Product Review: Phonetic logging

As I mentioned yesterday, there are no shortage of products headed to the market attempting to make life a little easier for people with diabetes. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Glooko and asked to review the Glooko MeterSync cable.

glooko cable

The cable downloads information from the “big six” meters (OneTouch UltraMini, OneTouch Ultra2, OneTouch UltraLink, Bayer’s Contour, FreeStyle Freedom Lite, FreeStyle Lite) into various iDevices.

I’ll be honest, I don’t log. Since I bought my MacBook as my personal computer a few years ago I don’t take the time to download the information from my pump on CareLink or my CGM results from my DexCom.

I do like apps though; I suppose the screenshot of diabetes apps on my iPad is evidence of that.

another diabetes app

The product is simple – a cable that connects to the data port of my meter and then into the iDevice. I downloaded the app from the iTunes store, and then began the sync of my meter.

In just a few minutes, Glooko had 500 results from my meter.

meter results

There are a few things you can do with the app, and a few things you can’t (for good reason).

logbook and sync

You can mark certain readings as pre and post meal results, and you can add notes about carb intake or insulin dosage to each reading. You cannot manually enter meter results, and as George points out, this may have its own benefits.

There are no charts or graphs or interpretations of the results in the Glooko app. I spoke with a representative from the company on the phone last week and there is good reason for that.

The FDA.

When a device or app CONTAINS data, the company is only required to file their product with the FDA. Once that data is manipulated by the device (e.g. producing charts or graphs), the FDA must clear the device, causing the delays we experience with most of our diabetes devices.

The Glooko app does provide the ability to export the data as a CSV file.

settings and export

A quick e-mail to myself and I could view the data in an Excel spreadsheet.

glooko export data

I am not even close to an Excel expert, but it seems that once I have the data in Excel being able to manipulate it to analyze the information is an easy next step. I wasn’t sure what chart would best represent the results, but in about 2 minutes was able to produce this scatterplot of my data.

Things I Like:
The download was quick and easy. The cable and app had no trouble finding my meter. There was no code to input – just plug and play.

There is no manual logging necessary. The other diabetes apps I have found have required me to input my results manually. I have to deal with enough number input that I don’t need another device that needs me to do work. I want my life with diabetes to be easier, not harder.

Things I Don’t Like:
I do wish there was the ability for more feedback on the data within the application. Having the numbers is one thing, understanding what they mean can be quite another.

There is a section of the app and the website titled “Opinions” that seems to be using some sort of google alert to list the top diabetes headlines. This system could use a little update because some of the results are inaccurate or inappropriate.

Overall review:
I like this app. I will continue to use it to download my results and bring the 14 day report to my next endocrinologist appointment to see what she thinks of the report.

After speaking with a representative from the company, I am excited for the three potential next steps they are working on. In no particular order (because they don’t know what will be approved next) –

  • Compatibility for the Android platform, but it is more difficult to develop for the multiple phone manufacturers as opposed to the singular iDevice.
  • Functionality with other meter brands and types
  • Availability of charts and graphs to provide some analysis and interpretation of data.

You can find more information about Glooko on their website and order the cable from Amazon.


Disclosure: I was provided the meter cable and a code from Glooko for review. All opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.


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