo pump for Christmas time, so I could play around with it and learn the features, but not yet fill it with insulin and connect it to myself. I thought this to be too much of a hassle, as I still needed to operate my old pump. I'd rather make the switch once the real pump arrived.

So we started after Christmas, when I returned to work. It's kind of fair too. It may be easier for the new pump to convince me of its capabilities under more regular circumstances.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Medtronic 640G

I'm now connected to a new pump, the Medtronic 640G.

And here's the disclaimer: I signed a blogger contract with Medtronic.

Signing the contract was not really required of me to get the pump. I have discussed my need for a new pump with my doctor, and she has indicated I have a choice between the three pumps they can offer: the Accu-Chek Spirit Combo, Animas Vibe, or the Medtronic 640G. However, I wasn't sure which pump I'd prefer.

So I asked Medtronic whether they could provide me with a sample so I could get to try it in real life. They said the easiest way would be to get it under the blogger contract, which actually sounded good to me, since I've felt I should be more active with this blog. Now there would be a reason to write a post every once in a while.


So you may consider any upcoming posts about the Medtronic 640G as advertisement, if you wish. However, I'll do my best to record both the good and the bad experiences.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Two years later...

The first "Hello World" post in this blog was published exactly two years ago. Personally, I face this day with mixed feelings.

Two years ago, I thought we'd be much further by now. I imagined us launching the first version of our service early in 2014, then focusing on customer acquisition and growth, and by this time already playing with big data algorithms on all the data we had helped collect and bring together. However, due to challenges with growing the team, financing, the healthcare market, and demonstrating true value from our service (all nicely intertwined), we haven't even publicly launched our service yet.

On the other hand I think we have been extremely lucky and successful. After all, two years is a long time for a startup to even survive. And in this time, we've received an incredible amount of support and positive feedback. We've learned a ton about running a company, about the startup scene, and about healthcare market, and made dozens and dozens of really valuable connections.

Most importantly, with the little resources we've had, we've managed to get our service in trial use in a public healthcare institution. Today, we're taking in the second batch of trial users.

Our service will help them, and their nurses and doctors, in viewing all relevant data from their medical devices and wellness apps together, and in making sense of diabetes trends.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Continuing Connections

The topic of this last day of Diabetes Blog Week, Continuing Connections, reminds me of my last post of last year's week, the
Diabetes Thought For the Day.

The very first inspiration for Diabetes Blog Week was to help connect our blogging community, and that continues to be the most important reason it's held every year. So let's help foster and continue those connections as we wrap up another Dblog Week. Share a link to a new blog you've found or a new friend you've made. Or pick a random blog off of the Participant's List, check it out and share it with us. Let's take some time today to make new friends.
At the end of last years Diabetes Blog Week I implemented a simple web page that redirects the visitor to a random post of all the posts from all the participants of the week. I have been using the service myself, and found many new voices within the community. I'll be updating the contents with this year's entries soon, and welcome you all to try it out at http://www.sensotrend.com/ThoughtForTheDay/, whenever you feel like you could use some peer support or want to see diabetes through someone else's eyes.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Favorites

Today's Diabetes Blog Week topic is Favorites and Motivations.
If you have been blogging for a while, what is your favorite sentence or blogpost that you have ever written?  Is it diabetes related or just life related?  If you are a new blogger and don't have a favorite yet, tell us what motivated you to start sharing your story by writing a blog?
My own favorite is the one from very early on, the post on whether to Compete or Collaborate. The main message is still the way I see diabetes technology needs to be developed. There are so many people with diabetes, and so many different needs. We need a lot of different devices and apps, so that each of us can choose the tools that best suit our individual lifestyles. At the same time, we need cooperation and open interfaces, so that all those different apps can use the data from glucose meters, insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitors, enabling the best possible combination for their users. All of this is nowadays further emphasized by the #WeAreNotWaiting movement.

What about your favorites then? The most read post of this blog is The Exciting State of Diabetes Technology in 2014.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Changes

Today's Diabetes Blog Week topic is Changes.
Today let's talk about changes, in one of two ways. Either tell us what you'd most like to see change about diabetes, in any way. This can be management tools, devices, medications, people's perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing. OR reflect back on some changes you or your loved one has seen or been through since being diagnosed with diabetes. Were they expected or did they surprise you?
My first thought was, of course, to write about the tools and devices, and all of #WeAreNotWaiting that's currently happening. And all the development that has happened in one year after I wrote about The Exciting State of Diabetes Technology in 2014. But then again, that would have been too easy for me.

Today, I'll rather write about my relationship with, or attitude towards my diabetes. There have been some noticeable changes.

As I wrote in one of the earliest posts in this blog, I first saw diabetes as a friend, telling me to take better care of myself. Later on, our once happily intense relationship cooled down a bit, as I concentrated more on other things in life.

Right now me and my diabetes are closer than ever. I'm the founder of a startup creating self-care tools for people with diabetes, and I think about diabetes very intensely, literally each and every day. You might say diabetes and the best possible treatment for it has become my life's purpose.

I think it's very important for all of us to understand that the relationship between people with diabetes and their condition is changing continuously. That is yet another reason why we need to have a wide array of tools and methods for our treatment.

We have different priorities and different challenges at each point of our lives. No one solution fits all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Clean It Out

This is by far the most difficult topic of Diabetes Blog Week for me this year.
Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let's clear stuff out. What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out? This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you're mentally or emotionally hanging on to. Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?
To get some inspiration, I read through the entries already posted for this topic. Surprisingly many of those are about all the supplies us people with type 1 diabetes need to store and use. Actual physical things in an actual physical closet.

My supplies take up space too. I put some effort into keeping them organized, and rarely have problems with the sheer volume of the supplies. What gets to me, however, is the way they are packaged. One thing in particular, are the user instructions. I get my tests strips in a package of 10 containers; one container of 50 strips lasts for around a week. Why does each one of them come with its own user instructions? And my infusion sets too, for each pack of 10 I get 2 different booklets.




All these instructions I just throw away immediately. It's just so much waste, over years and years of use. Couldn't they rather make some beginners set that's available when you first get your pack of certain type of supplies? And then all the subsequent packages would contain just the essentials.

Yes, I am aware of some of the regulation that's in place for patient safety. But in this particular case, with consumables I use day in, day out, for many years, I don't really see the benefit of having to immediately discard so many user instructions.

We often demand a lot more. Better devices, more accurate test strips, sensors for CGMs, etc. When someone asks me what I could do without and where would it be possible to save some cost, I say the user instructions for the everyday consumables.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nurses Day

Today is the second day of Diabetes Blog Week, with the topic Keep It To Yourself:
Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?  (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone.  There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects.  Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won't tell them.)
Since this is also the International Nurses Day, I'd like to express my gratitude to all the diabetes nurses and certified diabetes educators (CDE's) who have helped and continue to help me achieve the best possible treatment, and at the same time encourage me to lead a life that's not all about treating my chronic condition. You have all been so amazing!

So, I wish nobody will ever hear me brag that I've achieved any good treatment results just by myself. The support from my loved ones, from my nurses and doctors, and from the technology I have access to are the key ingredients that I couldn't cope without.

I Can

It's Diabetes Blog Week again!

This year, the topic for the first day was the empowering I Can.
Lets kick things off this year by looking at the positive side of our lives with diabetes. What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren't sure you could? Or what have you done that you've been particularly proud of? Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?
The first thing for me, obviously, is all that I have accomplished with Sensotrend this far. Both myself and my wife have worked for our startup company full time for over a year already. I feel incredibly empowered, being able to create tools that can help me gain better understanding of how my body works, and better treatment outcomes.

I've written before about the change that using a Continuous Glucose Monitor brought to my life as a diabetic and to my attitude towards treating myself.
For the first time, I was able to see how my blood glucose really behaved. No more shotgun charts. The resulting chart was rather a roller coaster, showing the glucose go up and down, sometimes fast, some times slower. Very far from the ideal curve, but providing so much more insight than the isolated dots of the meter.
I had been told I can control my blood glucose by simply calculating all the carbs I eat and taking little less insulin when I'm exercising. But for me, it was not so simple, and I could never really explain all the variations in the values of my isolated blood glucose measurements. The CGM curve showed me how the values changed, and prompted me to find out what was causing the different ups and downs.

That's what changed my attitude completely. I had already given up, found good control of my blood glucose values to be beyond my capabilities. Getting more insights from the CGM curve was the ground breaking change I needed, to get the sense that there is a way to learn what exactly affects my blood glucose levels and how, so I can start to keep it better under control.