The t:connect application is the latest technological breakthrough from the folks at Tandem Diabetes. The application received FDA approval in February 2013, and the roll out of the product to consumers occurred this week.
I say breakthrough, because for so long, and even still today, many “new” diabetes technology products are just re-hashes of existing products or otherwise offer nothing of notable improvement. This is particularly the case regarding software applications and user interface features. It all looks so monochrome and simplistic, like my Gameboy video game circa 1986.
Well, the t:onnect application is anything but monochrome and while it is easy to use and understand, its benefits are anything but simplistic. Instead, it offers a whole host of features and benefits that, if used properly, will offer users a very good glimpse into how well they are managing their blood glucose and insulin pump.
I had the opportunity to participate on an advanced training call on the software before it was released and I came away impressed.
The t:connect application is for use with the t:slim insulin pump. I have previously written a complementary review of the t:slim pump. I lauded the pump for its easy to understand color touch screen interface. It also has other unique features like a slimmer design, unique insulin delivery system and re-chargeable battery, to name just a few. The t:slim is the first insulin pump to be approved under the new, and more rigorous, FDA approval process.
Likewise, the t:connect application is the first insulin pump diabetes management application to go through this enhanced approval process.
HOW YOU USE IT
T:connect is an online application that is both Apple and PC compatible. You have two downloads that you need to do to get the most use out of the software. First, you download your insulin pump information to your computer. The level of data that it extracts from your pump is very comprehensive. I have included some screen shots on this page so that you can get a better idea of what it offers.
Second, you have the option of entering your blood glucose readings by hand or you can download directly via USB cable from your choice of seven different glucose meters. However, please be aware that while the software is compatible with Apple, not all seven glucose meters can be downloaded to an Apple, but would require manual data entry
Here is a list of glucose meters and their compatibility:
|OneTouch Verio IQ||MAC/PC Compatible|
|OneTouch Ultra Mini||MAC/PC Compatible|
|OneTouch Ultra2||MAC/PC Compatible|
|Freestyle Lite||Not Compatible Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.x|
|Freestyle Freedom Lite||Not Compatible Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.x|
|Accu-Chek Compact Plus||Not compatible Mac OS X|
|Accu-Chek Aviva||Not compatible Mac OS X|
Your best bet is to check with Tandem Diabetes at the time you are ready to purchase the insulin pump to determine the most up to date compatibility.
All of your data is then uploaded to the t:connect online application, where you can view your reports and information.
Color Display: Once your data is uploaded you have a very attractive color display to review and study your blood glucose levels and insulin use. But, the color display isn’t just for the sake of a pretty picture. Your data is often color coded to draw your attention to specific important information that may need your attention.
For example, high blood sugar, low blood sugar and “in range” blood sugar readings are all different colors so you can tell at a glance where things are going right, or wrong, with your blood sugar.
Ease of Use: The color coding of data contributes to the ease of use factor for t:connect, but the presentation of the reports also makes reviewing your health readings easy and intuitive. Let’s say that again: reviewing your health readings easy and intuitive!
Comprehensive: The level of detail you can see with how your glucose levels interact with your insulin pump is really a game changer for this software. You really have to see it to believe it. Look at the screen shots, but more importantly, talk with Tandem Diabetes about a getting a demonstration if you are really interested.
The only real disadvantage with the software is that it would be most helpful if there were an integrated Continuous Glucose Monitoring system. This way you would get a much more comprehensive look at your glucose levels in comparison to your insulin delivery.
As it stands now, you have to remember to test your glucose levels frequently. I do know that Tandem Diabetes is working on this, so hopefully it will be a reality soon.
However, if you are good about testing your glucose regularly, getting the most out of this software will be very easy.
The t:connect application is a very good application for tracking and understanding your glucose levels and insulin delivery. If you are in the market for an insulin pump, it would be worth your time to review the offering from Tandem Diabetes.