Viewing my diabetes info is a subject I have focused quite a bit on over the last year, because I have been utilizing the Dexcom G4 constant glucose monitor (CGM) connected to the cloud with some fantastic do-it-yourself data-viewing technology.
Our diabetes data-viewing options keep improving drastically, and these days I’m finding more clarity than ever before in what is being displayed.
Pardon the pun, since that happens to be the title of the tool I’m going to review: RITY, the latest web-based, cloud-connected data platform in our disposal. Sure there are different data analysis options out there such as Glooko, Diasend, and even the coming-soon open-source Blip app being developed by nonprofit Tidepool.
But in my opinion, this really is the best there is in the moment for me as far as access, usability and design. Here is why this is.
What’s Dexcom Clarity?
It is an online data program that can be retrieved through app, tied mostly to the thrilling next-gen Dexcom G5 mobile system, which has been recently FDA approved and is being released in the upcoming week or so. The G5 enables CGM’ers to discuss their data directly with smartphones without needing a separate receiver as is traditionally the case. Sure, the G5 is just iOS compatible at this point, but we’re told Android is coming in early 2016.
But what we must commend Dexcom on is that they’ve awakened their data-sharing game even before the G5 launch, allowing for this new Dexcom CLARITY to be downloaded free of and used with their current G4 version. And as we’re told by Dexcom execs, there is no strategy to begin charging for this down the road.
As mentioned, the app is for iOS just right now, so in the event that you don’t possess an iPhone or iPod Touch, it’s still possible to use CLARITY by simply logging into online. You simply sign in with your Dexcom account info (whether as an individual of SHARE or Studio, their previous software), and from that point you just plug into the USB cable between your computer and Dexcom recipient so as to upload the data. Even without the app, you can opt to view the data on your personal computer or pull this up on your smartphone — for viewing only, without the full functionality of the app.
This whole system replaces Dexcom Studio, which was not available on the web but a software application you had to download onto your computer to use. Additionally, it replaces Dexcom Portrait, Dexcom’s first starting point for web-based CGM but with a limited design.
At the moment, Dexcom tells us CLARITY just includes CGM data. But in the future, the company intends to integrate data from different devices. We must assume it’s going to be those the company has reached agreements with on data-sharing (such as the OmniPod, and even activity trackers). That is exciting.
CLARITY is in fact a whole bunch better than any other data logging app on the market, IMHO. It’s a clean interface that allows clear viewing of BG data by day, week, two-week period or the previous 30 days. I also really enjoy that it generates an A1C estimate based on 14 times or more worth of data. And it is easy to toggle between graphs, graphs and data logs for any view you prefer.
Among the best features for me personally has become the pattern recognition, that not merely stains trends and presents them into log or chart/graph format, but also summarizes them then suggests options for addressing those issues. For me right now, the huge pattern is Nighttime Highs — especially in the early morning hours between 3am-7am.
See that clear awake the app has identified a tendency in my BG results? So simple to use and useful. Enjoy it.
Dexcom CLARITY seen this and then suggested that I consider three activities: correcting my overnight basal rates, checking my carb and correction factors in the evenings, and “consider reviewing the impact of high-fat, high-protein dinner meals.” Wow! That is actually some real-life advice!
As it happens, throughout my first visit with my new endo recently, we concurred this Nighttime High blueprint was our first order of business to act on. And those three factors offered by CLARITY were exactly spot-on together with what my doc and I decided should be done. Really nice!
And I really like how you can compare data in virtually every way possible, from customs to days of the week, time of day, meals, hypos and hyperglycemia trends, etc. Nice contrast options, especially for me wanting to see just how I have improved in the month before and after my endo visit — I have!
This is not rocket science. But it actually confirms how precise and helpful data platforms can be, in demonstrating your trends and patterns and giving you actionable ways to do better.
But of course right now, CLARITY is only of use to clients of the Dexcom CGM. What about other information platforms?
Only a few months before, we wrote about Glooko’s newest and the way that it’s actually “grown up” because it came on the scene five decades ago. Part of this was the exciting advancement that this data platform now includes pump and CGM data, and the way that it will integrate with all the Medtronic pump-CGM combo devices, too.
Concerning layout, the Glooko look seems pretty attractive, much like Dexcom CLARITY. But frankly, I have not used this system personally since I can’t stomach the $60 annually subscription cost — provided that there are a whole lot of different options for free. And you still need to purchase the MeterSync bluetooth uploader and any specific cables to connect your devices, so it is a devotion, so to speak.
But this may change, hopefully by the year’s end, together with all the Medtronic-Glooko integration coming soon. With that, I’d be able to see not just my Medtronic pump info, but also my Dexcom CGM info and any blood glucose info from appropriate meters I use. Data is the final goal, of course!
We do not have any sneak peek as to what that will look like, but we can use our imaginations based on the existing pump-CGM data displays within Glooko now. Medtronic tells us despite its newest Minimed Connect system being launched this Fall, you won’t be able to use that new system with Glooko but rather will need to undergo their CareLink software. Meaning Medtronic pumpers will be able to use the Glooko app or log into Glooko online in their smartphone and view data out there — but it ironically will not link to Medtronic Connect.
I’m interested to experience how well this Glooko-MedT offering plays. We shall see.
Tidepool’s Blip App
Disclaimer: over the last several months, I have been engaging in a beta test of the Tidepool data system known as Blip.
Blip is the visualization of Tidepool’s system that will be accessible online and through app. It is still being tweaked and completely developed, but such as Glooko, what is most attractive for me right now is I can bring ALL of my own Dexcom CGM and MedT pump data together into one spot.
As a beta tester, I’m obliged to stay quiet about the details that are obviously still in development, but I will say that I sure enjoy how it has begun off and can’t wait to see what stems from Blip when it is ready for prime time!
Additional Diabetes Data Options
It is hard to write about diabetes info tracking these days without mentioning the whole CGM in the Cloud movement with open-source options like Nightscout and xDrip. But those of course are aimed toward beaming your stream of CGM data everywhere in real-time instead of offering a full picture of data analysis integrated with other devices.
As far as this goes, Diasend is just another fantastic resource, but it is not Medtronic-friendly and, I have not enjoyed the appearance of it. Plus until October 2014, Diasend didn’t possess a mobile app, and even now, it feels a bit dated and clunky to me. Your Opinions Will Vary of course, just like with diabetes.
So for me personally, Dexcom CLARITY and before long Glooko seem to be my best options.
The upshot is that it is great to have choices! When it comes to a condition such as diabetes that is so driven by data-analysis and data-based decision-making, acquiring a variety of tools at our fingertips is a godsend.
Your ideas, as individual peeps determined by D-Data?
Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For additional information click here.
This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn’t stick to Healthline’s editorial instructions. For more information about Healthline’s venture with Diabetes Mine, please click here.
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