Friday, July 27, 2012

And now for the iBGStar!!!

Today I visited the lovely Mary and Andrew at Sanofi and collected the two iBGStar BGL meters for Issie and Tim!

Was lovely sitting down with both of them to check out this fantastic meter and the iBGStar App!

At this stage, according to the box for the meters I have received, the iBGStar:

"Can be used with or without an iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, or iPod touch."

and is:

"MADE FOR: iPod Touch (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation), iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3, iPhone."

And now that I am home the kids and I have had our first play around.

Initial impressions:

  • VERY easy to set up.
  • VERY easy to customise - my kids are both so different so the fact that this is not a "one size fits all" system is exactly what we need.
  • VERY cool - LOVE the different themes and the way they change according to the time of day. Everyone dealing with T1D hates having to do their BGL's several times a day, so Sanofi has done a great job in making a device and App like this fun to use - hopefully this will encourage the kids to do more tests!
  • the meter itself is tiny - so no need to carry around a separate bulky BGL meter.
  • love the ability to be able to charge both the meter AND the iPhone/iPod Touch through the one USB connection at the base of the meter - or you can charge the meter on it's own.
  • One problem that Tim picked up straight away - although this depends on the device you are using with the iBGStar - Tim has the latest version of the iPod Touch (4th Generation) - which has the headphone jack at the bottom (which I personally think is an Apple design flaw) - so if the iBGStar is attached to his iPod Touch it covers the headphone jack completely. Given that the iPod Touch is  more often than not used to play music through headphones this is definitely a negative for this model of iPod Touch. However, for other versions of the iPod Touch, and for the iPhone, headphone jacks are at the top of the device so this is not a problem.
  • We have been provided with a case for the iPod Touch/iBGStar - which neatly keeps the iBGStar in place - and this is a great idea, however - Tim won't use it because of the headphone issue. HOWEVER - since the kids are not allowed to listen to music on iPods or iPhones at school he will use the case for keeping it all safely together when he is using the iBGStar at school.
  • The sharing feature is great - although sharing is only via email (but there are always ways around this as any child of the 21st Century would quickly figure out).
  • A great big plus is the fact that the ENTIRE User Guide is right there in the App! How many times have you been out and done a BGL only to receive an error message and you have NO idea what that particular error code means! How many of you carry your BGL Meter User Guide in your kit with you? None, I suspect! This makes it easy - just tap the "info" button - then "Help" and the full User Guide is right there on your screen!
  • The data is clear and easy to read - if you're looking at the trends chart and you want to know the details of any of the "dots" on the chart - just tap on the dot and all the details for that reading are right there together with any notes you have made.
  • You can add BGLs manually if, for some reason, you have done them on another meter (say you forgot to charge the iBGStar and had to use your back-up meter).
Over the next few days I'll post more information about how we are going with these new meters, but for now, here are a few photos of some of the screens in the App - this is with the iBGStar attached to Issie's iPhone 3Gs.

I've only had these things in my hands for a couple hours and already I'm loving the iBGStar.

Can't wait to tell you more about it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gearing up for Riding On Insulin - Aussie Style... and other things...

Before I start talking about the Riding On Insulin camp I just wanted to share with you a few photos from our filming day for the educational video! It was a lot of fun and the kids got quite a good look at the world of video production - being asked to do the same thing over and over, waiting until everything in the background was in exactly the right place, coming up with different ideas of what will work and what will not!

Can't wait to see the finished product!

Okay - now for .....

The first Australian camp is now only a few weeks away and we are really looking forward to it!

Tim will be a Junior Coach and Mentor - and is definitely excited about that. 

It is just fantastic that Sean and Mollie Busby are bringing this experience to Australia. 

Sports like skiing and snowboarding tend to frighten parents of kids with T1D because not only are you dealing with activities that burn a LOT of energy and therefore put T1D kids at risk of delayed hypos but you are also dealing with extremes in temperature and being in situations where it may not be so easy to get medical assistance quickly.

Almost ALL of the ROI instructors, coaches and mentors have T1D themselves, and every group is accompanied by fully qualified Diabetes Educators/Nurses. 

There are two main aims of these camps - first of all to show T1D kids that they CAN do these things and that they should not let T1D stop them from living their lives to the fullest and going for their dreams with everything they have. The other aim is to get parents together to share their experiences as parents of kids with T1D - because this is a FAMILY disease. Siblings are also included in this experience.

Here is a video about the Riding On Insulin camps - a great deal of this video was shot at the first ROI Camp in Canada, at Nakiska Ski Resort just outside of Calgary - and Tim and Issie are in this video!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Doing our bit for T1D Education!

Tomorrow is going to be a big day for the kids and myself.

We have been asked to appear in an educational video production to be distributed to all General Practitioners around Australia.

The video is about both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and is expected to run for about 15 minutes. It is "Unbranded" and has the backing of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners with JDRF as consultants.

The project is called, "DIABETES SUCCESS: A Guide for Patients" and will include a companion guidebook.

This will be the Australian version of a project that has been very successful in the US. The production team arrived from the US late last week and have been busy filming other aspects of the video including interviews with Endocrinologists and well known Australian Chef, Michael Moore (who has Type 2).

The kids and I are, obviously, the "Type 1 family" and our role is to demonstrate what daily life is like for kids with T1D and their parents and also to educate about T1D generally.

We have also been told that there are plans for this video to be aired on the NINE Network in Australia - commercial free, although I do not know any further details about this at the moment.

So, today is cleaning day in our house to get ready for the camera crew to arrive early tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

First Impressions - BGStar - Sanofi Aventis

The first of our trial meters arrived this morning - the BGStar.

So, here are our first impressions:
  • Set-up is easy - very simple to set up time and date.
  • Screen very clear and easy to read - light is great.
  • Menu options easy to access and understand - these include:
    • Mem (Memory)
    • Stats (Statistics)
    • AVG (Averages)
    • Meal (for viewing results for different meals)
    • Graph (to look at graph of readings)
    • Time
    • Date
    • Tag (haven't looked at this one yet)
    • Range (to set target range - before and after meals)
    • Beep (sounds - easy to turn on and off)
    • Hypo (set alarm to alert hypos based on your own personal settings)
    • Hyper (set alarm to alert high BGL based on your own personal settings)
    • Alarm
  • Love the ability to be able to quickly and easily set Hypo and Hyper alarms. My son generally runs a bit lower and his hypo limit is lower than his sister - so it's not a "one size fits all" system. This is also the case with hyper limits.
  • Uses a TINY amount of blood for testing and results are really quick.
  • Doing control test is simple and kit comes with control solution.
  • Nice and small.

The only negative so far - but then, this is a negative for ALL BGL meters...


Thankfully this one has the BGStar logo on the front of the pouch - so if it's buried at the bottom of a bag you're more likely to see it - but seriously - black meter bags are BORING!

As for the lancet device - my kids won't use it. They hate the lancet devices that use single lancets and prefer either the MultiClix or FastClix made by AccuChek - the barrel with 6 lancets in it makes it more hygienic because the kids can easily change the lancet without immediately having to find a sharps bin to put the old lancet in.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Join the SLIN Australia Challenge!

The first ever Australian Riding On Insulin Ski/Snowboarding camp at Mt Baw Baw is rapidly approaching. It will be held on the weekend of 11-12 August.

Those of you who have registered will have received an email from Mollie Busby asking you to join the HubBub Challenge for the Australian ROI Camp (SLIN Australia).

There is currently a battle between SLIN Australia and SLIN New Zealand - whichever of these wins the Challenge will receive SLIN t-shirts for all of the participants at the winning Riding On Insulin camp. And, obviously, we want SLIN Australia to win!

Also, the Iron Andy Foundation has also pledged 5 scholarships each for the Australia and New Zealand ROI camps if each challenge is able to sign up a minimum of 35 players each.

So - whether you're going to the ROI camp at Mt Baw Baw or not, how about helping out and signing up for the SLIN Australia Challenge so that we can get those 35 players!!!

You can sign up using your Facebook account which is pretty easy - then just take a look through the activities. The SLIN Australia and SLIN New Zealand Challenges are "Mingle" Challenges - so more about networking than anything else. You can read more about this by clicking on the Description tab once you have joined the team.

So, just click on the image below to Join the Challenge!